Blood: A Life’s Story


A whole life story is held in a single drop.

Genetic codes and rh factors. Paternity cases and diseases.
Hope and a miracle. A life’s story, indeed all the lives and stories
Depend upon drops of blood.

The scraped knees from first rides without training wheels.
The altercations on play fields and behind bleachers.
The emotions brought by a first period’s arrival.
The cracked lips of a Minnesota winter.
The spreading wetness following the crack of a gunshot.
The slowly filling bag at the donation center.

It’s always with us.
And only when we see it in places we shouldn’t
Do we remember to be thankful.
Thankful for the blood that tells of a whole life in a single drop.

On Monday we found out Littlest is sick. Really sick.

He came out of the bathroom on a crazy hectic day filled with coordinating kids’ schedules and oil changes for the car and suddenly everything came to a halt.

He came out of the bathroom and said, “Mom, my pee is brown.”

Five words and everything stopped.

By that night he was being treated for a urinary tract infection and I kept asking him, does it hurt when you pee? I had to collect two samples for the doctors to test and when those first drops of urine emerged, looking as dark as death, my heart sank. How could he have a UTI this bad and not be in agony every time he went potty?

The answer is because the infection isn’t in his bladder. My sweet Littlest, who joked as we left the hospital “oh me and my bleeding bladder!” actually has a kidney infection. And every time he goes to the bathroom now, we all huddle around the toilet. Hoping.

He has a kidney infection caused by a case of strep throat. He is also battling pneumonia. I have a pretty sick little guy. A pretty sick little guy who keeps making jokes and smiling and then lying down on the kitchen floor telling me his back hurts.

Thankfully we have antibiotics and a treatment plan and insurance.

I look at my beautiful son and think abut the millions of parents who would hear the rattle in their child’s lungs and see the blood in their urine and know that the end was coming. That the only thing they could do was hold their beautiful child until that beautiful child died.

Seeing his blood reminded me of so much, especially his fragility.

I am reminded that I can do so much more than some parents to safeguard my children, and yet there is also so little I can do. So I hold him. I pull him close to my heart and I hope for skinned knees and nose bleeds from nose picking, but not the spilling of his blood in other ways. When I am reminded of my children’s blood, flowing from their hearts to their toes and back again, please let me be reminded of the living of life more than the brevity of life.

These past few days, filled with doctor’s appointments and urine samples and blood tests have been horrid.

But those drops of blood reminded me to worry more about the people in my life than all the stuff and to-do lists of my life. And last night, as I lay with my ear pressed close to his back, listening to the wheeze and rattle in his lungs, I was comforted by his beating heart.

8 thoughts on “Blood: A Life’s Story

  1. I am so, so sorry to hear this. My heart aches when my own son is sick, but also at the thought of any child being sick. Anywhere. I am so grateful for my health insurance, which has its own limits . . . but which means I’ll unlikely know the sadness of loss to something eminently curable.

    I’m sending much love, and thanks for your well timed (for me) reminder:
    But those drops of blood reminded me to worry more about the people in my life than all the stuff and to-do lists of my life.

  2. They’re so fragile! It’s terrifying sometimes to think just how little it takes to damage or erase a little one. I’m watching your Facebook posts for updates and keeping you in my prayers. ❤

  3. It is so scary when one of our kiddos is sick. Thank goodness Littlest has something treatable. I hope he’s better very, very soon. *hugs*

  4. “A whole life’s story in a single drop”

    That tells so much, the line as well as the drop of blood, about life and about you.

    I’m sorry to hear of the little fellow’s illness and pray for his rapid recovery and for your mind to be eased.

    Even in the reporting of and thinking about a serious calamity of family you retain that hallmark Kristina eloquence.

    Thanks for sharing this, was wondering, but didn’t want to intrude by asking too much.

  5. I am a little late to read this. It is very scary when a child is sick. When our daughter was about 14 she experienced what seemed like appendicitis, but wasn’t. After the doctors dithered, they said, “We’re going in.” Because they waited to make up their minds, they decided right after she had lunch and they had to pump her stomach.Turned out an ovary had turned on its tube and committed suicide. They took out the appendix, too, while they were at it. I was a little irritated about the stomach pumping, but much happier than that about the life saving.

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