Saturday, April 16, 2011

All's well, and then...

...the oldest son carries the tag-name, "Rocket" on his sleeve like a top dollar tattoo. Armed with raw strength from his mother's side, a spiked dose of athleticism from his father's genes, and simply put, the boy can make things look easy.

My daughter brags of the same talents. An eight year old gymnast who shines in the classroom.

And while he struggles to keep up with his siblings on occasion, younger son leads the pack in my favorite pastimes...he's an insatiable book worm, and can sink a twenty foot jumper from anywhere on the court, despite a defender wheezing spittle upon his brow and screaming obscenities to thwart his concentration.

They spoil my wife and I with grade cards worthy of being framed under glass and hung above the mantle.

Following a lifetime of failed attempts, the countdown to my book's release is but weeks away. The fulfillment of a dream.

When I looked to the skies, regardless if met by a splash from the clouds, or plumes of frost, I saw the sun.

...and the world continued to spin, oblivious and unaware.

Then one day it happened. A routine maneuver on the balance beam, something she's incorporated down to the ease of retrieving the morning paper at the end of the drive...when a tremble ran its course along her spine. When vertigo caused for a moment, her eyes to roll back in their sockets. When my eight year old daughter lifted a bare foot no larger than a smart phone, lost her balance, and crashed to the floor.

The headaches began thereafter. Migraines rendering her incapable of lifting a spoon to her mouth.

A few weeks later, following a battery of tests, my wife and I watched, helpless, as our daughter was rolled under the incandescent lights and vibrating rumble of an MRI exam.

The platform was designed for an adult. Lying prone, under the embrace of a woolen blanket, her thin stature resembled that of a cocoon in a bathtub, trembling and hidden.

The procedure was routine for those in white coats. A numbing tale of distress for our family.

...and the waiting began. Scowling at the telephone, the thing just sitting there, taunting us in silence.

I looked up to the skies and felt the rain. Pellets of ice and lightning. Released from clouds shaped like gunships. Somber and indifferent.

...and I was angry at how the world continued to spin. Without hesitation. Remaining oblivious.

A day passed without word. And nearly another.

But then the call came, the results a blessing. Nothing to report. Hereditary migraines. We were offered a prescription. Informed to keep an eye on her. That she'd most likely be fine.

My wife cried. My daughter and I shared a laugh. And while the boys would never admit to it, I caught them each releasing a sigh.

...and now I look to the skies, feel the rain upon my cheek, the ice under my feet, and realize how quickly things can change.

Yet the world will not slow down, allowing us to catch up. She'll keep spinning, brutally unaware, oblivious to what may happen.

If lucky, we'll succeed. Perhaps we'll fail.

...but that's okay. We're built for this. Getting back up. Trying again. It's what we do. Who we are. And whether the rest of the world knows it or not...all's well again :)

Thanks for reading.



Judy Croome said...

Eliot, I can't wait for your book to come out but I swear when I read iT I'm having a box of tissues near, because your posts always make me cry, so heaven knows what your book will do to me!! This post was so tender and scared, so hopeless and so joyous, it was lovely to read. And if that blonde cutie is your daughter, no wonder your wife cried. Glad the scan results were good news!
Judy, South Africa

Josh Hoyt said...

This is amazing. I love how you captured me in the moment feeling the emotions that I'm sure they were feeling as well. Thanks for sharing.

The Words Crafter said...

Wow, I was holding my breath until I read the diagnosis....whew!

But, I'm confused. Is this your daughter, Josh's, or a family he counseled....?

Anyway, I'm glad she's alright. And sometimes children get their tummys!

Glad everyone liked the ninja post :)

Crystal Collier said...

It's incredible--that silence when we pause and wait, holding our breath and hoping the world won't end. Really puts life into perspective eh? How fragile it is.

DEZMOND said...

now this was extremely dramatic ...El!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Glad to hear all is well! So excited about your book! The time will fly and it will be here before you know it! All the best, EL!

Elliot Grace said...

Thanks guys for commenting:)
The photo is of my daughter when she was 3-ish. She's a bit older itty bit taller, a lot more feisty. And she's doing fine, which is most important.


Anne Gallagher said...

I'm almost scared to read your posts now, El. I never know whether to laugh or cry or both.

In the blink of an instant... takes your breath away to realize just how small we really are in contrast to moments like these. Thank God, all is well.

