What does critical condition mean to a two year old? I pondered that question the entire drive home. Today we hit the two week mark. If things had gone as planned, Sarah would be home from her VSD repair. Instead, we had the first gut-wrenching conversation with the doctor that her condition had taken a critical turn for the worse. Up until this day, the doctors had remained positive. Each complication was described as a mere step backward, a minor set-back. Today, the words were not as hopeful. I felt I needed to prepare Sarah's big brother. But he was just a baby himself.
Earlier in the week I had bought him a doctor's kit. I thought the best approach to his understanding her hospital stay might include role playing. And sure enough the first time he saw her, he pretended to give her a shot with the big play syringe and then tried to put the molded plastic bandage on her tiny arm. But now I feared, he needed more information. Greater preparation for the possibility that she might not survive.
I arrived home in time to give him his nightly bath. Then I took him into Sarah's room and we sat in the rocking chair. We looked around and named all the things that she liked to play with. We counted the lambs on her wall border. We sang songs. Then I told him that no matter what happened he would always be my baby. I would always love him just like I would always love Sarah no matter whether she was here on earth or up in heaven with the angels. He turned his sweet head, opened his big brown eyes real wide and told me, "I awwway wove Sarah too." My heart melted as I smiled about the lack of his "l" development at the time.
I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life. I think that was a glimpse into the future. Of course I didn't know it at the time. In that little exchange, TJ let me know that he was in this for the long haul. He was going to be by my side no matter what. And he has. Children, truly God's miracles that permit us to see the beauty of life. I am so blessed.