IMG_0313 Sorry for the long absence and thanks to all of you who have checked in on me. With the exception of the week in Disney World, one (or more) of the kids was sick all of February. Makes me really appreciate that we got to go on our trip at all.

Nana is about the same. Holding her own, but sleeping a lot. Virginia has gained 6 pounds in the last few months which is cause for celebration. She is now 37 pounds and I feel like we can put the feeding tube conversation off for a few more years.

I have written several posts, but hesitated about posting them. The reason is that I feel like I have said it all before.

I am struggling to live in the tension of this world in which sorrow and joy run parallel.

There have been a lot of hard days lately, days where I still can't believe the tremendous ramifications of what happened to Virginia. Emotionally, it gets easier. Physically, it gets harder. There are many days when all Findley and I do is keep Virginia alive.

There is a tremendous amount of stress in our lives. And it isn't going away. I am crazy if I think it doesn't impact Findley and me, much less Wills and Eliza.

Just when I feel like I am starting to reassemble some of my own dreams that fell apart when Virginia was born, she gets sick again and I spend two weeks just trying to keep my head above water.

I still struggle with putting value on the wrong things. I feel better about myself on days where I accomplish something. On days when all I do is care for Virginia, I don't feel fulfilled. The opposite should be true. To serve is the greatest blessing of all, and when I don't want to do it anymore (which I am ashamed to say is a lot lately), Jesus is right there, serving her with me.

When I look at Virginia, I realize how important it is that I wrap my mind about what really matters. She will never accomplish much in the world's eyes. She won't be first in her class or a state champion tennis player. She won't have her Ph.D by the time she's 24 or juggle a full-time medical practice with four children. Virginia serves all of us with her smile and her attitude. I am blessed to be her mother and am ashamed of how trapped I feel at times when she is truly the one inundated with suffering.

So, maybe I am having the 'seven year itch' of this situation, if that makes any sense. We are mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted, but there are miles to go before we sleep.

Virginia had her first seizure in almost four years at 3 a.m. last night. It scared us to death. She has the stomach bug and any illness can increase her propensity for abnormal brain activity, but I wasn't prepared for it.

She is ok today. We will adjust her medicine and move forward one day at a time.

Tonight I am grateful for a pediatrician who lives next door and answers the phone at all hours for me. I am grateful for a husband who takes off work to accompany his anxious, exhausted wife and his precious daughter to the doctor. I am grateful for the friend who took Wills for the afternoon, another friend who took care of Eliza, went to the grocery, and ordered the balloons for Wills' birthday party tomorrow. I am also grateful for the friend who brought us enough chicken salad and pimento cheese to last a month. And I am grateful for my father who I have talked to four times today and my mother for calming both of us down.

(I guess I shouldn't have titled this post 'Silence.' Should have known I can always find something to say! I'll be back soon with something more structured and coherent.)

Eliza can't stand for someone else to be in my lap. Makes things interesting, that's for sure.

Eliza loves Wills, and Wills tolerates Eliza, most of the time.