On one of my last posts I talked a lot about Audrey. Well now it's Emma's turn. What can I say about Emma? First and foremost I would talk about her resiliency. Emma is the one who found Joanne on the basement floor after Joanne had her stroke. I can't imagine what she went through in seeing that and experiencing all the fear and chaos that comes from having fireman, paramedics and policemen in your house, all while your dad isn't home! Luckily Gran was with them very shortly after Emma found Joanne, But I still freak out a little thinking about what she must have done through in that compressed time.
And Emma was the last of the family to see Joanne after she went into the hospital. She spent a lot of time in the waiting room and her on-going response was, "I will wait to see mom when she is better." Well unfortunately Joanne was in for a long haul before she resembled anything like "better." But we gave her her time until Joanne was conscious enough to actually ask for Emma. At that point the rules changed and I had to let Emma know that like it or not, she needed to see her mom.
I will never forget that first visit. Emma tried to be brave but was obviously freaked out. She only spent a few minutes with Joanne before she needed to get out of there. It was a very emotional experience for her as you can imagine.
But then something changed: Emma warmed up to her mom, she became very affectionate and really began to serve her. I'm not sure how to describe it other than to think that Emma knew that her mom needed her and that she was going to step into that role.
Now Emma is with her mom a good portion of every day. She continues to serve her. If Joanne needs a drink, Emma is the one who gets it for her. Emma cooks Joanne's breakfast almost every morning. If she needs chap-stick (to which Joanne is addicted) Emma will track some down for her. Mostly Emma just wants to be present with Joanne. THey sit and read together in bed every night. My heart almosts bursts!
Example: when Joanne had her achilles surgery she and I slept in the downstairs living room since Joanne couldn't negotiate the stairs. We slept there for two months...and so did Emma. She slept in the over-sized chair that sits in the corner of the living room. And after Joanne was able to go upstairs she still spent the night on the floor of our room because she felt safest there. Even now, Emma is likely to fall asleep on our floor before eventually finding her way to her own room to sleep.
Emma and Joanne are very close. They get each other. It is a symbiotic relationship: they bothneed each other.
I have always said that Emma has a "happy heart." Yes, sometimes she is a little terror and she has a temper and can only be pushed so far before she snaps back, but for the most part she is a happy kid. I worry a lot about Emma because she doesn't seem to have gone through a greif phase with Joanne's stroke. She has more or less taken it in stride and made the best of it. I wish I could say that for the rest of us! At 11 years old I am expecting that in the future she will have some issues to work through around the stroke, but for now she is my happy heart.
Please pray that Emma's relationship with Joanne would remain strong and that when it is time for Emma to wrestle with what has happened that she will still draw near rather than isolate her self.