From CJ: This is longer than normal but it is raw and I’m too tired to edit it.
It amazes me. 5 hours. From the time we enter the hospital to the time we left – just 5 hours passed.
We spent the first hour and a half answering the same questions to several different hospital staff. Then just moments before 7am the doctor and his team came in, answered a few of our questions, marked the eye to make sure they removed the correct one and whisked him off.
Only one of us were allowed to walk Carter to back so Amy chose to go. Watching them walk away was one of the most helpless feelings I have ever had as a father. I lost it. We sat in the waiting room, blessed by co-workers, small group members (past and present), a family friend from Houston, and a life-long friend from Birmingham who clearly understands our situation. It was a distraction that made the time go by much faster than anticipated and reminded us of the beauty of community.
Just over an hour past when the doctor showed up in the waiting room. Amy and I both noticed how the room immediately got very warm. He told us the surgery went well and that the eye was already on it’s way to pathology. He believes we should know something by next monday when we have our follow up appointment. Carter was in recovery and would be another hour before we could see him. This hour seemed to pass much slower than the first one.
Just around 9:00 (I think) we were called back and allowed to see our sweet boy. As soon as we walked up to the bed we both were overwhelmed. Amy sat down in the bed side chair and simply told the nurse, “I need to just cry for a minute.” Looking at Carter, a patch covering a large part of his left side was tough to handle. All of a sudden it was surreal to think that his eye was gone and we had crossed the thresh hold. What we had discussed as a possibility for weeks had become a reality and it just made my heart hurt. The sad look on his face was almost to much to bear.
I wanted so bad to make it all go away. I wanted so bad to erase the last four weeks of our life and start over. I wanted someone to pinch me and wake me up from this bad dream. But none of that was going to happen and the song Sovereign over Us came to mind.
There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears
You meet us in our mourning, With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting, Sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding, You’re teaching us to trust
Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever, Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us
It wasn’t but moments later that Carter gave us one of his classic “Carter looks” that almost said, “nothings different – I’m still me.” It filled my heart with pure joy. He continued to wake up and with a little gatorade and jello in his system began to return to normal – whatever that means. Once the morphine wore off they discharged us and sent us home – just 5 hours later.
Social media reminded me that so many of our friends and family were praying with us and for us. We’ll never be able to properly say thanks, it’s just not possible. You can continue to pray for his healing. We pray the pathology comes back and confirms there is no cancer. You can pray God will guard Carter and Topher’s heart and shows them his perfect will. For Amy and I, you can pray for rest, sleep and discernment in continually leading our boys on this journey.