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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tear Soup

I can't thank y'all enough for all of the support you have given to our family these past ten months.  It means more than I can say.  Except for a very few close friends and family, I've received the bulk of my emotional support from y'all.  My church family has been great about practical help, especially when we've been in crisis mode, but it's my blogging buddies who have seen me through as I've whined endlessly about all manner of digestive distress, endocrinology enigmas and neurological nightmares.


(I'm such a nerd, I know.)

Yes, it helps to write it out.  It helps to process it.  It helps me to feel more in control.  It also helps me to keep things in perspective.  Because - as hard as this has been for me and our family - there have been huge blessings that have come about as a result.  (More on that sometime soon.)  And it helps to remind me that there are so many people out there who are dealing with much greater losses than my doughnut and pasta deficiency.

Take this family, for example.

Yes, Squirt traveled by ambulance to the emergency room on Monday.  But she came home.  And sadly - that same morning - while Squirt was improving and healing, a sweet sixteen-year-old, who lives just blocks from us, finally said her last goodbyes before she traveled home to heaven.  Her younger brother was in the Tongginator's kindergarten class.  And her first grade class.  And is now in her second grade class.  He and his middle sister just lost their eldest sister.  And his parents just lost their daughter.

Celiac?  Epilepsy?  Or even some unknown syndrome?

There is no comparison.

Because Squirt is ALIVE.

The Tongginator surprised me by asking to attend the funeral.  She wants to be there for her little buddy.  The Husband and I talked about it, and I also spoke with Canuck K (who used to work at Hopkins as a Child Life Specialist), and we all decided that I would attend the funeral with the Tongginator.  The Husband has to work that day, especially after the surprise endoscopy on Friday, so my momma is graciously trekking up here to watch Squirt, with one of my nieces in tow.  I'm a little nervous about the Tongginator attending the funeral of a child, but I've prepared her as best I can.

The Tongginator shocked me with her insights, although I don't know why.

She's constantly amazing me in this way, so why do I sometimes forget?

But the Tongginator wants to be there for her friend.  She wants to be there for his family.  At one point, she said to me, "at least he has another sister to be there for him and with him."  I paused for a minute, then said gently, "Tongginator, I understand why you said that to Momma, but you can't say that to him or anyone else except Momma and Daddy."  When she asked why, I countered with a question of my own: "Well, how would you feel if someone said to you 'at least you have an adoptive mom even though you don't get to be with your birthmother anymore?'"  It clicked and we talked a lot about grief, and death, and loss.

I read her two books: I Had A Friend Named Peter and also Tear Soup.

She asked a lot of logistical questions after reading I Had A Friend Named Peter, but it was the second book that truly generated lots of conversation.  She opened up quite a bit after reading Tear Soup.  She talked about how sad and angry and out-of-control she sometimes feels when she thinks about her family in China and how she can't be with them.  She asked me if I would ever get sick of her making tear soup because she knew it was taking her a long time to make.  Of course I said no.  And we hugged.  And we cried.  And I thought - yet again - how blessed I am to parent both of my girls.

And I am so sad for this family.  I know we don't understand His ways, but it's days like these that one can't help but cry out "why God? WHY?"  I actually know the answer, but I don't want to hear it just yet.  Because I'm too busy making some tear soup of my own.


Casa Bicicleta said...

The Togginator never ceases to amaze me either. I wish we lived closer. My DD could use someone like her as a friend. Strong hugs for the days ahead.

Debby said...

I really thing that the Togginator is beyond her years. She sounds ready to attend that service. It may be shocking to her but then again maybe not. I think it helps to explain things.
Poor little Squirt. You are going through so much right now. The esezures can be so puzzling. They may not have any connection to her other medical concerns. My son's were never explained. I care for a 14 year old that has them so badly and still no diagnosis. My son outgrew his. I am hoping that your little one will as well. Good luck (((((HUGS))))) and prayers.

Anonymous said...

I love your Tongginator. She is a real friend. She'll do fine with the service, and I love how she is able to articulate her feelings (although I also know you deserve kudos for that too).