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A Lump of Joy Amidst Upheaval

[caption id="attachment_4168" align="aligncenter" width="620"] My son, one of a few "lumps of joy" in my life[/caption] It's been a few weeks since I've blogged. Since the day after Christmas my family has been facing a few family health challenges, my world has been thrown into disarray, and I have lost all track of time. With the hope of respecting my family's privacy, I won't go into much detail. But I will say that two of my most dear loved ones have been hospitalized, and have been in need of constant care and attention. And what else would we be giving them? I and all the members of my extended family have thrown ourselves into the tasks at hand. We are juggling and enduring and managing in spite of it all, sharing our strength with those who need it—and with each other. I've always been aware of the fact that I married into an incredible family. I once randomly tweeted that "If I could have chosen my in-laws, I could have chosen no better"—and considering the tweets I got in reply, I appear to be in the minority. Yes, I am blessed. And in this time of sometimes overwhelming crisis, I have grown to know the meaning of the word 'family' even more. Speaking on the phone to one of my brothers-in-law the other day (he as well has a family member dealing with a serious medical emergency), we were offering support and, perhaps especially, recognition. Recognition for the similar feelings of grief and powerlessness and hope that we've had; recognition for the exhaustion and guilt-inducing need for momentary escape we've felt; recognition for the respect and admiration of our family members; and most importantly, recognition that, in spite of everything, joy persists. He referred to his youngest son sitting beside him that evening as "a lump of joy." Those words left an indelible mark on me. When I can't sleep at night, I have thought about them—for my son, too, is my own little lump of joy. I look at him and my heart overflows. My ailing grandmother is miraculously home with us this week, but it has not been an easy transition. My son, though, has been by far better medicine than any medical expert provided—for her, and for me and my husband. I hope your family offers you as much joy. And in the meantime, I thought I'd share a few lumps of my sugary sweet guy with you! All best as we move into this new year...
(A small dose of laughter is good for the soul.) [caption id="attachment_4166" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Happy x4[/caption]

Dawn M. Roode


Dawn M. Roode was formerly editorial director of NYMetroParents, where she launched the award-winning semi-annual magazine Special Parent. She was managing editor at Parenting, BabyTalk, Child, Harper's Bazaar, and Latina magazines. She is a strategic content specialist and currently writes and edits parenting, health, travel, and special needs features for various media outlets. Roode is mom to one son and recently relocated from Brooklyn to the suburbs of New York City. Follow her on Twitter @DawnRoode.

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