<a href="" title="Caleb going for x-ray by Lucian Teo, on Flickr"><img src="" width="180" height="240" alt="Caleb going for x-ray" class="img-right" /></a>It's odd how deep we sink during the low times of our lives, and how quickly the mind forgets them all when things get better. And yet it is in the remembrance of these times where we learn to truly treasure what we have and understand how futile our attempts to hold on to them. And ultimately at the heart of it all, that we depend solely on the grace of God.
Caleb was admitted into the hospital last week. He had been suffering from a fever that refused to go away. We had spent nights sponging his forehead trying to get the temperature down, and finally after a week Faith decided to take him to a pediatrician. It was recommended that Caleb be hospitalised immediately, so we did just that.
Because Caleb's digestive system wasn't taking well to the antibiotics, we had no choice but to supply his medication intravenously. I placed him on the steel table, where he was bound tightly with a huge blanket, exposing only one arm. He kept looking at the pediatrician, unsure about what was to come. And I was frantically fiddling with my iPhone, trying desperately to pull up an episode of Postman Pat from Youtube. The 3G network kicked in, Caleb was distracted for a moment, and the doctor slid the needle in without so much as a confused whimper. I glowed with pained pride &mdash; my brave boy.
His arm was placed in a splint so he couldn't bend his wrist for fear the embedded needle would fall out. His other arm was also placed in a splint so his couldn't claw at the arm with the needle. So there we had it: a boy who flapped his open paws, upset by the fact he couldn't do the one thing he loved the most: play Plants vs Zombies on the iPhone.
I spent the first 2 nights with Caleb. Holding him, telling him that everything was going to be ok. There were moments I wondered if it was; the doctor couldn't tell us what he was suffering from, and the fever didn't subside. We had baths in the middle of the night whenever the fever got too high, and even then it only provided very temporary relief. The most difficult part of it all was having to constantly distracting him from the fact Faith wasn't around. She was busy looking after Anne, and both of them also seemed to be coming down with the bug.
"Mummy. Mummy. Mummy." went the endless refrain. Amid the tears, he would kick himself free from my grasp, trying to get to the floor. And there I was desperately trying to hold on to him, knowing that if I lost my grip, he would bolt, and the intravenous tube would rip the needle out the back of his hand.
That was only a few days ago, but it seems like a faraway dream. Now that the adrenaline has worn out, a new work week has begun and I have little time to collapse in a pile. Caleb has totally recovered and is back to his mischievous self. Anne and Faith are on the mend.
I put Anne to bed, kiss her on the cheek, think about my brave boy and my beautiful partner of a wife. And I take a moment to breathe it all in.
There's a sweetness in the air, and I can scarcely grasp on to it as I could the elusive smell of flowers in the morning. It is the smell of grace, and of God's mercy for today. We cannot hoard these things, but we can share them with others who are undergoing their own low tides in life.
We do not lose any light when lighting another person's candle with our own.

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