So I was gearing myself up for a "Friday night laundry" post and it took me a few hours before I realized it's not Friday! Oh well...
It is hard to believe that a little over a year ago I wrote my first "Friday night laundry"post. I went back and read the first one and it seems like it was just last night that I was writing it. Those feelings and emotions are still so fresh in my mind.
Along with three of my little Jungle Book friends, we have started a little tradition. From time to time (and usually if I am not in a hurry) I will pull them from their nursery to come "help" me do laundry. I sort and fill the machines and they toss all the clothes in. They take their work very seriously :)
I still love to go in and look at the baby clothes hanging on the lines. I am still reminded of the faces that come to mind when I look at them. A year later, different faces come to mind, as some kids have left us and those clothes are now being worn by different children. I grieve for the one that is no longer here, but am thankful for the needed care they've received and that more children are entering our doors to receive the medical care and attention they need.
I was sharing with a medical intern we have that when kids that you've grown close to leave, it is often difficult to start over with new kids, knowing that they too at some point will go. I have been discouraged with myself and my inability emotionally to initiate those new bonds lately. It seemed so easy twelve months ago...
So much of our work here comes with a combination of sorrow and joy; it is often difficult to separate the two. We rejoice when a child is matched to a forever family, but our hearts are heavy when we have to say goodbye. We deeply grieve the loss of a child's life, but God is gracious to give us peace in knowing that they are no longer in pain. We are anxious when a child is going to have life-saving surgery, but are thankful that they are being given a chance for healing.
Yet despite these things, I still want to relish each moment, find joy in these times that I may never get to replicate, with children that I have come to love so dearly. I don't want to miss an opportunity.
I don't want to be afraid to love because I am afraid of loss.
It would be much easier and faster to just do the laundry by myself. But I want to choose the memory, I want to choose to spend those precious moments with them and trust that in some way they matter, both to them, and to me. In that same way, it would be easier to keep my heart to myself at times, but I want to choose relationship, I want to choose to love, and I want to choose to trust that it matters, both to them, and to me.