I was flipping through radio stations yesterday on the way to Walmart and heard 105.1 was doing a fund drive for the Children’s Miracle Network.
A few hours later, we were at Arnold Palmer (making a failed attempt to get one of Ava’s tests done), and ran into the DJs broadcasting from the hospital cafeteria and sharing stories about families who depend on Miracle Network donations to get care for their kids at APH.
On the way home, I was again flipping radio stations and caught them sharing stories with radio-land about people whose kids are at APH right now and how we can help them. It was just a weird moment. I half felt like that parent they were talking about – considering we have been at some kind of medical office 5 times in the past week – and then half felt like I was the one they were encouraging to give & feel grateful about how healthy my kids are.
The reason I felt the latter was probably that, well, we were driving home at the time. And unlike the mom who was then sharing her story, Ava hasn’t had any surgeries. She hasn’t stayed in the hospital overnight since we first brought her home. I don’t fear that her heart will stop or that her other organs will fail her. We’ve never rushed her to the ER. These are things I’m coming to be really grateful for.
And yet, of course we are living on the other side of that radio broadcast more that I’d like right now. I remember the first time we took Ava to Nemours to see someone about her feeding issues. Walking around the hospital, I felt so relieved that we just had this little thing to deal with, unlike a lot of the families who were there. We saw wheelchair-bound kids in the PT department and I felt so far away from all of it. Little did I know how well I’d be getting to know our children’s hospitals myself in a few months, or that we’d have an occupational therapist coming to our own home.
I guess it’s natural for people to ask, Why us? when things like this happen. But the further we get into all this, the more I find myself asking, Why not us? What makes us so privileged that it would be someone else’s kid instead? We like to say it’s not fair when bad things happen to us, but it’s not really fair that good things happen to us either, is it? We don’t deserve any of the gifts God chooses to give us. There isn’t anything about us that earns blessing. And for sure, if my belief in God depends on things going well in life, my theology is going to fall apart fast.
Truth isn’t always accommodating to my preferences, but I still want to choose it every time.