You've heard from Bethany a lot over the past week or so. I wanted to give you my perspective. Things have been a little confusing for me. Life has been difficult for the two ladies in my life, and I'm not sure how to react to it. Those of you who know me, know that I am guided by reason rather than emotion more often than not. Sometimes I feel guilty for approaching our problems with logic, staring them down with cold, hard facts. But that's just my approach.
It's been interesting to observe Bethany experience a new aspect of motherhood. Especially in contrast to my response to the Bird's illness. Promise's sickness really has troubled Bethany, while my reaction to the sick child has been one of compassionate indifference. Yes, I feel terrible that my kid isn't feeling well. However, I can't help but think "Hey, kids get sick. She'll get over it." Does that make me a cold, detached jerk? Or just a level headed Dad?
Promise does seem to be improving, though she barfed on my pillow this morning during a coughing fit. I'm no doctor, but her lungs don't seem to be rattling much anymore. Bethany must be feeling better too because she's back at work today. Between her own sickness and concern for her child, she has been so worn out of late. Once again she is worried that she is falling behind in school, but frankly, I question her logic.
Let's look at the facts about my amazing spouse. She is in her last semester of a two year, intensive training program. In those two years she has faced some unique challenges, most of which have not been faced by any of her classmates. For one, her husband has a strange job with weird hours that tends to take him out of the city at inconvenient times. Not to mention that when he is home, he is useless in the kitchen.
The obvious challenge was having a baby just before her second year of schooling began. Nobody else in her class did that. Not to mention the nine months of pregnancy that preceded the baby. During those nine months, she was out of the country for 5 weeks for a trip to North America. She suffered another set back when she was diagnosed with a herniated disc and ordered to stay in bed for a significant period of time.
Promise is our first child. Everything is new to Bethany and I. Each day brings a new learning curve and a new level of exhaustion. In 2009 alone, Promise has been afflicted with an earache (which lasted several weeks) and pneumonia. Bethany then caught the respiratory infection herself, causing her to miss work and classes.
Each of these circumstances brought a fresh wave of discouragement and strife. I couldn't begin to tell you the number of times Bethany has wondered out loud how she would finish the next assignment on time. I understand this question, but my experience tells me that it is a dumb one. She always finishes on time. She even does some of the group projects by herself because her lifestyle sometimes makes it difficult to partner with her classmates.
Despite all of these challenges, Bethany is on track to graduate the academic portion of the program along with her class in June. I'm willing to bet that she'll have pretty good grades too.
Folks, this is an astonishing woman. All I know to do in the face of her discouragement is to continue to point out her ability to overcome adversity. Yes, the Lord has been incredibly faithful to both Bethany and myself. But each and every time Bethany had a choice. She could give in to the circumstances, or she could rise above them. She always chooses to persevere, and I love her for it.
Some of our readers have commented on these pages a hundred times. Perhaps others of you have never commented before. If you're reading this today and you haven't commented in a while, why don't you leave a quick note and just tell my wife you think she's awesome. Because she is.
Here are a few pics of the Bird, including the new ducky bath that arrived from Bethany's parents recently and the Peruvian finger puppets my parents gave her for Christmas.