This is shaping up to be a "totally useless" week by all external standards, but if there is one thing I've learned over our years of home education, it is the value in looking beyond the academic learning to the "real life" learning--there is a huge relief in knowing that my children ARE learning very valuable lessons even if their math books remain untouched.
Sunday evening, our little three-month-old puppy Sasha started showing signs of illness; by mid-day Monday, she had lost two pounds and was starting to look severely dehydrated from incessant vomiting. Monday afternoon, she was diagnosed with parvo. It wasn't what the vet considered an "extreme" case, so she sent her home after giving her fluids and medicine. I spent most of the morning yesterday (Tuesday) trying to keep fluids in her and when she took a turn for the worse, there was only one other course of action--Sasha is now in the animal hospital, being given intravenous fluids and medication in hopes of keeping her alive and strong enough to fight off the virus.
As if yesterday wasn't stressful enough, early in the morning we learned that one of our dear friends had been taken by ambulance to the hospital...and Pete called from the hospital last night to tell me that Josh had no brain function at all. Our hearts are hurting, but this was a victory for a young man whose life was frought with suffering. Josh was born with birth defects and developmental handicaps and wasn't expected to live very long; he outlived both his mother and his grandmother! Taken in and cared for by his aunt and uncle, he has been struggling the last few years (since his grandmother's death) with what to expect in the afterlife. It frightened him, and the idea of a new and perfect spiritual body, he said, scared him to death. He feared being able to know people he didn't know here on earth, he feared seeing dead people alive again, and he feared seeing the face of God.
Thankfully, death came quickly for Josh--one minute he was complaining that he couldn't feel or move his arms or legs, the next, he was blue and lifeless. God truly knows what we can handle, and in His infinite wisdom and provision, He chose to let Josh pass from this life to the next quickly and without being challenged with the fears he didn't understand. Josh has nothing left to fear; he is in the presence of his mother and grandmother, in paradise with our forefathers, waiting on the Lord to take us all to Heaven. In a fitting end to his earthly life, his organs are being donated so that Josh's life may be a blessing to people he didn't even know, extending the reach of people this young man touched with his relatively short life. What a blessing Joshua Lyle was...and will continue to be.
As I said before, this week has been just "too much" already, for us to continue unimpeded with daily schedules and lesson plans. Sometimes academics have to take a back seat to life, and that's what has happened this week. My girls are still learning, however. We've had discussions of viruses, hygiene, caring for the sick, even death and Heaven. We have wept with joy and with sorrow, all at the same time. And in celebrating death, we are also celebrating life.
Today is another milestone for our family--the middle child of the younger 'set' is four years old today. Morgan, Jamie, and I have had several discussions this week about making Danica's birthday special for her, since she is often the one who gets the short end of the stick in many things. Dani is sandwiched between two sets of Irish twins, so she is "all alone" in the middle--neither one of the babies or one of the big girls. It's difficult sometimes to find something that identifies her because she wants so much to fit in that she really doesn't express her favorites or what she "loves" like Morgan and Jamie do. It's going to be challenging to make today extra-special for her, considering that a lot of the focus this evening at Bible study will be on Josh's family....but we're taking cupcakes for Dani to share with everyone, and she gets to choose what we have for dinner tonight. This weekend, we're going to visit the zoo as a special treat for her birthday.
Happy Birthday, Danica Jill!!!