Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Stone was Rolled Away...

Easter was celebrated here with much fanfare and fun just one week ago. I prepped the girls' baskets early as we had the great pleasure of hosting our former Lakeville neighbors for a wee short visit here a few days earlier. There was a chance they might be popping in again the night before Easter so I didn't want any time that could have been spent with them spent stuffing eggs instead. So these were ready to roll good and early.

Early prep is not always my specialty on holidays. I like to be organized and tend to plan ahead with shopping but it seems no matter how early the collection of treats began I'm always up until the wee hours of the morning the night before putting them all together. Dirk did his share of fanfare as well in hiding dozens of eggs outside for the girls to hunt in the morning. They were thrilled to find this sweet surprise here in Texas. In Minnesota we had another set of dear neighbors who always hid a number of eggs for the girls in our yard much to the girls' delight. Here are the jammie-clad lovelies checking for more goodies in both the front and back yard.

And the Ainsley love complete with her Disney princess crown atop her head which she indeed slept in the night before. We had, incidentally attended the Tangled on Ice performance the day before at the Alamodome. Dirk had purchased these crazy great seats while on a lengthy guilt trip for "making the family move again" so we all benefited from being on the very front row on the floor. We could feel the ice shavings as they whizzed by. And, for the record, he did not "make us move" we are all in this together and are following the same leader Who knows the beginning from the end. But that's a post for another day.

Off to church and ready to celebrate. Ainsley is sporting the cutest little sweater of all time. I cannot believe she agreed to wear anything other than her jammies - but she was a little bit crazy about the idea of wearing the same sweater that her cousin Claire wore last year when we were all together in Minnesota (sniff). She still looked like a princess even though she had opted to take off her crown for the Resurrection celebration.

So all of this preparation paid off in great spades as the morning wore on. Throughout the service I was feeling a bit sore. My back was hurting a good bit but I was able to ignore it and focused instead on the beautiful music and redemption stories that were shared. But by the time we were dismissed and I was back on my feet I knew something wasn't at all right. The back pain was getting more intense and I was feeling sick as a dog. We quickly snatched up the girls from their child care posts and headed straight for home. Once we got into the driveway it was all I could do to unfold myself from the car and puddle into the house as quickly as possible. I was relatively sure I knew just what was happening: I was passing a kidney stone. What better time than Easter to have my own stone roll away? I was just so glad that the girls had experienced some semblance of Easter up to that point because I was down for the count from there on in.

Fortunately I knew that a near neighbor and friend was the person. You know the one you can call at a moment's notice when you need help immediately. I asked if we could drop the girls at her house so Dirk could whisk me off to the ER without "help". She graciously agreed telling me that they were hosting an Easter dinner for her family. Lots of children were part of the celebration and she and her husband had rented a moon bounce, prepared a huge egg hunt, and made a delicious meal for all to enjoy. The girls, though sad that I wasn't well, were delighted to hop out of the car into this beautiful celebration. What a gift.

It was several hours before my pain was under control. I'm a bit famous (well really about three people know) that I have a really high pain tolerance. It takes a lot for me to cry out for help. But on this resurrection Sunday -- I was in the worst pain I'd ever experienced. It took four rounds of morphine to even take the edge off. In those moments of waiting for relief I was reminded of the countless people who suffer in chronic pain daily. I cannot imagine learning to cope with that. I was immobile, nearly inconsolable, and so very disheartened. Oh, for the heavenly reality of a pain-free existence. By His stripes we are healed.

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