Today was our big day at Seattle Children's.  It has been emotional and overwhelming.  I have felt overwhelmed many times and I always knew we would make it through and the moment would pass.

Today, I'm uncertain that we will ever recover from all of this.  It's just been so hard for so long without a break and there seems to be no end to the difficulties.

Just being in that hospital is enough to make you sick.  To me, it's the saddest place on earth.  There are so many sick children, very sick children.  It breaks my heart to see them.  It breaks my heart to see their parents.  We all wander around poised and pulled together, like we know what we're doing, trying to convince the world, each other that we have everything under control but I had to wonder, if like a duck, we were all just paddling our little hearts out just to stay afloat, make it through the day- no, make it through one hour.  Just one more hour!

Tonight, we wandered down around Pike Place Market and the Waterfront.  The pier is full of all sorts of homeless people.  Out of the blue, Shelbie had a total meltdown.  The kind where you can't stop crying but in between the choking tears erupt bursts of laughter yet nothing's funny.  It's just that literally everything came pouring out in whatever form it could take with it.  It was so sad to see her fall apart.  Almost in a terrifying way. It was as if the reality of her situation collided squarely into her dreams wrapped in denial.  It wasn't fair.  For a moment, none of this seemed fair.

But...it is.  The trials of life are more fair than we think. We have our little bundles of adversity and you have yours. None of it's fun but it's all necessary.

Even I had a moment close to Shelbie's.  I felt myself feeling jealous of the homeless people I saw.  If you don't like depressing thoughts then don't read on.

There was a man on a corner playing a tiny piano.  He was incredible, awesome.  I stood and listened for a minute, then noticed that every single one of his fingers were bandaged up.  I assumed from day in and day out of playing the piano to make a meager living.  His playing was beautiful and contrasted sharply to his shabby appearance and wandering voice.  In a fleeting moment, I saw me in him.  I wondered how he got to this place; a man so obviously talented.  I asked Sam and Shelbie what they thought happened to him.  They both said basically the same thing..."I don't think he's crazy.  I think he looks like a man who had to be strong for too long. He just walked away from his life."

I think she was right.
I was jealous of him.
Sam was jealous of him.  Even he said..'.I wish I could do that.'

It was odd to stand there, all feeling the same thing, afraid to admit that we could easily be the crazy man on the corner...the guy who just walked away from his life.  It was kind of big.   And then we walked on to the cheese store...I guess because that's what normal people do.  They buy cheese.  They throw dollars and coins into open cases and cans.  They buy stuff to fill in the cracks, dull the pain, hide the sorrow. Today we tried to be normal...but we're not and I'm just not sure how to keep up with it all.  



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