The heart of Cate: June 23, 2008, 8:26 am
To those who battle & to those hope,
I must begin by first addressing that by my calling I am a wife, and a mother, but a teacher by trade. So, with that being said, it is no surprise to many that my “bedtime reading” with Cate (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) comes with a character analysis. Hang with me here… in Narnia; there is a deep magic that goes back to the dawn of time…
In Chapter 10, Father Christmas arrives bearing gifts for the children. For Peter (a.k.a. Charlie), Son of Adam, he presents tools not toys. He said, “…the time to use them is perhaps near at hand. Bear them well.” With these words he handed Peter a shield and a sword. For Lucy (Baby Cate), Eve’s Daughter, Father Christmas gave her a little bottle that looked like glass and a small dagger. “In this bottle,” he said, “there is a cordial made of the juice of one of the fire flowers that grow in the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends are hurt, a few drops of this will restore them. And the dagger is only to defend yourself in great need.”
“…Peter did not feel brave, indeed he felt he was going to be sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do. He rushed right up to the monster and aimed slash of his sword in his side…and Peter’s tired army cheered and the newcomers roared, and the enemy squealed…then they found Edmund, he was covered with blood, …and then almost for the first time Lucy remembered the precious cordial. Her hands trembled, and she looked eagerly and wondered if the cordial would have any results. When at last…she found him standing on his feet and not only healed of his wounds but looking better than she had seen him look….”
And there you have it…Charlie, our Peter, stands guarding and protecting our family and our hearts, his shield and sword are ready to face the battles and defend us all. We know his strength through the Lord will prevail, no matter what befalls us. And then Cate, our Lucy, is the one who really saves the story. She is the one that is restoring all of us. Her little life is restoring us in our faith and in our hope in the Lord. Her dagger is ready when the greatest need emerges.
And so, to steal a few lines (and paraphrase them ‘cause I like it better this way…no offense St. Paul) from Ephesians…We, as a family, have put on the full armor of God. We are rooted in our Lord’s faithfulness, and we stand firm with the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. We have each taken up our shields of faith and our swords (or daggers) of the spirit. We remain steadfast in his truth and vigilant in our hope.
The day has already begun for Cate, she begins her daily exams at 4:00 am, and her doctors have already started their rounds. We, also begin our day praying for her, waiting for her, and waiting on good news.
In the midst of waiting come the struggles of the anger, frustration, and true sadness, yet there is still joy and goodness to be found. She does continue to improve slightly some days, and we continue to be encouraged by those moments of progress. I couldn’t help but rest my head on her bedside a few days ago after her mornings procedure and sob uncontrollably, I miss holding her and rocking her to sleep, and what I wouldn’t give to have her cry at three in the morning and stumble downstairs for a bottle. Again, I take comfort that she can hear us, early a few mornings ago, before Charlie had arrived, I went to her room and as I began to whisper to her she opened her eyes and looked at me, I cried instantly. I wept because there is a longing that comes from being a mom and in finally surrendering your children… blindly, with no guarantee of return.
Charlie and I do find support in other parents of heart patient children and we lean on each other in moments of “humanness.” A very cool eclectic mom gave me a rhinestone heart pin …oh yes, you heard me a pin, you know the kind that your first grade teacher wore with her denim jumpsuit, layered socks, and white canvas Keds…yeah that kind (no offense to any teacher, I too, have worn my share of the cheesy “teacher gifts”)! But you know the beauty of the pin was that it spoke of the common bond of our children, and that we are all in this together. God really is good…even if he does show up through red rhinestones.
Thanks for remaining with us, for praying with us, and for battling with us. Now…You boys go get your swords…we girls will get our daggers (and our rhinestones), and we will meet you at the battle lines and march onward to the prize!
my love to you all, Ali