It's the Monday after one of those weekends that seems to encompass just about everything: highs and lows, storms and sunshine, and joy and sorrow.
Friday afternoon I wasn't expecting a storm, but the skies darkened and suddenly we were under a severe thunderstorm with lots of lightning and rain. I'm sure I noticed it a bit more because it hit just as we were leaving the house to go have Lily's picture taken at a photo studio. The storm blew through fairly quickly, though, and left us with much cooler temperatures (a blessing where I live, even in April!) and a near perfect forecast for the rest of the weekend.
We came up with the idea of spending our gorgeous Saturday at the downtown zoo. It would be Lily's first trip ever, and it was a perfect way to celebrate that our girl was turning 19 months old that same day. We called her aunt (my sister-in-law), who lives in town, and she was excited to meet us there for a fun morning. We arrived around 9:30 and just in time to watch the elephants eating breakfast and getting their morning baths. We saw lions, giraffes, bears, monkeys, and all sorts of animals, and Lily had a fantastic time running and playing as we wound our way through the zoo until just after noon. We had snacks right next door to the giraffes as they had their lunch, and Lily tried (and loved!) cotton candy for the first time. It was a perfect day and one we'll remember as a family for years to come.
Lily was fast asleep before we even left the parking lot. She had played hard and was exhausted, so I was glad she'd have nearly an hour to nap in the car as we drove home. She was still out when we decided to stop and pick up food as we got closer to home. Chuck went inside to order while I waited in the car with Lily. I pulled out my phone to check messages and facebook and such, when I saw some devastating news. A precious couple we know from the town where we used to live were involved in a serious car accident just hours earlier. He was in critical condition; she did not survive. I sat there stunned in the car. My poor husband had no idea what was going on when he came back to the car and found me sobbing. We made some calls to friends and family to see if we could find out more, and bits and pieces of information came in about the wreck.
I'm so sad for this dear family. What a beautiful person she was, and I was blessed to call her my friend. Chuck and I had gone to see them when we were last in town, at Christmas. We had a great visit and were so happy to introduce Lily to them for the first time. I'm thankful for that last time I saw her smiling face this side of heaven. They are in their sixties and have two grown sons and several young grandchildren. My heart aches for them right now, as I pray continually for God to comfort them.
We spent the rest of our Saturday in a bit of a fog, wondering why things like this happen and praying for the healing of our friend's body and his heart. We carried on with the necessary tasks -- getting Lily fed and changed, and starting on plans for supper. A few hours later I was cooking while Chuck took Lily in the back yard to play. They came in, we ate, and started getting ready for bed. Before her bath, Chuck mentioned that a mosquito had bitten Lily on the side of her face, next to her eye. Mosquitoes are rampant here, and of course she's been bitten before despite our best efforts to keep them away. The last bite she had recently near her elbow, though, made her arm swell up quite a bit. I hoped she wouldn't have the same reaction this time... but by morning it was clear that she would. Her eye was extremely puffy, and by the end of the day it was swollen completely shut. We'd called her pediatrician's office and talked to the nurse, who told us the correct dosage of Benadryl to give her. After a few hours the swelling hadn't gone down so we took her to the weekend clinic near our house. The doctor there examined the eye itself and said it did not look red and she had no fever. We felt better about it and were given medicine to make sure it doesn't get infected. She's still getting Benadryl, too. I had hoped that it would look much better when I got her out of bed this morning but the eye was still swollen shut. I know she's fine, but it sure looks pitiful! Poor baby girl.
It was one of those weekends, full of the good, the bad, and the unimaginable. Losing a friend so suddenly certainly puts everything into perspective and shifts your focus to the things that really matter. I hugged my family a few extra times this weekend, thanking God for each minute that I have with them.
Brief pregnancy update: I'm 8w1d today, and as far as I know things are okay. Hoping for a good report at the next ultrasound on Thursday.
Thanks, friends, for the supportive comments on my last post. I'm glad you guys understand that, even after you have a baby, life is full of ups and downs. I'll keep writing about them here. And I'll always thank God and give Him the glory for the blessings in my life, and keep praising Him through the storms as well.