The poem comes from Rumi, from the book Broken Open, by Elizabeth Lesser, which I am devouring.
Last Wednesday night I listened to my mom barely able to talk into the phone. She couldn't catch her breath. The nurses at Bethany were watching her, however, the sound of her didn't make me feel comfortable, at all.
But the Bethany night nurse wanted to wait until the next morning before maybe taking mom into the clinic to be checked.
We said no way- uh uh, no way.
We spent a very late/early morning getting mom admitted to the hospital. Her ER doctor wanted the fluid out of her right away. They took two liters off and decided to stop and see if that helped with her breathing. It did.
After some blood work they quickly ascertained she was in renal failure.
They would use the next few days to see if they could help her failing kidneys begin to function again.
I stayed with her all day Thursday, postponing leaving, for the big hockey state tournament.
Friday the team of doctors felt she was stable enough that I should be able to leave for the State Tournament. Her nurses assured me as well, and our family continued to step up and fill in for us which is such a blessing.
So I left with the Riveland Family and my friend Shelly who graciously squeezed me into their truck for the ride to Duluth.
As torn as I was my mother simply said, "As much as you've sacrificed for me, I can now sacrifice a few days for you." It felt like such a humble gift, and it helped me believe I could go.
The sun was shining, it was a beautiful day.
One of the many ice arenas in the Duluth area, where we would spend our weekend.
These 3 younger brothers, Grant and Andrew, Luke, and Colton, sporting the "heads" of their big brothers, were part of our big cheer section.
They cheered so well we won our first game over Osseo Maple Grove, 5-1. Nolan had two nice goals and all of our kids played a really great game.
It was later that night that I found out, that another hockey dad, Chris, had sent an email, to the men broadcasting Nolan's game. They spoke about how his Grandma was sick, and could everyone remember her in their prayers. I was so touched by that thoughtfulness and Nolan was grinning ear to ear. Thank you Carey Family!
Our first win meant we would be facing another big opponent.
We would face a really big rival, Edina, who we noticed, sitting in the stands watching our first game.
Here is where I have to choose my words carefully for this next part.
Let me just say, as a hockey mom I fully know every time my son takes the ice, that accidents and injuries are just part of playing the game.
Nolan, while along the sides of the boards with the puck, was elbowed in the face by an Edina player and knocked down flat towards the end of the game. He didn't get up. And he didn't get up. We watched, as the rink grew silent. And tears sprang to my eyes, as a coach went out, and then a trainer went out to him on the ice. Mere seconds felt like ages. Slowly he moved. His team mates came out and they helped him off the ice.
Contact with the head is a major offense. But the player was only given a two minute penalty. He should have been ejected from the game. But the ref says he didn't see what happened, and only called a 2 minute penalty. It was frustrating and demoralizing.
How is it safe for any player out there, if there is no major consequence for hurting a player with an improper hit to the head? We have rules for this- but what happens when they aren't enforced? Should their be 4 refs at a State hockey tournament? So many questions. Isn't there a protocol the medical trainer follows when he sees a hit like that happen to a player? Other than some gauze for Nolan's cut in his mouth, he was cleared to play shortly after.
But clearly, our Nolan wasn't the same thereafter.
We went on to lose a very close game at the end, 4-3.
After the game as we examined Nolan's bleeding mouth, his bruised knee and his growing headache, coupled with the uneven size of his pupils, we knew, he likely had a concussion.
With sound advice from coaches and our friend who is a nurse, Nolan didn't play the next day. We didn't have to tell him he couldn't, he knew he shouldn't play.
We've had several of Nolan's team mates get injured this season, and spend a lot of time on the sidelines. Somehow the team found a way to win games. Nolan believed his team mates would do and will do the same, until he is cleared to come back and play.
We ended up playing for 3rd place last Sunday.
Here we are lining the bridge to the rink where our young men would come out of the locker room and skate onto the ice ready to play their final game against the team ranked as #1 for most of the season, Centennial.
We had to go to overtime- but won the game 2-1 for 3rd place!
Too tired and drained to even move, I stood in the stands this time, and got a shot of all the great parents and fans of our boys.
In between games, it was so nice outside, I grabbed my camera and headed out to the boardwalk to shoot some photos of Lake Superior. Its still mostly frozen, with patches of water beginning to appear where the sun was casting it's rays. I call it "therapy."
It was early on the last day that I got to see the sun lighting up the sky in pinks and oranges against the grey of the clouds. Such majesty and grace, God's goodness everywhere.
I would need it heading into the next week.
I feel as though I've traveled light years in just one week.
Nolan has a mid- range concussion. He has had to lay in a darkened room, with no tv, no phone, no computer, xbox, or stimulation of any kind. He will be re-evaluated on Monday. His team plays in the VFW State Hockey Tournament on the 27th, and Nolan is so hopeful he'll be able to take the ice again next week.
As I type this, my mom is still hospitalized.
Her kidneys are still in failure. Her liver is still in failure. There is no cure, and very little in the line of treatments for her at this time.
We met with Hospice yesterday morning.
That might have been one of the hardest sentences for me to type, period.
Soon, mom will be going back to Bethany to a new room.
When we have more clarity with everything, I will be back to update.
Your prayers continue to buoy and hold us, when life feels like a whirlwind of chaos and uncertainty around us, and I am completely "broken open."