My uncle is in town on business so Mom and Dad have had a wonderful time visiting with him. Last night we went to spend the evening with them, and my brother and his family joined us as well. There was a lot of the usual 'family stories', and we shared some new ones as well. It was a good time to get caught up in what is happening in other families that belong to us, and a good time to be thankful for the relationships that are so precious to us as you realize not everyone has that privilege.
As we were cleaning up, I had a chance to share with Uncle Mick some of the things we'd been through with Laura. As I shared our first days of sorrow when we were told to prepare for her funeral through several operations, all of her gastro issues, several of the 'almost lost her' times, the discovery of her severe sleep apnea and the dramatic change that came after her operation and so on, he said "Chris, I don't know what I would have done. I don't know that I could have done everything you have." and my response was automatic. I told him he would have because you do what you need to do. You do whatever it takes to help your child. You are their parent. They have no one else to advocate for them. They are yours, lock, stock and disabilities. It isn't a choice. It just is.
As I thought about our conversations, I drifted off to sleep very thankful that the Lord gave us the privilege of parenting Laura. She is ours just for this time. And even though we still have hills and valleys yet to navigate with some of her medical issues, I know that I know that I know that she'll be fine. We just need to prayerfully remember Psalm 23. Verse 4 says:
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
We've definitely had our valleys in the shadow of death with Laura. But we know that he restores our soul and we know that goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives and that indeed we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.