Thursday, January 22, 2009

As I sit here tonight about an hour later than I should be, I have to laugh. You see, I've spent the last 45 minutes off and on trying to get Edward to pee. He's gotten better, and most of the time it's not a matter of his potty training falling through as much as it is being distracted or, more often, ornery. This usually frustrates me considerably -- it has happened enough that whenever I let out a deep sigh in such situations, Edward turns to me and says, "frustrated?" -- but tonight I was very patient and tolerant.

The difference? Last night, in anticipation of today, I read through this blog to see what I wrote during Will's final days and hours with us. As frequent followers may recall, he wouldn't pee either, but the consequences were much more dire. His problem was tied in with a whole host of other problems, including poor kidney function, low blood pressure, chylothorax and fluid retention that left him puffy, in pain and with a general lack of energy because he was fighting a vicious virus. When he did pee, we were elated, for we felt it was a turning point, a sign that his unbelievable strength was pushing him through the illness. These feats in the last couple of days never lasted long, and his trips up the rollercoaster were much, much shorter than those on the downward side of the slope.

Early after Will died, I wrote here about his short life giving me perspective. I was more tolerant and forgiving. I wish I could say that was a permanent effect. There are many times I think of Will, particularly when doing something boring or painful or challenging, and think, if my little guy could go through what he did, then I can go through whatever this is with no complaint and my head held high. While Will is never far from my thoughts, too often I need to remind myself of that lesson.

So it was tonight. While Edward sat on the potty doing everything but pee, I thought instead of Will and his every precious drop. I had promised him I would follow him around with a mop and a bucket the rest of his life if he would just pee. Little did I know his brother would make good on his behalf while potty training, leaving me and Mary to follow behind to sop up the occasional mess. Tonight, I know Edward will pee eventually, and reminded myself that it's no big deal. I gave him an extra long hug, did the same for Daniel, and now sit here waiting for him to call me to finally admit that he has to go. I wish I had three boys up there in bed. Instead I have two boys in bed and one in my heart, helping me to do my best with his brothers.


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