Monday, October 7, 2013

A taste of normal in a sea of unknowns {day 5}

Stuff scattered about drives me crazy. My children know this about me. My mother might be surprised to know this because she kept my bedroom door shut so that she wouldn't "have to look at that mess."

Now I will straighten up a room. It's become habit to tidy-up and to serve others.

Several weeks into this long hospital journey, I remember getting ready to leave Clarence in the ICU. I looked at his tray. A notebook, a pen, his glasses, and some newspapers were scattered about the tray. I thought, "I should straighten this up.The nurses will need some space on here later."

Yet, I distinctly remember one day that I decided not to straighten stuff. On purpose.

It caught me off-guard to prefer this scattering of stuff over neat & tidy, especially with a task that would be helpful and take less than two minutes.

Why was the urge so strong? Why did it feel more comfortable to leave a mess than to clean it up?

Because the mess felt normal.

It looked more like an end table in a cozy living room than a place to set down medicines in an ICU room.

Those scattered newspapers gave sign that life as we used to know it still existed somewhere. A mess of newspapers instead of medicine bottles.

A scattered newspapers brought hope that maybe -- just maybe -- life might resume. Yet, the questions lingered: would he return home to read the mail and bother his wife again? Would he breathe on his own again? Was all of this worth it?

We waited. A lot. That day was a quiet day. One with no visible changes.

A tiny seed was planted through a scattered newspaper that just maybe Clarence would read the newspaper at home, leave it about, and bother his wife again. Perhaps life would return to the old normal?

Was it worth it? Would he be okay:? Would he get off the ventilator eventually? I didn't know the answers to any of those questions. But I did know that that day it felt really great to leave a newspaper scattered about on a tray.

It was little taste of normal. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for is God's will for you in  Christ Jesus." II Thessalonians 5:16-18

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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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