Our boys live for the next holiday. Usually, we finish one and the next question that follows is, “Now that we’ve had _____ what is coming next?” There is something magical about expectation. The anticipation and the longing often makes the celebration that much more exciting. And while our reactions temper as we age, I’m quite certain we still possess the same feelings towards the big day – no matter what kind of big day it is.
In many ways, this is woven into the fabric of our faith. From the very early promise to our first parents (Adam and Eve) there was a calendar countdown in play. There was a promise of the One who would come to right all the wrongs that had just taken place. It’s the first Gospel threaded into the Creation narrative. Then throughout the Old Testament, God’s chosen people had calendars marked by a multiplicity of celebrations – rejoicing over what God had done, but each containing foreshadowing of the promised Messiah. Prophet after prophet delivered continually promises and prophecies of what was and Who was to come. But can you imagine waiting your entire lifetime? In fact, God’s people would have to mark out thousands of years full of calendar days until the big day.
This morning, Cole and I made a countdown calendar. We crossed through two of our days we have been here in the hospital. We filled in the day the stitches will come out (earlier than expected). We added the day we think we will go home (tomorrow). We haven’t been able to add the “cast removal celebration” to the calendar since we don’t know that day yet. Cole remarked that it looks like a lot of days to go. And it is. But at least, like God’s people, we know there is a big day coming. Even though we don’t know the exact date yet, we know that with the dawning of each new day means the marking through of a day completed.
Today marks a big day in his journey. The epidural (supplying pain relief to his lower back and hip) has been removed. All drugs have moved from IV to oral. The pain will definitely increase and we’ll do our best to stay on top of it. His wheelchair arrived and we have to figure out how to position him into it but it brings the hope of a journey outside of our room for the first time.
Tomorrow the calendar reads “go home”. At least to our temporary home here in Birmingham. It’s a day he is looking forward to and we are somewhat apprehensive about. While it will feel good to not be so sterile, we are leaving a great place with a great support team.
Each day in the calendar countdown doesn’t promise to be easy, but each day will come… and each day will go. And so we wait with hope. We wait with hope for the day that is coming that will at least mark the completion of one of the more difficult parts of this journey. A journey we have most certainly not walked alone and for that we are grateful. We will keep walking (while Cole lays or at times rolls) but as we move forward, we move forward counting down and looking forward to the next big “X” and the promise of what is to come.