Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bumps and Bruises

I was neck deep into writing this past week, as well as promoting the book blitz for Heir of the Blood King in July, but all of that came to a screeching halt early Friday morning.

You would expect that with having four children between the ages of three and thirteen that I would be accustomed to emergency room visits. Yes, when my oldest was little, it seemed that I was overly concerned and if there was a sniffle, we were running to the doctor's office.

On Friday, however, we had our first real scare.  It wasn't life or death, but it was definitively serious. Our ten year old, Lilly, who is also our most emotionally sensitive child, was chasing after her little brother to stop him from hurting himself when incidentally, she slid, landed on her knee and busted her knee open requiring eight stitches along the bottom.

I was not as prepared for such an event as I would have liked to have been.  My emotions run the gambit because she was in serious pain.  I had some stitches on my hand when I was around fourteen, but I never had an injury as severe as the one she had.  I wanted to take the pain away.  I wanted to make things better.

Lilly and I loaded up and headed to the ER, where despite her pain, she remained strong and in good spirits.  I got a wheelchair from the nurse and while I filled out the paperwork, Lilly decided to take a spin and did everything she could to distract herself from the pain.

The real agony didn't begin until they called us back. Lilly was so calm and insightful and answered all of the doctor's questions in a very mature way. When the nurse began to clean the wound, that's when the screaming began.  She cried out, "Oh god, why me?"  Her torment didn't end there.  The way the wound was flayed, the doctor had to give her a series of shots around it so he could cinch the wound closed. He had told her that it would only be three or four more seconds of pain, and yet it took more than five minutes to properly numb the injury.

The nurse held down her feet and I held Lilly's hands. I looked into her eyes and offered her messages of assurances and of love and she kept saying to me, "It's not your fault, Daddy."

I felt like it was my fault.  I felt like there was more that I should have done.  I asked myself, "Oh god, why me?"  "Why my baby girl?"

After it was all said and done, Lilly sat up and looked up at me with pride.  She said, "Luci never got hurt like this before."  That's true, her older, stronger sister had never endured as much pain as she. I told her she was correct.

That was when Lilly stated to me, "This is my war wound.  It proves that I'm strong."

I looked back at her quite astonished. There was a truth to what she had said to me.  When we went to go get ice cream, you could tell that she didn't have a care in the world and she wasn't going to let her experience take away an opportunity to hang out with her daddy and have him all to herself.  It was an experience that she got to share with me and she knew that she was loved.

It has only been a couple of days since the event and she has been made stronger by the experience. She is more confident and independent, no matter how much all of us beg her to stay off her wounded knee.  Something small, and yet so significant fundamentally changed for our little Lilly Bean.

Lesson here for me was this.  Yes, the deepest wounds hurt the most. When we take responsibility and meet the challenge head on, it will make us stronger.

Lilly Bean is stronger than she was before the incident.  She has the war wound, the battle scar to prove just how strong she is compared to the older sister she had admired so much more than herself.  She is now the one that has earned the respect of her older sister who cannot relate to her experience of pain.

Our wounds and triumph over adversity is the source of our self confidence and strength.  No one can take that away from my Lilly Bean.

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