So the first half of our weekend was filled completely with first world problems.
We have stacks and stacks of the kind of paper that comes in the mail, that no one really knows what to do with. You know… cell phone bills that have been paid… insurance EOBs… blah, blah, blah. And really? I was getting overwhelmed with looking at all of these papers and white envelopes sitting around my house, littering every horizontal surface we seemed to have, and I was completely exhausted from breaking the tall towers of mail into smaller towers, to prevent collapsing from happening, because I have a basic understanding of structural engineering.
So I bought a cheap file cabinet from Walmart, and Hubs and I began the laborious process of looking in every single envelope and determining whether we could live without that piece of paper it contained in our lives, or whether we should make a hanging file for it.
To go in the cabinet.
Which was going to take care of DID A PAPER FACTORY EXPLODE ON YOUR KITCHEN COUNTER? AND ALSO ON THE DINING ROOM CABINET? AND ON YOUR DESK? AND IN THAT BOX BESIDE THE DESK? AND IS THIS A GAME OF ENVELOPE JENGA?
Because we were becoming slobs, and I realized that every single picture I pinned of decor ideas on Pinterest had kitchens with no junk mail stacked on the counter, SOMETHING needed to be done to clean things up.
Of course, the boys pounced on the cardboard box that the file cabinet came in like a rat on a potato chip discovery. They set up some kind of home base together in that box on Saturday, complete with Donald Duck on the iPad, which played in the near-dark, theater-like environment.
Thing 2 also got up early on Saturday AND Sunday mornings.
And by early, I mean at 4:45 and 5:10, respectively, because apparently he hates us and wants to ruin our dreams of having one more day in our lives to JUST SLEEP IN ALREADY.
So I was up, clutching a coffee cup and trying to JUST GET THE CAFFEINE INSIDE, while Hubs and the boy continued ALL THE SLEEPING. Thing 2 and I made waffles and watched Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse on TV, which could very possibly be the most annoying cartoon I’ve ever sat through.
And, in my head, I grumbled about HOW I AM UP SO EARLY ON A SATURDAY MORNING and HOW I COULD USE A NAP and WHY CAN’T HUBS GET OUT OF BED and I THINK I NEED MORE COFFEE WITH EXTRA CREAM.
I’d like to say that my mood got better on Saturday, but how could it? I spent the rest of the day going through paperwork and creating tidy files, and WHO WANTS TO SPEND THEIR SATURDAY THAT WAY?
And then we had a spider that was basically the size of a volleyball in the boy’s bathroom, which caused some stir on WHO WILL KILL THIS THING? Because the boy and I wanted it dead… and we wanted his spider family dead… and we wanted every spider he’d ever done business with dead… and we wanted Hubs to be the assassin… but Hubs, who suddenly went all tree-hugger on us, simply said that “Spiders are good to have around,” and he declined the killing assignment we had given him.
That left the boy and I to stare at one another and determine how two ‘Fraidy Cats were gonna pull this dirty job off.
Basically, I had a day of feeling sorry for myself, because LOOK HOW ROUGH MY LIFE IS.
And then, as I was repeating the process of sipping coffee before the sun had come up on Sunday morning, everything (And I do mean every. little. thing.) was put into perspective for me.
The back story is simply this.
I have a little girl in my 1st grade PE class named Leena. Leena is a precious gem of a child, and she’s been in PE for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and now 1st grade.
Two weeks ago, Leena told me that her leg ached, and she couldn’t run in PE. I took this VERY SERIOUSLY, which is the sarcastic way of saying, IF I HAD A DIME FOR EVERY TIME A KID TOLD ME HE COULDN’T RUN IN PE BECAUSE OF A GIANT-SIZED PAIN, I WOULD HAVE MAIDS AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZERS TAKING CARE OF THE PAPER PILES AT MY HOUSE, WHILE I SAT ON A BEACH SOMEWHERE.
