Another baby whisked away in an ambulance.  Another baby in the hospital.

Only this time, I can’t stay.

I don’t think there is any word in any language to describe the anguish of a mother when her child is that ill.  To describe how helpless you feel when your baby literally cannot breathe.

There is nothing like the faith that experience requires.  There is nothing that makes a mother feel so small and utterly powerless.

Yet, there is nothing like the peace that comes with the little, yet enormous miracles.  The little moments when even though you’re hurting, you know you are not left alone.

The difficult personal experiences I have had over the past few months have given a life to my mother heart that I never could have imagined before.  Each daughter is seen with new eyes.  Each child is more precious, more delicious, more absolutely mine.  I love being a mother more than I ever did before.  I didn’t think that would be possible.

With that newness comes even deeper pain when one of them is hurting.

The house is shockingly quiet without her here.

Everything reminds me of her and makes me ache for her return…a sippy cup stashed under the table, a little pile of dollhouse people she laid out for a nap, the new box of diapers strewn all over the closet where she loves to hide.

It broke my heart to do the dishes without her interrupting me with her wild little laugh or “terrible two” antics.  I’ve surprisingly been heartbroken at not having to worry about the little childproofing things that I didn’t even realize I always worry about.

It has struck me so deeply over the past few days how vital a piece each member of our family is to the fabric of our lives.  Our family weaves together and we fit.  We’re so right for each other.  We belong to each other so much, it physically hurts when someone is missing.

The girls felt like they couldn’t sleep last night if she didn’t run into their rooms and make some trouble first.  Tonight, her bed is lonely and empty again.

She’s such a daddy’s girl.  I’m glad she’s with him.

It takes all the faith in my heart to let her go so that she can be made okay again.  The ER doctor told me last night it was the worst case of croup he had seen in a long time.  Her throat was swollen so tight.  I have to remember times past, when everything I prayed wouldn’t happen happened anyway.  And how in the end it was right somehow.

Please pray for her tonight.  She’s having a hard night.

Hurry home to me, my little wild woman.  I need you.  None of us is the same without you.

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