Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sleeps

Two images overlap in my mind. In both, Aggie sleeps in the van.

To Aggie,
(an excerpt from My Gilead)

Recently, we were on our way home from Brown County State Park.  It had been a heavenly spring evening, an outing with the whole family (even daddy.) You, Aggie, were worried about being gone from home for the evening. Your homework was done, but you had extra credit work that you so wanted to do. You so desire to win the reading competition that you will sacrifice fun for more “minutes-read.” We forced you to put down the book to play at the park. You complained, but then you forgot to complain, and you allowed yourself to be swept up in the evening.

On the way home, I saw your eyes drooping a bit. I smiled to your daddy, and we wondered aloud if you’d actually sleep instead of gathering more minutes. Driven child that you are, we both assumed you wouldn’t, but this time, your body’s needs won out over your hearts desires, and you slept.

And I was proud of you, for letting the tasks go.

The strength of mind and of body you have now is not unlimited, but it is great. 
It has not always been this way.
I remembered another nap in the van.

I wish I didn’t have to know that a clamp held your head during the brain surgery, but those bruises on your head reminded me. You called them “polka-dots.” and you didn’t seem to mind them.

You slept deeply then, as we filled prescriptions and stole glances at you. 
Is she really ok? Is she still our little Aggie? Do we dare hope? 
Hope threatened me, scared me.

The shadows scare me still, yet how quickly you scatter them with your enormous Aggie-smile.


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I shall lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

Have you read her story?


“I wish I could leave you certain images in my mind, because they are so beautiful that I hate to think they will be extinguished when I am. …It is a strange thing, after all, to be able to return to a moment, when it can hardly be said to have any reality at all, even in its passing.  

A moment is such a slight thing, I mean, that its abiding is a most gracious reprieve.” 

Gilead, p.162

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