My go-to response for I HAVE A PAIN AND CAN’T RUN is, “Just do the best you can.” Usually, just doing the best you can means that the pain is completely forgotten, because I run a FUN PE program, and ain’t nobody wants to miss out.
Except Leena did want to miss out. She asked to sit down during the game portion of our gym class, which surprised me.
And the following day in PE was an exact repeat, which made me see waving red flags, and ask Leena what she had actually DONE to her leg. She told me, “I don’t know. It’s just so sore, and it hurts every time I step forward.”
Leena came back to PE on Tuesday this last week, and… yes. Her leg was still sore, and I made a mental note to talk to her teacher. Leena is a game-player. She’s a mover and a shaker. She’s a fast little runner, who never complains, and this was most definitely out of character for her.
And I’m sure y’all can already tell where this blog post is going.
On Wednesday, Leena wasn’t in PE, and her teacher told me that she was gone, because she was being checked by a junior rheumatoid arthritis specialist at a major hospital six hours away. I was very sad for this, because ARTHRITIS? In a six-year-old? It’s a horrible thing, and I wanted to see Leena back and hopping around and free from joint pain.
I was so, SO sad for this upcoming arthritis diagnosis for one of my favorite little girls.
So yesterday morning, at 6:30, Leena’s 9th grade sister let us know through Facebook that her little sister’s doctors had completely changed her diagnosis, because Leena actually has a rare form of Stage 4, neuroblastoma cancer. Leena did not get an arthritis diagnosis. By 8:30 yesterday morning, our school principal had forwarded an email to all of the school teachers, which had been written by Leena’s mama. It outlined her diagnosis, and the treatment plan, which involves intense chemotherapy and surgery and a bone marrow transplant, because Leena’s bones are totally involved in this.
Leena is six, y’all.
And that is when I pretty much just sat down on my sofa and bawled my eyeballs completely out, and thought, over and over and OVER, “Why a six-year-old??? Why Leena???” And I was convicted of my grouchy mood yesterday, because I had to get up early and spend an entire day organizing papers that I wasn’t in the mood to organize, because Leena and her parents were up early, too, that day, getting to know doctors on the oncology floor of a major children’s hospital.
No parent should ever have to spend a Saturday morning doing that. So yes. I was very ashamed about my attitude the day before, and my entire perspective changed on Sunday morning.
We went to church, and during his sermon, our pastor said, “The mark of a saint is not how well you’re doing, but what you do when you are not doing well.”
I think that comment was aimed straight at me.
I knew that I needed to stop asking, “Why Leena?” and ferociously continue to pray for that child’s health. God has his reasons for “Why Leena?” I don’t like His reasons at all right now. I DON’T. I can’t see the good that this battle is going to result in, because I can’t see the entire picture. But what I can do while I’m not doing well over this is pray for that little girl and her family… to pray for Leena and her parents, and her older sister and brother.
I’ve had my camera in the gym a little bit. This is a snapshot of Leena from this past spring, right before she graduated from kindergarten and headed into summer break.
She is an absolute honey… cute as a button… lively and spirited and precious… and if you could find it in your hearts to beat on Jesus’ door and ask him for some miracles for her, I’d appreciate it.
And so would her family, as her mama said in the email, “Please forward this to anyone you think would pray for us at this time.”
This morning, when Thing 2 hollered out at exactly 5:12, “Hi-lo, Mommy! Hi-lo, Mommy!” (which is two-year-old-speak for “Hello, Mommy”), I hugged him close and whispered in his ear, “Your mama ADORES YOU, even before the sun comes up in the mornings.”
So tonight, please hug your own children tight, tight, tighter. Forgive them for getting up early, because you HAVE THEM to get up early with. Realize that boring household chores on Saturdays are nothing like what other people are going through around the world, whether its here at home, or across an ocean, as people are becoming refugees to escape persecution.
Just love your families extra tonight, and please talk to Jesus for Leena.