And how's the girl? Is she still with you?

Lola Sharp said...

I'm so glad your daughter is okay. *hugs*
Nothing, NOTHING is more frightening than something happening to our children.

Yes, life is fragile, and yet the world keeps spinning. The sun rises and sets... and still tragedies happen every second. I think of Japan and I weep.
But I believe it is an important lesson in living life to the fullest, because any second could be our last. And to cherish those we love because it may be the last time we see them. Knowing the value of something after it's gone..well, it's a sad waste.

Thanks for sharing. She's adorable.

Donna Hole said...

I'm glad nothing was seriously wrong. Migraines can be excrusiating though. I've had them as long as I can remember.

You have such a talented, lovely family El. No wonder you see the world with such charm.

I'll keep my fingers crossed the publication comes out on time. Have a great weekend . .


JUST ME said...

I'm looking forward to this book of yours.

And I am SO glad that your family is safe. :)

sue said...

This brought back long squashed memories of my son who at 10 days old stopped breathing in my arms. Frozen terror describes the feeling...kind of. You've captured the scenario of fear all too accurately. Thanks for dropping by - for your contribution and encouragement. Oh, my son is now a strapping 21 yr old.

L'Aussie said...

Elliot I'm glad your daughter is okay. LIfe can catch you by surprise sometimes. Such tragedy inthe world along with so much goodness. Ah well, we're only human.

Hope you're enjoying Pat Conroy.


Elliot Grace said...

...thanks everyone for stopping by.
Anne, regarding your inquiry of "The Girl," she continues to split her days between my home and the other foster family she's been with for the past couple of years. While she's mentioned to her social worker that she favors our home, at her age she can't bear to switch schools...which is understandable. And so she remains in constant hiatus, but is happy and healthy, which of course is most important:)

Thanks for asking!


Suzy Turner said...

WOW... this is the most heartfelt post I have ever had the pleasure of reading. To be honest, I thought at one point you were posting an excerpt from a book. It's so beautifully written that I can say, without a doubt, that if your book is like this... you WILL succeed.
I wish I could write like this. I am in awe.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thank you for sharing that, Elliot, and thank you for joining me. I don't know if Susan Kane's blog would be of help to you, her recent or one before post, I think it was.
Re Amazon, the US store doesn't stock my work, they would have to ship it and I'm not famous enough for that, only for sale on the UK site but I think they deal in dollars. There are one or two US sellers who are selling on at ridiculous prices, how awful. If you have no luck, just tell me and I'll send to you, order from my website via paypal and I'll pay for the postage. Kind regard, Carole.

Christine Danek said...

You always stop my breath. I'm glad everything is okay. She's so cute.
I know I'm in for a great emotional read when I read your posts. Your writing is beautiful and just down right amazing. I can't wait to read your book.
BTW--I loved the ending of this post. Wonderful message.
I saw your update to Anne about "the girl." Good to hear that you still get to see her.
Take care.

Anita said...'s stuff like this that tries to keep me up at night. Thankfully, as much worry as the kids cause, they also cause exhaustion. :) Thanks for sharing this story!

Megan Bostic said...

This is an amazing story Elliot. It's true, the world keeps spinning even when we're at a stand still, and we just have to get up and catch it.

My daughter almost died at five weeks old, I know the pain you must have felt waiting. But like you, we got up and moved forward.

Thank you for sharing.

Olivia J. Herrell said...

El, I'm so glad everything turned out okay. She's a beautiful girl! As a chiropractor in my day job I have to ask. Have you considered taking her to one?

Even 'hereditary' migraines can be helped with a gentle adjustment. Also, many of my migraine patients are ingesting something they are allergic or sensitive to (without realizing it). Eliminating the substance keeps the migraines away.

One that crops up over and over is dyes or artificial colorings. Red. Blue. Green. Yellow. You could keep a food diary for her to help pinpoint what food or drink, etc, if any, it could be.

Not that you asked for any advice from the peanut gallery. :)

Thanks for the update on "The Girl", too. I was wondering.

that rebel, Olivia

Flying high in the sky.... said...

i was smiling...happy...then i realised i had tears in my eyes.. my smile wiped out... depressed.....God bless you and your family in his warmth...i send my blessings of protection...

Rachel Morgan said...

Eish, what a story! What a relief she's ok...

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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