Hard to believe if you know me well…but that’s how I’ve felt all day.

Speechless #1:  doctor’s visit with Luke
Luke is a healthy and happy 6lb. 8oz.  Yes, he’s almost doubled his birth weight!  And, he gained 16oz in 13 days.  To quote Dr. Enders, ‘what an over achiever’.  Love it.  And, I was speechless about his amazing progress.

Speechless #2:  fall in the parking lot
Yes, on my way to doctor visit #2, I completely bit it in the parking lot…with Luke in my arms.  Thankfully, he was safely buckled in the car seat and my knees took the brunt of the fall.  He screamed and I cried.  For a split second, just a few moments before I fell, I almost turned back to the van to take him out of the car seat and put him in the sling.  And then I didn’t.  Can you imagine?  I did and it left me speechless.

Speechless #3:  we had to change Luke’s ostomy bag THREE times in less than 2 hours.
Not good odds.  I was all set to make today’s post a rant about how much I h-a-t-e changing his bag (the contraption we have on his belly that collects his poop until his colon is reconnected to his small intestine).  Then, I had speechless event #5.

Speechless #4:  John Paul punched Clare in the face
Sigh.  Speechless.

Speechless #5:  Some friends, also in the NICU, sent their precious daughter, Catherine, to heaven this afternoon
Kinda makes changing that bag seem pretty inconsequential now.  Speechless.

Why does one baby leave the NICU in his mother’s arms and another head straight to Jesus’?  Why does one set of siblings spend the entire day helping mom ‘take care’ of the new baby while another set spends the day watching mom and dad make funeral arrangements?  Why?

Damned if I know.

If your house isn’t clean and you have company coming over for Thanksgiving and you’re stressed out…don’t be.  Just spray some Lysol and Clorox wipe the toilets.

If your kids are fighting and you want to scream…don’t.  Just say a Hail Mary and walk outside.

If you haven’t packed for that trip you’re taking tomorrow and your list of ‘to-dos’ is a mile long and you want to scream, take a timeout.  Anything you forget can be bought at Wal-Mart.

If you’re 9 months pregnant, feeling tired and don’t feel like you can take one more day…be thankful you have a healthy baby growing inside while God prepares the perfect due date.  Today, a woman will long to be in your shoes.

If you’re a post-partum, post-NICU graduate Mom who has high expectations – for everything in life – cut yourself some slack.  Enjoy your kids and let the rest go.

Ahem.  Yes, I have been each and every one of those.  Been there.  Done that.

Just yesterday Scott sent me the name of a counselor to call so we could explore professional counseling to process this whole NICU/special needs thing.  I was feeling so confident that I didn’t even read the email.  Then today happened.  Not doing quite as well as I thought.

As you gather around your Thanksgiving table on Thursday, give thanks for all things in life.  The good and the bad.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Top Ten and offer up a prayer for the Simmons family tonight, please.  They need your prayers of strength…


  1. Verdina Louisa on November 25, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    We are all so thankful for you and your beautiful way of sharing your faith!
    How are your knees?

  2. Makenna on November 25, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    May Sweet Catherine be guided into heaven by her family's love.

  3. Amber and Martin on November 25, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Wow. This post really hit me…right in the heart. I'm continuing to pray daily for you, Scott, and all of your kiddos. I'll now add the Simmons family to my prayer list. And I'll be spreading your message of giving thanks and letting the little things go in the days and months to come.

    Sending love and hugs your way!

  4. Maureen on November 26, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    God Bless and We love you all. What an amazing wonderful family you have. Thank you god for bringing you all into our lives. Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to make a visit to see you when school gets out.

    Maureen and Larry

  5. SimmonsFamily on November 27, 2009 at 3:08 am

    Hi Kathryn,

    I have been following your blog since Leslie Kerner sent out the news about Luke and can't tell you how many times I thought about you in the NICU for 44 days. I kept thinking, we are so lucky we will only be here for about two weeks. It did sustain me. I never thought that our NICU experience would end like it did, but I can feel God's loving embrace through friends and family. God bless you guys and you continue to be in our prayers. Our kids prayed for Baby Luke every day he was in the NICU.

    God bless,
    Elizabeth Simmons

  6. Kathryn on November 27, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Elizabeth, I can't even begin to tell you how many times you have been on my heart…and in my fervent prayers in the middle of the night. If I could say something wonderfully eloquent or quote a scripture to take away the pain, know I would. But I know that it is prayers and community that will sustain you and Josh. Leslie is amazing – how providential that the three of us know one another now. You have been, and will continue to be, in our daily prayers. Our children, too, prayed for Catherine. What a saint.

  7. Ali on November 28, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Your eloquent words have left me… speechless.
    You will never have any idea how much you teach all of us with your beautiful insight.
    May God bless, hold and keep the Simmons family.

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