Just Write {75}

March 4, 2013

She had been up and down all night, sick and burning up. We spent the day tied together with a sling that she still fits tucked in. Either that, or rocking in a chair, her head on my shoulder, mouth open with heavy sleep. When we’d walk around the house, her on my hip in the sling and her head still on my chest, her arms dangled limp like they were lifeless.

She needed me a lot.

I cleaned up her sickness, from the floor or her crib or her clothes, over and over. I held a towel in front of her to catch her sick over and over and softly repeated, it’s going to be okay, it’ll be okay. And then my heart would follow that whisper with its own prayer for it to be okay. Her fever was 103 and she wasn’t keeping anything down, and it was going on four days.

We were rocking again and I thought about babies, toddlers, children, the ones who don’t have someone to catch them or their sickness or to clean it up. I sniffed Elsie’s hair and I felt a lump in my throat because sometimes you just can’t push it away in denial or compassion fatigue. I closed my eyes and let myself imagine orphan babies or neglected children, right there in our home. How for them it would feel so foreign to be loved and cared for like this.

I let myself get sad about this because that’s how I am more sure to remember to help in the ways that I can.

Every time I started to hum or sing, Elsie mumbled mmm mmm, which I’ll translate as uh uh, as in no, stop that. 

Then I would laugh as quietly as I could because she had no energy to lift her arms, but she could tell me to stop singing, that’s how bad my singing really is.

Last night I dreamt she was feeling better and she was talking more. She’s been slow to add more words, not in a way that worries me, but just in her own time. So I woke up and realized what it had felt like in my dream–a relief to hear her start to put words together, to be able to tell us what she’s trying to tell us. Today, my dream came true. She started to feel better, and she started to talk.  She asked for both cheese and water. cheesh and wawa.

I cheered.


This is the 75th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page, and please don’t link to posts that are not freely written in the spirit of capturing moments–you know, don’t link to how-to lists or sponsored posts. I want people to remember that this is about writing and not about traffic. Also, please link back to this post in your post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.

Please take a moment to visit someone else who has linked up! It’s a really good way to meet new writers and get inspired by the meaning behind their moments. Word? Thank you!


Jamie March 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm

I’m so glad she’s feeling better!
Jamie recently posted..Weekend Review: The One That Was Quiet

Kerstin March 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Glad she’s feeling better!
My kids are 11 and 15 and they handle their sick much better than I do by now. It hurts me even more to see them not feeling well.
Kerstin recently posted..2013 Personal Revelation Revolution – February

Summer March 4, 2013 at 10:14 pm

poor baby and poor mama! I’m glad she’s doing better. What a sweet story you don’t often hear told.
Summer recently posted..Daddy Wears Her

Kim Jorgensen Gane March 5, 2013 at 10:37 am

Aww, Heather. I’m so happy she’s feeling better. Poor little peanut, and poor Mommy. You brought me right back to when my now 10 y/o was just a peanut. I could even smell him. Thanks for that.

Jennifer March 5, 2013 at 11:47 am

Awwww, baby girl! So glad she is feeling better. YAY for cheese & water! She sounds just like my little girl. :)

Looking forward to writing & linking up tonight.
Jennifer recently posted..What I need: meds and sleep

Marta March 5, 2013 at 11:48 am

I am so happy that she’s feeling better.

I have too often thought of all of those who do not know love like this. Who do not know the touch of a mother’s lips on the tops of their heads, the feel of a body holding you when you need it most.
Marta recently posted..While You Were There.

Shelly Miller March 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm

so glad she is better. for both of you. you brought back those exhausting years of sickness with little ones. those precious, but tiring moments.
Shelly Miller recently posted..When You Feel Invisible

Pamela March 6, 2013 at 3:38 am

So glad your little miss is feeling better.

I get the allowing yourself to feel for those children. For months and months I have been hurting for the Syrian refugees… Running away from a place where they are nothing. I think giving ourselves permission to feel horrible hurts softens our hearts and opens us up to all sorts of opportunities to serve. My heart has been broken for that group of refugees, and I’ve been given the opportunity to go to Lebanon in June and July to serve in one of the camps.

Being able to pause a moment to let the weight of emotion settle is an intuitive gift. One of the things I love about reading your words is the gentle, contemplative nature of your observations. So many people casually toss out descriptions of what they notice; you gather observations to you because they are treasures.

Heather March 6, 2013 at 9:25 am

I’m so glad for you, that you get to go on this trip.

This comment means more to me than I can say. I don’t know if I’m saying anything at all sometimes. Just Write helps me try to let go of that. Because it’s about people taking it in the way that’s needed for them, not about me trying to make a point. I don’t know, I can’t make sense right now. But thank you. I’m glad you feel my words that way.

I’m grateful there are people like you, allowing your heart to break for refugees.


Jennifer Peterson March 7, 2013 at 9:04 am

Awww love that she is feeling better and how true Heather how many kids go without love from mama’s!!
Jennifer Peterson recently posted..birthday giveaway

Nacole March 7, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Heather, glad to be around here again, and I hope to more often. I like the nature of being given freedom to write about whatever. It lets my true creativity out and gives me something to say that otherwise would go unsaid. Thank you for offering just such a place. I love the way you write, the simple moments, so full of grace and reflection–I was pulled in on the first paragraph. Tears stung for your little one. I relate to the mother’s yearning for them to get better, for them to talk, to communicate. Mine required speech therapy and intervention, so I get it. Blessings.
Nacole recently posted..The Real Christ In A Cruel World {In Which I Say What I Really Feel About the Church}

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