Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Moving On

I finally unpacked my hospital bag. That compact little duffel that traveled faithfully with me back and forth to Children's, stuffed with necessities has been tucked under the cradle for more than a year. And I have been ignoring it. At first we dared not unpack, as we were never that confident we wouldn't need it. So it stayed there at-the-ready... just in case. Time marched on, much faster than we realized, and I avoided that bag. I didn't want to remember what was in it. I didn't want to think about the emotional-baggage tucked inside the duffel-baggage. The pace of life picked up even more and soon I just plain forgot about that little bag. It got shoved under the bed, out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

But something else is happening in our lives now - we are expecting another Gift any day now! After ignoring that bag, and then procrastinating, and then forgetting all about that little bag, I needed it again. It really is the perfect size, you see. It has come to every hospital stay with every baby.

Taking a deep breath (mostly to avoid inhaling the dust) I opened that zipper. Prescription-strength ibuprofen - oh yeah, it's very painful sitting/standing beside an ICU bassinet a week after giving birth. That book a friend lent me to pass the time and I never read. (oops, sorry. I'll get that back to her now.) The Rosary, holy cards, Divine Mercy chaplet card. Some paperwork including an assessment form summarizing his condition. The little cardiac assessment book I read to refresh my memory from nursing school. I fingered those "Beads of Courage" laughing at my initial scorn at such a corny idea. I now LOVE those little beads, each different design and color representing each thing that Joey experienced. He has a very full bag of them, you know. Pens and the notebook I used to write my thoughts while sitting in his room. A deck of cards, some loose change, our hospital ID.

Joey's story is far from over. Every day is a reminder of where we've been with him and where we'll go again someday. In cleaning out that bag I closed his first chapter and gave us permission to move on. And in repacking it for our impending hospital stay I am ready to open up the next chapter - Joey the Rock Star, Joey the Big Brother!


  1. Hi! I was hoping we'd see you at Mass on Sunday (we're visiting Walkersville), but we missed each other. Praying for a fast and healthy delivery :)

    1. Thanks, Colleen! Hope you had a wonderful visit :)