There have been times in my life ... times when another person's tear causes me to cry. Thursday was one of those times.
I went to my sister's house. I stopped by to see her and my nieces. Have I told you about those two nieces? I love them like crazy. Outside of my three boys, these are my favorite kids in the world. I've blogged before about my niece who has been touched by Treacher Collins. Her name is Hope and her sister is Alex. Treacher Collin's is a craniofacial syndrome that affects the ears, nose and throat. Hope was born without ears ... only buds (or lobes). Her biggest wish is to have ears just like her big sis, Alex. Why? Because she wants to listen to her MP3 just like all the other kids.
Thursday, I was visiting them because Hope came home from surgery. She had extenders put into the skin just below the hairline and above her ear buds. This was a painful process and it was only the beginning of an even longer process. Those extenders will be inflated once a week for the next eight weeks. Ending with the effort to form ears for her from that skin.
I climbed the stairs to their rooms. Along the way, we passed family pictures and Hope gave an excited breath. "See, my ears are cute like Alex!"
I played Littlest Pets and listened to the girls tell me all kinds of stories about those toys. Then, it was time to get ready for bed.
Sometimes, I forgot how much my sister and brother-in-law handle with Hope's disability. Thursday, I was reminded as we all piled into the bathroom. My sister filled a small cup with a mixture of Peroxide and water. Hope started to whimper, Alex reached for her little hand ... it was time to clean her incisions.
Alex and I held hands with Hope as my sister cleaned the incisions on both sides of Hope's head. My brother-in-law was at work or he would've been right there with us. That's how it works for their family, they are a team.
My sister spoke soft words of comfort, calming words. That's when I saw it ... one small tear slid down Hope's cheek and landed on the bathroom countertop.
In my lifetime, I have cried tears over many things. Some trivial and some not so trivial. This evening, I considered how many tears my niece would cry in her lifetime. She is spunky and full of spirit. She'll endure this pain because it is the path to something she desires ... ears . Something most of us take for granted. For Hope, each piece of independence is gained at a price. That price is pain.
I realized pain is a process that is followed by healing. Most every desire we have is achieved through the endurance of pain. Whether that pain is physical or emotional, it is necessary.
Is there something your heart desires?
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
This picture is our youngest boy, Kregg, with Hope. They are rather impatiently waiting for fireworks to start at our annual 4th of July cookout.