December 23, 2014

I Can Handel It

There is no more glorious way to welcome in Christmas than to participate in one of the greatest musical works ever composed, devoted entirely to praising Him.

I have participated as a violinist in an orchestra performing Handel's Messiah nearly every year for the past fifteen years.  It never gets old.  In fact, it only becomes more magnificent every time.

This past Sunday was the performance.  It was a welcome relief to step away from being a caregiver for a moment.  Bridger was the last of my sickies at home, but he is the one that drains it all out of me.  

A man was talking to me after the performance and was comparing their household of sick children to mine - sounding much like a "we all have it just as bad so stop thinking you are so unique" lecture.  I responded, "Flu schmuu. Caring for typical kids with their illnesses is really a piece of cake.  It is when Bridger becomes sick that makes daily life nearly impossible."  Just a piece of advice, don't compare 'normal' life to 'special' life. I have lived both and there is no comparison.

I can throw some chicken soup and Kleenex at the former, give them an ipad, wash some extra sheets and wake up in the night a few times to tend to them.  Do that, times four, for all the typicals and life is still easy peasy.  Sometimes, typical children are even easier to care for when they are sick.  With typical children, you know that they will get better, and that it is just a matter of time.  The mental stress and weight hanging over our head each illness with Bridger, is that we don't have that same assurance.  The times that Alan and I have looked at each other and said, "I think this might be the time" now counts well beyond one hand.  Those are not words that parents should ever have to say to each other, let alone, on over a handful of different occasions. 

For Bridger, his challenges start to layer and stack.  A quick highlight of what is involved in his care -- I have to pay critical attention to the timing of certain medications, pumping electrolytes down his tube in 30ml increments every 15 minutes, round the clock for 4 days.  Frequent steamings and tending to him every. single. minute.  After trial and error, we have found this to be the successful pattern to keep him out of the hospital.

The good news - it has worked this time {knock on wood} and I think we are in the clear now for spending Christmas at home!

It must have been the magic of Handel.

We had been rehearsing for months.  We had beautiful soloists, a powerful choir and full orchestra.  We had an audience of over 500 with every seat being filled within a few minutes of the doors opening and I had the best seat in the house - sandwiched right in between the choir and the audience.

There are not words to describe what it feels like to be in that particular seat during the Hallelujah chorus with choir booming behind me and the standing audience of 500+ belting out the grandest praise in song to our Lord.  I could not even hear my violin during a large part of the chorus, nor could I even see my music because of the tears welling up in my eyes.  Luckily, I can Handel it.  I have played it so many times I could do that one with my eyes closed.

I still get chills up my arms remembering the feeling in my heart as I was playing.  I believe that I, and all the others present in that chapel, just felt what it might have been like to be a heavenly participant in that first nativity.

Luke 2
 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.