August 09, 2010


Yesterday I watched Glory bat her curly eyelashes, move her one unrestrained arm, wiggle her hips, blow bubbles through her lips, and cry and cry without making a sound (on account of the tubes going through her nostrils and down her throat).

She is being fed lipids and fluids through her veins, which seem to be working well because she has grown two inches and is gaining weight.  She has a long, red line down the middle of her chest from where they closed her up, one week after her first open heart surgery.  She has dark hair.  She has her mommy's eyes and her big sister's mouth and chin.  She has personality and fight.  She has doting nurses and a beautiful purple quilt (courtesy of Haylea Newcity).  She is frequently the recipient of one kind of procedure or another.  Morphine and her mom are her constant companions.

She is 18 days old.

Kerry and Philip and their 3-year-old daughter, as well as anyone who is there to help them, stay in a hotel a short distance from Little Rock Childrens' Hospital. Basically everyone in the hotel is either a patient or a family member of a patient at either the childrens' hospital or the new cancer treatment institute.  In other words, all of Kerry and Philips' neighbors have or are facing their greatest fears. What these people have realized is that the scariest thing there is isn't as scary they thought, and that life is not about new livingroom furniture or who their daughter's volleyball coach will be this year.  Yesterday, I talked with people who's blood or bones were full of cancer, who's hair was thinning, who's brother had months to live, or who enjoyed their baby day by day, never knowing which day would be their child's last.

And they were the most alive people I've ever met.