As I write this I am looking out of my window onto the lush greenery of the park across the road in the tiny corner of South Yorkshire in which I am currently ensconced, as different from the edge of the world in which I have spent the last eleven months as it could be. For 45 degree Celsius and 90% plus humidity, I give you a bone-chilling 14 degrees Celsius with more than the odd spattering of rain; a mild Yorkshire summer by all accounts I am told.
Somewhere within the transition from the edge of the world to Dee Dah land, we welcomed L into this one, a tiny bundle of joy – and terror – rolled into one. In the interest of full disclosure, my first choice of name was Aoife. Thankfully the other part of the unit is eminently more sensible than yours truly. Her big cousin M thinks she, L, is living the life, being cuddled, fed and cleaned on demand without seemingly a care in the world. Being one of those wrapped tightly around her little finger, I couldn’t agree more!
Not to say all of this has been smooth sailing. What little sleep I normally get is even more fractured now, being held hostage to the whims of wails for food and cleaning at the most ungodly of hours. That this leaves me less than lucid for the first few hours of the morning until strong cups of coffee begin to work their magic is the predictable outcome. All too soon it is nightfall and we begin the cycle again.
A couple of ICU trips for S in the middle of all of this set the cat among the pigeons for a bit, further complicating things somewhat. From the vantage point of a clear head from just over five hours sleep, it feels like some breathing space is coming up. The arrival, quite frankly out of the blue, of the calvary, read Grand Ma, only serves to reinforce that belief.
One of the few things I recall from the haze of the hardest bits a week or so ago is thinking about how questions about the sovereignty of God have a different heft when what is at stake is the life of your near and dear ones, not merely an academic proposition. This is a thought I think I will return to in the near future when some proper room to breathe (and contemplate) returns. On the evidence of the past few days that may not be any time soon but what is clear is that it truly takes a village, or two.