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Waiting Room Diaries

Note: this has sat in my drafts since her last follow-up, where I hesitated to share such personal thoughts. In the end, I hit "publish," because I hope it extends comfort, encouragement and support to a family on this same journey. Plus, I wanted to celebrate Madelyn for being so strong.

Today, I sat in the waiting room of the Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic. Madelyn happily played with the familiar bead mazes beside me, proving once again, she perceived this appointment as just another "blip."

(Evidence someone found the stash of sidewalk chalk ... )

Only this time, across the waiting room, were two parents with a stroller. I watched the mother pick up a little baby, definitely younger than a year, and in that moment, I prayed for them.

Suddenly I found myself feeling thankful Madelyn was 3 when she was diagnosed, which then made me feel guilty. But to have to experience all of this with an infant, well ... now you know why I bowed my head in silent prayer.

We cannot do motherhood without Him. You may not think so, but anytime a silent "please" is internally pleaded, a prayer is spoken. To this day I do not consider myself religious, but in the past two years I have never prayed so much in my life. Yet, in that moment, I knew God was with them. I knew it because I could see the calm despite the storm in the eyes of that mother. 

This is easily one of those moments in life that forces us to call out, I CAN'T DO THIS! I DON'T THINK I CAN DO THIS! From the corner of my eye, I continued to watch this mother cuddle her baby in this god-forsaken Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic. And I found myself sending her good thoughts of encouragement - you can do this. We're two years in. Because through it all, no matter what you believe, God walks beside you.

That moment, when you throw your hands up in the air -  when you can't, God can.

Tears began to well up in my eyes, as I search for the visible bump of an insulin pump on that baby but finding none, I assume the infant was just diagnosed. Those parents are administering shots. Meanwhile, I hang on the sounds of Madelyn's dialogues with the beads, how she brings each one to life with her imagination, how this kid can still be a kid

They can do it. This is the kind of hope still available to all of us. Then, the young family is called back into an exam room.

The waiting room is soon filled with the faint sounds of the infant's cries, and I know it's because the nurse just pricked his finger to test his a1c. I close my eyes at the sound, because it triggers the memory of Madelyn's cries. In our most dire moment's of weakness, when we can't imagine how we'll move forward, when we're standing at the base of our Everest - we discover we had it in us all along. Because there, is where God lives and he pushes us forward.

You start.

And with each "can't" you overcome, you tell the story of what you "did."

Like us, that family is not alone. They're never alone. WE are not designed to do it alone. Though I didn't share a conversation with them, I do know they saw us. They saw what their baby will be - a child, playing. Because that Everest can be climbed.

Deep breath. Now just do it.

"Madelyn?"

I gather my bag and her kit, and motion for her to follow. We retreat to the exam room, where she is weighed and measured and finger pricked but no tears - proof given of our own prayers being answered that she is thriving. 

Deep breaths. 

We did it, and can do it. We still do it.

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