We have a precious little nephew that is now just over 2 years old. Jack entered the world far before anyone was ready ~ including Jack. He was born at 25 weeks gestation and weighed just over 2 pounds. He was a teeny, tiny little boy who was whisked away to the NICU where he remained for months. Unfortunately, his prematurity wasn’t the only distressing circumstance that he was dealt; he contracted meningitis from a picc line during that time and his already very serious health issues became quite dire.
Jack fought…fought through surgeries to insert shunts in his skull and fought when more surgeries were necessary to repair them. He has fought through hospitalizations for congestion issues and seizures. This kid has fought through it all with little complaint. He’s a happy baby ~ he’s a loved baby. He’s a miracle baby.
This week there was another setback but my brother-in-law and sister-in-law have agreed with doctors on the next plan of action and Jack will, typically, persevere.
I write about Jack today, though, not because of his struggles. I write about him today because of the time I got to hang out with him yesterday. Schedules always seem to get in the way of our spending much time seeing Jack and his parents but yesterday, I cleared my schedule to make sure I was there during a particularly difficult hospital stay.
It was a pretty cool day because we got to bond a little bit. I didn’t have to share him with everyone in the family as is usually the case when we see him. This is what I learned: he smiles every time you speak to him and he’s mesmerized by my mother-in-law singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and his mommy playing Peek-A-Boo. In spite of the enormous poking and prodding done to him, he watches the nurses and doctors approach him and doesn’t resist. He really likes to cuddle and loves kisses. He loves when you run your fingers lightly through his hair… he’s amazingly easy to please.
I learned that having to make decisions for his care has the potential to bankrupt his parents emotions. They are only renewed by their faith in God and their absolute conviction to see their son thrive. I learned that my in-laws are tireless in their efforts of support. I learned that just being there was what they needed and I felt badly about all of the times I wasn’t.
I was reminded that it isn’t our jobs or our material belongings that count at the end of the day. It’s being there for people who need us. Thank you, baby Jack, for giving me a day with you. May we have many, many more.