My son, Knox turns 5 today. The day he was born I had a terrible cold and remember sitting in the hospital room – unchanged since the Nixon administration – at the Hospital in Greenwood, MS. I can remember lying on the plastic sea-foam green couch, listening to Ella and Louis. All the hope and fear were present in the room. He was our second so it seemed like old hat. All went according to plan and we had our little boy – Matthew Knox.
A few days later, after we had taken him home, we realized he started turning blue while sleeping. We would wake him up, the color would return. An hour later we were in the emergency room. A day later we were at the Children’s Hospital in Jackson.
We look at him now and are reminded of a time when we had to lean on the bare arm of God in the midst of no answers and no sleep. There was kindness from friends and family and even medical professionals. But there was an unwieldy amount of confusion and distortion of emotions.
We look at him now and are thankful for the mercy of his health since the day we left the hospital. But it took weeks upon weeks before we could relax. Fear was a constant bedfellow. Every now and then those old fears return for no reason than the haunt of old memories.
We look at him now and dismiss the notion there are cul-de-sacs of safety anywhere. The myth that there is any segment of our culture where suffering is not possible or easy is just that, a myth. No dollar would have helped. Money did not exist in the hospital room. Where we lived held no sway. How we lived did not make it possible for him to breathe correctly. Our only comfort was that we could pray to a good and powerful God.
Now, we look at him and laugh at his silliness, his love of airplanes, helicopters and lower-case letters. And are simply thankful for 5 years we were unsure we would have.