Friday, June 27, 2008

Through The Pain

I happened upon a blog about a family who has recently (within the last couple of weeks) experienced a very traumatic event. This family had decided to put in a hot tub and only five days later their littlest child drowned in it. Stephanie, the mother, found her little girl, called for her husband and started performing CPR. Little Camille couldn't have been 1 year old.
Camille ended up in the hospital hooked up to all sorts of things. The parents felt very strongly that Camille had not been in her body since the accident. After much prayer and consultation with the Lord they knew that it was time to let Camille go. She was unhooked from the machines and it wasn't long after that she passed away (June 15).

This family still has three other children, all girls, and it seems that they have found a good outlet in blogging about what's going on and what they are going through. I have to admit, the first entry I read I felt like I was imposing on some extremely personal thoughts and feelings. But I continued to read earlier posts and realized that this grieving Mother needs this outlet. She is using her blog as a sounding board. Something to bounce thoughts and feelings into. I don't think she would feel uncomfortable if she knew I were reading these things, a perfect stranger. I think she wants people to know how deep her heartache goes. Not in a selfish or self serving way, but as a reminder to hold dearly to our loved ones.

Stephanie talks about how her children are dealing with this change. One daughter finding a program from Camille's funeral and giving it kisses and asking when Camille is coming back to play. Of another daughter she said,
"But I still had Lauren, who was still trying to find her place in our family now that she wasn't the baby. That was a hard transition for her. And I was trying to give her all the attention she needed. I was the third kid in my family. My younger brother's were identical twins. As soon as they came along, well, let's just say I was attention deprived as a child and did all I could to get attention. Our family videos are filled with my parents telling me to move out of the picture. That it wasn't my birthday etc... So I wanted to give Lauren the positive attention so she wouldn't have to act crazy to get it. It was a difficult juggling act most of the time.

Lately, I had been seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Lauren and Camille had been playing together more. Camille was finally old enough to play a game or two. Lauren had been playing better with Ann Marie as well. Lauren was finally old enough to get Annie's games. Once in a while I felt like maybe I could have another kid someday. Three had been easy for me. Four felt overwhelming, but I knew it would get better and it was getting better.

Now I am back to taking care of three. And Lauren is not acting out for attention anymore. The girls all play well together most of the time. Three is easy. Three is easy and yet Only Three is so so hard.
This really hit me. You think of all the people you know who have 'surprise' children. And what a challenge and a blessing it is. What on earth would you do without the spirit of that one child in your home? I don't know if Camille was one or not, but it's so applicable to the situation. Children are so much apart of us.

I just find so much strength in this family. Whoever they are, and wherever the live my heart goes out to them in this time of... change. This family is very strong and very united.

At the end of her most recent entry Stephanie challenges all o
f her readers to take a moment and write down the things your children do; they don't even have to be cute.
So, I am.

1. Waking up in the morning or from a nap, entering the room and hearing, "Hi Momma."
2. Saying hi to the fishes
3. Asking for, "Nappers."
4. Playing in the cup of water I give her rathe
r than drinking it
5. Opening the TV cabinet doors and taking everything out
6. Hiding her cup of milk anywhere she can
7. Asking if I'm okay when I sneeze
8. Still needing a finger to go down the stairs
9. Screaming at me if I don't get her some yogurt
10. Nightly prayers, and I Love You's

Yep, hearing this family's story has certainly made me squeeze my Leah a little tighter.


Katy said...

Tyler and I have both looked at her blog and commented on how terrible it would be. I will definitely check back there. I am always amazed that people keep living. There is nothing in my life like my girls, nothing that could tear me apart faster if I lost one. Thanks for sharing

Busty LaRue said...

We recently lost a nephew, and the two things that helped us get through it were our family and our faith. It's sad how tragedy makes you want to hold your little ones tighter every day.

Amber said...

You really keep your house at 82 degrees? Oh my gosh, I am dying at the temperature. I would roast in your house.