Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I believe there are angels among us...

...sent down to us, from somewhere up above
They come to you and me
In our darkest hour
Show us how to live
Teach us how to give
To guide us with the light of love
Alabama, "Angels Among Us"

I don't pretend to understand angels. But I do know one, and I know that she is always ALWAYS there when you need her. This angel surprised us with a visit yesterday. (And if anyone else is considering a surprise trip to Philly, y'all had best let me know, 'k? I've filled my surprise quota!) LL is the children's minister at our church, but she is so much more than that to us. She is a friend, a listening ear, and the most genuine person that I know. Jay adores her, even more now that she gave him a whole package of silly bands shaped like - what else? - TOOLS! All of us who are cheering him on here are wearing silly bands that he picked out for us. (Mine is a screwdriver.)

LL's time here was short, but she was able to spend some really special time with each of us and was a great support not only to me and Derek but also to our parents as well. She got a bit of snuggle time with Luke, had a nice chat with Jane at breakfast, a good talk with my Dad on the way back to the airport. She told us all about what had been happening at church, which was a wonderful distraction for me. There are so many of our FBC friends who are praying for Jay and for our family - it is just amazing. She brought the love of many in our church family with her, and I could not be more grateful.

But I have to say ... I've felt the same twinge of sadness after both of my surprise visits. Even if these wonderful friends stayed for a month, I would cry when they left. They give me such a lift, and I can't help but feel a little down as I fall back to the reality of this place. As I was walking out to the car this afternoon, I kept thinking "It sucks that I know this place so well! It sucks that I know exactly where the forks are in the cafeteria! It sucks that I know which lane to be in to avoid traffic on the interstate! The fact that we're still here with no end in sight just sucks!"
I know that I need to remain positive, but tonight I'm just feeling a little down. I am so incredibly grateful for your notes ... e-hugs, paper cards, phone calls, and real, live, in-person love from family and friends. But I still wish we didn't need them.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you had a special visitor! We are praying for you all for healing, for rest and renewal....Our thoughts are with you! Thank you so much for writing your blog - I've shared it with lots of prayer warriors and the ITC staff.
Becky O.

Mindy Marshall said...

I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through right now. Your strength and generally upbeat attitude is such an inspiration to all of us. You and Derek are amazing parents and are such great role models for both of your boys!

As far as feeling down, here's my two cents (you can reach through the computer and hit me if you want!) In those moments when you're really feeling down about the fact that you're STILL there and really wish you could be at home watching NASCAR (oh no, wait, that's me. little side of humor there!) Anyway, try to focus on what an amazing hospital CHOP is and what great care your little man is getting on a daily basis. Take it one hour, one day at a time and you'll be home before you know it.

We're all rooting for Team Foster, praying for each & every one of you (grandparents included) and love you all. Hang in there.

Love you!

Anonymous said...

Jen - You don't know us personally, but we are part of your FBC family. My husband and I, and our three adult kids out of town, are all praying for little Jay and your whole family. Thanks for keeping us up with your blog. Don't know how you do it all. Be strong.
Prayers and hugs, the Barretts

Anonymous said...

Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

We are all with you and Jay. You are in our hearts and prayers. We are waiting for tomorrow and praying it goes well.

Bob and Dee Derr

Anonymous said...

So glad you had a good visit from LL. . .there's no doubt she's an angel--and not just because she went to Meredith! :) We continue to pray for your family and are hoping for a good night tonight, and a continued strong recovery tomorrow. Stay strong, and cast your burden on Him. . .Maria Childrey

Anonymous said...

Sending you lots of love vibes and good thoughts. I had Scott tonight and he is looking forward to playing with his friend Jay soon.

Sush said...

Oh Baby Girl, how I wish I could reach through this computer and give you a great big hug. My Mom used to say prayers are great, but sometimes it's just nice to have someone around with skin on! I think you are having one of those moments. I ache for you all but am truly amazed you are still walking and talking with all you are enduring. It's a Mom thing...! And you are what I like to think of as 'The Best of The Best'! And part of that is being REAL, as in scared, tired and angry too! Another great sage in my life said, 'The Lord may not be there when you want Him to, but He's always right on time'!
Here's to a punctual day for all of you....

Lots of love and prayers,

Anonymous said...

You are surrounded by angels - seen and unseen. It's so hard to keep that positive attitude all the time - we understand when you say "This sucks" as long as you remember to count your blessings. Many of us you will never meet, yet we lift your family up in prayer all during the day because we have been given the privilege of praying for you. So hang in there, get some rest and know that you've got lots of angels "on duty" - I'm visualizing that tiny heart beating to the tunes of all the songs you are citing in your blog! May God be glorified. Dora

Anonymous said...

I love love love your blog - what a tremendous inspiration you are to me and so many others. You are an incredible woman and mommy, Jen, and your strength is amazing. Your family is blessed. I also believe in angels and that LL is absolutely one of them. I am so thankful that she was able to carry you along on part of this journey. May God's love and the prayers of so many keep inching you along, day by day. We will watch anxiously today for more good news! Love and hugs, Mallory and Chuck

Rebecca said...

You have just confirmed that you are the REAL Superwoman...not that fake one on TV when we were kids. You dress better too.

I wish you weren't going through this too, so very much. I'm sure you will be stronger because of it though and your example to all of us is being used in great ways. I know that doesn't make it easier, but you are not alone. God is with you in known and unknown ways and your prayer team is HUGE! Hang in there.

With continued prayers,
Rebecca S.

Anonymous said...

Am praying for God to bless your hearts (Both literally & figuratively!!)today and in all the days to come. LL is truly one of the angels among us & I know that in this journey you're blessed with so many more. And you're so right...what your little Jay and your family are going through does suck! And, sometimes you just gotta say it!
Sara Jackson

Cara Lynn said...

Jen & Derek,
Know that there are lots of us that would love to take some of the weight off your shoulders. I couldn't have been more thrilled for you when I heard that LL was heading your way.
I've been wearing silly bands for the last two weeks as a prayer reminder for my national office's visioning meeting the first part of this week.
Now, I'm going out at lunch to find tool ones to wear and share for Jay.
Prayer is NEVER silly!
We love you and can't wait for you to get back to the traffic of Raleigh,
Cara Lynn

Dawna Jones said...

Hang in there! I know it is hard to watch your little one hooked up to all of those machines, but it sounds like he is doing great. Please know that you are all loved, and we are praying for you & the entire family & team of doctors. Give Jane a big hug from me!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so authentic and real in sharing your story. You are bound to have so many emotions running around at the same time! Jay (and Luke) is so fortunate to have you two as parents. I pray that your more difficult moments continue to be balanced with love and hope.

Still remembering you all the time and hoping that today is a good one.

Kimberly T.

Archie Gupton said...

Jen & Derrick,
Put me in coach
I'm ready to play the game,
Put me in coach
I'm ready to play the game,
Look at me,
I can be centerfield..........
John Fogerty

I am so pleased to know FBC Angel has been there. I understand that angels are not always acknowledged immediately, and may require some reflection....The midday test off ECMO is a biggy...Jay may be more ready to play the game than we even know!!!!
Your feelings are real,so celebrate them all, and thanks for sharing.
MANY are praying and responding to prayer requests. The Toolboy is in the best hands, medical, parental, +. Thanks for the updates...your Mom&Dad know how special you and Derrick are...now we know even more.
Peace, Grace, Hope, Love & sleep.
archie & urbanna gupton,
aka #8 FPC catcher