Friday, December 1, 2017


Warts are so disgusting. 
I envision frogs and witches' noses any time I think of them.
They're simply hideous.

Well, as luck would have it, I have developed a wart on the bottom of my heel. Not just your everyday, run-of-the-mill wart, but a plantar wart. It's been months since I noticed this lump and questioned what in the world it could be. I had never had one of these things and surely it couldn't be a wart because I was not a person who got warts or would ever get a wart. Turns out, I was wrong.

This thing hurts like the dickens, y'all. It's become difficult for me to stand for long periods because of how painful it is. It's just a freaking wart. It's just a step above a hangnail. Or so I thought. How can something so small hurt so bad??

Why do I tell you this?
Well, I became familiar with the plantar wart during one of Katie's longer stints in the PICU at Texas Children's Hospital. It, too, developed on the bottom of her foot. Hers was right in the middle of the ball of her foot, which had to be the worst spot for someone learning to walk again.

She suffered for months, closer to a year with this thing. You see, getting rid of a wart (caused by a virus) is much more difficult in an immune-compromised person.

We froze the heck outta that thing. Katie would scream and cry when we had to deal with it. She would complain daily that her foot hurt. Simply walking was difficult. But, she did it.

Because Katie tended to lean on the dramatic side, I often questioned the validity of her tears and screams as we tried to get rid of it.  I would say, "Katie, of ALL that you've been through, this is the most minor issue, yet you act like we're killing you." She stuck to her guns that this wart was one of the most painful things ever. In her defense, it was quite large. Of course, we knew it hurt, but geez ... taking care of it was like torture to her and us.

I find it quite ironic that a couple of months after she passed, I developed this plantar wart on my foot. I chuckle to myself every time I feel the twinge of pain it causes. I see Katie all around me, but this is such a unique reminder of my amazing girl. It kinda feels like a joke, like a "I told you so." Obviously, I know she can't cause something like this, but the irony in this is quite ridiculous.

How she walked with this thing on her foot, as weak as she was, is beyond me! It's another testament of her tenacity for sure. But, most of all, a reminder of her strength to me. Not just daily, but with every single step I take.

In a way, this ugly, painful wart is a reminder of such a beautiful, precious life.

As I try to rid myself of this pesky thing, I realize that the virus that causes it is what I have to overcome. I have to get to the root and deal with the virus. It's the same way with the grief that fills my days. I can't just cover the wart up and hope it'll go away. I have to treat it. I have to do whatever I have to do to get it out.

There are definitely days I avoid dealing with the grief simply because my heart can only take so much. There are days I replace every thought of the last few years with other stuff. I distract myself because I fear some moments I won't be able to come out of. There are days I just tell God how much I miss her, that I need Him to help me heal. The problem is that this won't ever heal on this side of eternity. It'll only get "more bearable" is what I've heard from others.

As the days go by, and holidays are in full-force, I miss Katie more now than ever. She shared my love and excitement for Christmas more than anyone else in the family. I know that it's going to be difficult not having her here with us. Nothing is the same. Everything has changed.

But, I know that God will carry us through, yet again. 

Even when I don't know what to say to Him, He knows what I need.

Sidenote: Be on the lookout for a brand-new website coming up in the new year, along with our book, "Still Rising." Stay tuned!