2006 was a particularly bad year. My dad died. My son contracted a blood disease that necessitated a blood transfusion to save his life. Dave felled a tree that landed on a neighbor's shed and flattened it. My son fell headfirst onto protruding stone and split his forehead open. I could go on.
On January 1, 2007 our family celebrated the fact that 2006 was OVER! I prepared a big breakfast. We drank a toast. Dave and I locked eyes across the table and I said, "It's over. May we never have to live a year like that again!" And I kid you not, at that very moment, Grant choked on a piece of bacon. Choked, as in, couldn't breathe. After several frantic moments we sent it flying and Grant went back to his eggs blissfully unaware of the fact that he just ruined our party.
This January felt something of a repeat of that. 2013 wasn't necessarily terrible but it did end badly. Dave and I felt all beat up and let down and we just wanted to spend January regrouping. On the 16th I had a doctor's appointment for Avonlea. We had done some tests and were going to get the outcome of them. I am a very positive person. It really didn't even cross my mind that anything could really be wrong with my thirteen year old daughter. So when the doctor told me that she tested positive, 100 percent positive, for Lyme disease, I went into shock. Instead of the doctor sitting before me, I saw a 2 year old's chubby face. Avonlea's little baby face. The baby I sung to and laughed with and prayed for. The baby whose whole future was just altered by what this man said to me.
"I'll wait till your eyes stop dilating and you can focus on my face."
He was talking to me. The baby face disappeared and I fought to focus. The doctor went on to say that she had also contracted several viruses and heavy metals because her immune system had been compromised. He went into a treatment plan that left me reeling.
We left the building after the appointment and I bawled like a baby in the front seat of the car. Bawled for a baby that I had dreamed of having a healthy life.
Avonlea answered my questions on the way home. Of course she still wanted to go on her mission trip this summer. No she wasn't scared or sad or angry. "Actually," she said, "I'm kinda happy to have something exciting to say in my testimony."
Ah, exciting. I had somehow missed that part of it.
Later that day Grant tried to get Avonlea off the computer and I heard this, "Grant, be gentle with me, I have Lyme disease."
As the days have rolled by I've asked myself some questions. Can I accept this as being God's plan for my daughter's life? Am I scared or sad or angry? Can I let go of the "perfect" healthy life I envisioned for my daughter and help her thrive regardless of what her body endures?
Yes. Yes. And yes.
She asked me last week, "Is my Lyme disease in submission?"
I answered, "No, it is not in remission, but yes, it's in submission."
And so am I.