things that happen-and you wonder why

shands hospital

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Somewhere in life there began a phrase that said something like…”things that make you go hmmm”!

I don’t know where that came from-I don’t even know how I am going to write tonight. I am tired-I am stressed-and I usually do not write at night,mornings are when my thoughts are fresh. But-for a while,my mornings are taking a different direction.

In the photograph I had no idea back in the 1980’s that when I drove the tractor trailer that delivered the steel beams that actually shown in this would mean much to me. Many years later-while visiting the VA Hospital across the highway,I took this photograph. I had no idea that I’d be using it like I am tonight.

I never realized-or more less thought about it,that these beams form an atrium at the children’s section of Shands Hospital,the teaching hospital at the University of Florida. I never even knew these beams and glass connect the floors in a rather unique way-and never knew that you could see the atrium from up on the third floor. I never knew any of this would mean anything much to me-other than I will probably die with out too many of my family knowing I helped build this section of the hospital. I never knew that one day I be spending many-many days looking out these windows.

My children,my son and his wife,delivered a four pound little boy this week. He was almost six weeks before his time. He looks like a small roast with bread-sticks for arms and legs. His feet are about the size of my thumb. His hands a bit smaller than the diameter of a quarter. He was born with complications-and not even one day on the earth,he is needing surgery-and once that was completed,he was moved to Shands-being born in a second hospital. He is in this Plexiglas box-two tubes coming from his face,one from his mouth and another from his nose. Tiny little EKG patches with tiny wires come off of his body. He is as hooked up as many old veteran at the VA across the highway.

My son brought his wife home-she too is recuperating from her surgery,and the baby boy is alone but surrounded by ten or maybe more other little boys and girls like him and a truly sweet nursing staff. I can’t stand it that he is alone-so I have taken the days to sit with him.

My first day they brought in a little one-even smaller than him. I wear sunglasses all the time-night or day…so they might of thought I was napping,or just didn’t know I could hear them saying…”the mother is in detox”. The baby was gone this morning-and I know he was not moved on to the advanced level of ICU for the stronger babies.

Last night I received a call from my sons wife. Our little boy is not only entering this world with internal complications,he also has Down Syndrome.

This morning I spent my third day sitting with this little guy. The only way to touch him is to put your hands through these two port-holes. I figure that he needs touch. His little fingers close on my index finger-I am hopeful he can feel the love.

It is interesting to me. I am a 58 year old depressed human male. I suffer anxiety-and am tormented when ever I am in a large building. I recently my own self went through a detox…mine from a prescribed medicine,but the thought runs through my mind as my eyes take in the surroundings. These teeny tiny babies-fresh from the womb,yet too early and too fragile and so small-and pure. And then there is this world-and the way life is,and how it goes…how a mother of one of these could abuse drugs while trying to grow a newborn baby inside of her? How could I have done the same-or just about the same? I was once a baby-and that keeps tracking in my mind as why? Why does this happen? Why can God not change it around-take the ones of us who did so wrong to our bodies…and let these little things have a chance,a better chance!

And dang if it didn’t take just our little one to bring me into this place. The nursing staff are genuine and welcoming…they gave me a chair,and I have sat there for eight hours each day looking and praying and meditating on this scene around me. Oh woe is me that I woe is me!

Maybe this little guy and I are going to heal together. He damned sure got me started in something-I am not sure yet where it is going to go. It’s funny how God uses things…it’s funny,yet so sad-but yes,God is using this little creature in my heart.


4 Responses to “things that happen-and you wonder why”

  1. jen Says:

    My Dear Jay,
    My congratulations and prayers are with you and your family. What a fine thing to have you there to touch and welcome your grandson everyday.

    This child, waited for and wanted, is here early and needing. For a purpose? Perhaps…

    And you are here; quiet, patient, and with time to spend. Having survived, you have thrived, you have learned, forgiven, received, grown, fell, flown and looked into your own soul. For a purpose? Perhaps…

    Your grandson has a guardian angel in his corner…you! He’ll have obstacles; physical, societal, etcetera, and your hands will be there to help him up and over; your words and wisdom will console and guide him. And there will be healing, and blooming and one day you will wonder who was the farmer and who was the seed…

  2. mike e Says:

    Wow, this is as moving as anything of yours i have read. Can absolutely picture you holding vigil by this struggling young life’s side..seems quite like something you would do. I obviously don’t have any answers to the Big Questions about God..but think for certain that God is using YOU in this little creatures heart.

    keep us posted

    • jayherron Says:

      you know Mike E…you are certainly a very special person in my life. We have never met-but I know and love you.
      My grandson? My Grandson…it would be no other way-I will sit there until the sun goes dark,but-I think the little guy will brighten our lives. I know he will mine-and…they took one of the tubes out when I was there today. He is 7 days old today,and so tiny.
      We’ll see each other soon…you ever feel like visiting,my door is wide open.

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