As I sat alongside the highway with flashers on awaiting the tow truck, I laughed out loud, my eyes simultaneously filling with tears. The ridiculous absurdity of the situation coupled with the various outstanding details that made it a remarkable (miraculous?) event in it's own right... but, no, more than that it was the culmination in that moment of so much that 10 weeks can hold, and has held.
We were finally able to procure the protozoa treatment for Lochlan, after 8 weeks of arguing with the insurance company. However, during the strength of the protozoa wreaking havoc inside of his intestines, he began a set of fixations that have escalated to now intolerable habits of existence. For almost 2.5 months he has been intentionally missing the toilet, pooing in every place except the toilet, and then intentionally smearing the rest. Because the protozoa has given him diarrhea most of the time, it has also given him the magnificent ability to go multiple times a day (6-9). We have discovered poo on the floors from the bathroom to the front door, in the showers, sinks, on the walls, in our beds, on mirrors, on pictures, on books, on toys, in the dryer with clean clothes, on my shoes, on door jams, in my hair, on the outside walls of our house, in the inside garden, and so many more places. We have tried to discipline him in ways that will be profound to him, but to absolutely no avail.
I have been pondering a great deal on the subject of suffering, perseverance and on trying to understand the challenges that this broken world gives us all so abundantly. I profoundly believe that suffering is not for nothing. We each have the unbearable thrown at us in some form that is particularly challenging to our unique personhood. Though others can walk alongside us in the journey, through the treachery, and help pull us through the bogs, the burden - whatever it may be - is ultimately owned and born by our own heart. The crushing frustrations, fears, pain, and suffering can cast shadows on those we love, who walk alongside us, but the weight belongs to the one who ultimately carries it. And sometimes, the weight is too much. It forces us to face our own infallibility and weakness and our absolute reliance on someone much greater.
Sometimes the tears fall without much control or resistance. They are always unwelcome and unwanted, but somehow they come.
While Madigan was in Austin he contracted a virus which he brought home to share with everyone else. So, each of the kids has been sick in sequence.
Then, Kris lost his job and we subsequently lost our investment opportunity in Colorado which we had been pursuing for almost 8 months.
So, once the kids were well, and Lochlan had completed his treatment, we decided to take a family road trip which we have been wanting to do for some time. We purchased two tiny trailers to pull with our two small SUVs, arranged for Kaysee and Max to look over the farm for us and hit the road. Within 4 hours on the road, I developed a rabid case of conjunctivitis in my right eye and a fever. By the morning of our first night camping I could no longer open my eye. We made our way to Salt Lake City, UT where we were able to find a BNB for the night and get into an Urgent Care to try to get medication for my eyes which were now both infected. Lochlan was a tyrant at the BNB, and at the point when he rushed out the back door with an office chair from the downstairs living area to toss it into the pond, I started to laugh and cry at the same time (again).The following day we made our way to the upper part of Idaho.
Then, the wheel fell off the tiny trailer I was pulling. We had stopped for gas and were entering the on-ramp when the trailer went careening left and the car top carrier fixed to the top of it went flying onto the shoulder (from the impact, presumably). I was able to get to the shoulder enough to allow other cars to go by and Providentially, there was a police officer assisting another motorist less than 1/4 mile from me. He saw the whole incident and immediately came over to assist. We had procured a tow truck and gotten the trailer towed to a tire shop within an hour. The officer said that if I had been on the highway when it happened, I very well may have flipped the vehicle. Though the event was inconvenient, to be sure, the miraculous in it all is not lost on me, and I am incredibly grateful. The hub on the trailer was cracked, so we opted to leave it at the shop until we return in a few weeks and we proceeded onward toward Oregon, our final destination. Lochlan has continued to make our journey complicated and difficult and this morning I woke up feeling the wall of exasperation in front of me, again.
I've had moments of weary that crawl into my very bones in the past couple weeks. "Scary tired" as the boys call it. It's a fatigue that is not (really) caused from lack of sleep. It's the mounting frustration(s) and the sense of being trapped that they strangely create, the relentless challenges piled upon one another, and ultimately the nagging sense of dread for what may lay around the upcoming corner. Yesterday, as I stood beside the car, looking at a nearby mountain, Madigan walked up, placed his hand on my arm and said, "Mom. remember suffering is not for nothing." Will Lochlan find true healing and become functional in all the real ways? He may not. But, it is hope that helps us to arise in the mornings and face whatever is thrown upon us in each day, to climb the mountains, to see the sunrises. Hope is so vital to our existence, as humans.
When I get discouraged (which is often these days), looking at the details of His Creation remind me that this life is but a moment in time. It allows us the opportunity for the refining of our hearts and for the cultivation of our understanding of love - the greatest love.