Home at Last with Family Whole

The last stanza of Tennyson’s “Ulysses” sums it up:
“Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are–
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”

A week of nights squared, just one day short of 50 days in the hospital, is how long K spent at Hopkins.  My wife, J, was there all save the 4 days (the four during our long planned trip to Disney when she called constantly for updates and arrangement of care).  Through the 49 days, the kids made do with my time and attention for many an afternoon and evening.  I can’t say it was all fun and easy, but there came a point when I kept saying “we, as a family have invested so much, how can we walk away?”  Nobody ever promised us a rose garden.  Our kids, at this age, seem to know only care vs. don’t care, and the thought of walking away isn’t one I can see them considering.  They were disappointed with every set back.  They wanted K and J back home. 
“Maybe she will get out tomorrow or in just a couple of days.” became the mantra for all even when it was harder to believe.
Still through it all, I think there was a wear down of body and emotion, but not of will.  I could see it in J, and I felt it in me.  As for the kids, I don’t know that they could recognize it.  Their behavior after every visit spoke to the emotional costs though.  Those were some difficult evenings, but through it all they came out seeing her again and taking pride in being with her and making her smile. They take pride in their bonds with her, their little sister.
In the end, it seems our resilience emerges tougher.  Do it all again?  I don’t know if the same decisions would be made knowing all of the end costs, but I also can’t think of a single spot where hindsight would lead me to a different pick.  I’ve always been stubborn, and yielding on such things seems unnatural.  I say all of this not 24 hours after her return home with my MS fatigued self having a cold and J being run down.  The first steps of any journey may be the hardest, but heck if the last ones aren’t the most draining as the push towards the goal is realized. 
What’s left? 
Just us

One thought on “Home at Last with Family Whole”

  1. I'm cheering you and J on, and sending virtual <<>> to all.

    I remember when our infant son for the first night in many slept through the wee hours of the night, Rick and I had our first night of four hours straight sleep, and we felt like new people.

    I must tell you, though, that he is now in his twenties, a firefighter per diem and a paramedic working 24

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