A half hour ago I was snuggled down in my nice warm bed. The sun was streaming through the cracks in the blinds a rare treat for us here in Chicago during the month of January. My mind had drifted back to the first day we had moved into Bartlett. Moving day had been the hottest day of the summer clocking in at 104 degrees all day long. Everyone was exhausted, but the following sun rise still brought a crisis. Becca was seizing. We realized that we didn’t know where the hospital was, so after waking a neighbor at the crack of dawn for directions, I was ready to be off: time was of the essence.
Oddly enough for nine years Roland had never been home for a major seizure. He had no clue what was about to happen and was poking about taking way more time getting ready to go than was needed. In truth he was feeling sorry for himself after such a hard day the day before. So, there I sat, having dressed and deposited four kids in the car, waiting. Becca was in my lap her body twisting and jerking all about. I waited. Five minutes seemed like an eternity, still no Roland. I’m fuming. Coming up on ten minutes he saunters out of the house, I start screaming at him, he slows down even more.
We were headed east on Lake Street needing to turn left onto Barrington Road and the light turned red. He won’t go. There were absolutely no cars but ours and he wouldn’t go. Becca was twisted badly, her face smashed into my body and even though she was only the size of a toddler—still wearing a size 4T—I could not get her turned so her airway would be less obstructed. She was already dusky and turning darker. The argument was not pretty nor the fight about speed limits not mattering when your child was dying especially as there were no other cars on the road. He kept arguing “Well what if there is a policeman?” I’m like bring one on. I would have welcomed an escort to the hospital.
Well the furnace made the blinds move and the sunshine hit me in the face. As I felt the bile churn in my stomach and my pulse pound, I questioned God about what possible good was there in my remembering that incident from twenty-eight and a half years ago. The word that popped into my head was “new”.
New—God has promised to make all things new. He has promised to restore the years the locust have eaten. Some of you know that I have asked of God that he restore the years the locust have taken from my family. Many more of you have prayed for Becca for years sometimes not knowing why, but you prayed for her. As I saw her slowly improving, saw the days and months and now YEARS slip by with no more clonic tonic seizures (she had five years where she took a two and a half hour long clonic tonic seizure every twenty-eight days on the dot), no more days of watching her come to the brink of death then stay with us a while longer, I grew thankful, grateful and scared. I was scared to remove her from the prayer list. Scared that without your continued support she would revert or die.
How soon something that is new becomes something that is routine. How easy it is to not notice the wonder of a new skill that has s-l-o-w-l-y emerged. To take for granted that a child will continue to grow day by day and just to expect them to mature. It is easier to see that slow emergence in Becca because everything is happening outside of the so-called normal time progression.
So, new in Becca’s life this past month is a willingness to help. I give her only small amounts, so she can be successful, but she moves clothes from the washer to the dryer, turns the jeans right side out so I can fold them, and cheerfully picks up things that have fallen.
New is consistently knowing her right from her left.
New is correctly identifying the color of the Uno cards.
New is being able to anticipate an upcoming event.
New, since two months ago, is that she is keeping track of her possessions; remembering when she has set them down and sometimes where. Making sure she has all her things before she leaves a place.
New is clearly and loudly proclaiming on cue, “Do not be afraid” and not being afraid of that room full of people who are watching.
New is ringing her hand chime on time, on her own. And doing this, to my and Janet’s amazement, by ear. Becca never looks at the chart. Eye-hand coordination is a non-existent skill in Becca and something specific to pray about for her. It is also something in general to pray for the entire STARS population. What a joy it would be to add eye-hand coordination to our list of “new” things.
New six months ago was being able to do a hand clapping song for the talent show. Indeed, having anything to do for talent show.
New at one point was returning a greeting when prompted with “Well, say hello.” I remember the first time. For years Glen had greeted her every Sunday, and she would tuck her head down and run away. Then one day when prompted to return the greeting she lifted her head and said, “Hello Mr. Kosirog,” then giggled before running away. She blew us all out of the water that day. That was actually the first thing non-family members standing in the hall had ever heard her say.
I could go on and on and on, but an old chorus has come to mind.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to and end
They are new every morning,
New every morning,
Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord
Great is thy faithfulness.
Thank you all for your steadfast love in praying for Becca. Know that there are new things continuously being added to her life because of you. Also, be encouraged to renew your efforts of prayer for those where the results are not so readily apparent.