Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bowl Hat

In the winter of 2009 we had the flu bug. Instead of buckets we use bowls to catch the "you know what." Marlea and Kira had matching bowls, one bigger than the other. Over the time of Kira's death, Marlea became fiercely attached to her bowl. She named it "Bowl Hat". The days visiting in the hospital she always brought it along-often on her head. In the days, weeks, and months that followed, she and "bowl hat" were inseparable. It slept beside her at night, was carried around during the day, went to Grandma's house, and even went everywhere in the van. She would have even taken it into church if we would have allowed her to do so. Convincing her to go to kindergarten without it was a chore. I relented several days and allowed the hat to ride along in the backpack. It went with us to El Salvador, to Ohio at Christmas, and to Ohio again in May. I would try to make her leave it at home but it was wasted energy. She was determined, so eventually I accepted it as part of our family for however long it wanted to stay. I also soon learned that "bowl hat" was wanted for a reason and her stomach did seriously hurt. I have learned that stress does that to little ones. Often the bowl was used for its intended purpose and saved me from making a wild dash for something else handy to grab. About eight months ago we found reasons for the stomach issues for Marlea. Daily enzymes decreased the need for repeated use of the "bowl hat". However, it was still a very important object. I became really tired of looking at that thing all over our apartment so I started sticking it under the bed at opportune moments. Always it would come back out again and as a reward I would receive glares for my actions. A few months ago it started staying under the bed but it still went along on vacation. Last weekend we went on a trip; we left on Saturday and came home on Tuesday. We took a camper to distract us from the fact of our first family vacation that didn't include extended family. It proved to be a good distraction. On Monday I was thinking that something was missing. I couldn't pinpoint it. As I was cleaning up the camper it suddenly struck me. "Bowl hat" was missing. It was still under the bed at home! Tears filled my eyes as I grasp what is happening in my daughter's heart. To heal means freedom from nerves -which in turn heals the stomach - which eliminates the need for "bowl hat". I kept quiet and sure enough we returned home and "bowl hat" is still under the bed. It might need to come out again sometimes and I am okay with that. I might even like to see it sometimes. But mostly I choose to embrace the fact of a little heart that is healing, nerves that calm down, and a stomach that doesn't heave.

Our last family vacation we spent in Louisville, Kentucky visiting the Horse Park. The girls loved it and so did their parents. This shot of Kira reminds me of the white horses she is freely riding in heaven.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna