Safe Through the Storm

You never know what lies ahead.

Ten days ago we were celebrating the birthday of this little guy at his house – the house his family was to move out of three days later.

He got a tattoo that day. It’s the wash-off-after-ten-baths kind, so he was still wearing it when the movers came, along with these basketball fans who are the other young people in my life.

We hauled stuff all morning and around 4:00 I took everyone under 20 back to my town – well everyone but Baby Sister Caroline who may or may not end up being called Callie. Nobody knows yet and she is keeping mum on the subject.

She’s got enough to think about what with having just mastered the girly pushup.

Back we went to TT and Papa’s house, ‘TT and Papa’ being what we are now called because this happens as you age: your kids rename you. (In another ten years they’ll probably rename us again, with say, stuffed animals names like Fluffy and Grumpus.) At our house, Tattoo Man and his big brother Edward had a long bath and a book apiece and were sleeping by 8pm so that bright and early the next morning we could all ride BACK over to their town to see Edward get his Bible there at First Parish Church of Lincoln and there was another passage for us all.

The whole Second Grade Sunday school class sang David Mallett’s famous ‘Garden Song’, also known as ‘Inch by Inch, Row by Row’, as you can tell if you view this 20-second clip below. That’s Edward you see right at the beginning . You also see his two moms there in the background, beaming away with little Baldie, who slept through the whole thing.

I say you never know what’s ahead because within 24 hours of this service Tattoo Man and Eddie and I were all sick, Eddie so sick he had to be hospitalized. I got better almost immediately with my tough old immune system but Tattoo Man is still talking in a voice like the Godafther’s.

As for Eddie, with the infection spreading to his kidneys the way it did, he was in hot water for a while, in the 48 t0 72 hours before that broad-spectrum antibiotic kicked in.

So there it was: we all thought we were going to be spending last week toting boxes and bringing snacks. Instead we were shuttling back and forth to a hospital and trying to find a way to comfort a slender child with two IV ports, one on the back of each hand, and bandages the size of small pot holders on each of his legs.

Now that it’s over and he is here in the next room I can finally say something about it. It was a scary time, sure enough. And how grateful and limp with relief we all feel today to have been brought, inch by inch, safe through another storm.

Author: Terry Marotta

I am syndicated columnist, blogger and author who loves any chance to give talks about the ease of first-person writing.

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