This past week, I, like many of you, jumped in on #BlackoutTuesday. The injustice of George Floyd’s murder plagued me. I took the week to listen, think, pray, read, and ponder. Now, I have some thoughts. As I mentioned in my last post, my white voice is probably one of the last voices that should be listened to. After a week of study and prayer, I’m even more convinced of that. But, I feel compelled to speak anyway. I’m more and more convinced that, as with all important issues, ineloquently opening the door to conversation is better than silence.
Like many of you, I’ve gone back and forth as to whether or not to post my thoughts on this issue. My voice isn’t the one you should listen to, and nothing really qualifies me to write on the subject. I don’t have the right words to say or answers. But, at the same time, I feel like I have to say something. The issue is too important. The phrase “we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition” (from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech) comes to mind.
As Struggle Bus has spread, I’ve received some variation of the following question repeatedly: “Can you tell me how to write and publish a book?” If you’re someone who would like an answer to that question, this post is for you! If not, well, ignore this. There are a lot of words here. A lot of words.
It’s weird to know that we’re living in one of those moments that will be permanently etched into the pages of the history books, isn’t it? Even more, it’s weird that this event has escalated to the point that it won’t be relegated strictly to the history books. No, COVID-19 will find its way into virtually every other textbook as well: science and biology and finance and management and IT and economics and supply chain management and political science and psychology and journalism and education and nursing. It’s our kids’ “Back in my day…” story. It’s our “Remember when…”
For those of you who don’t know us, 2019 was the worst year of our lives. On May 4, a series of severe, uncontrollable seizures forced us to induce our son, Isaiah, into a coma. For two months, every attempt to bring him back was met with a return of persistent, relentless seizure activity. We spent every second on edge as we watched our son fight for his life. In the search for answers, we worked with doctors from Pediatric ICU, Neurology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Infectious Disease, Immunology, Endocrinology, Pulmonology, Palliative Care, and Hematology. In addition to countless blood draws, IVs, tests, EKGs, x-rays, and constant EEG monitoring, Isaiah endured three spinal taps, two CT scans, four brain MRIs, two full-body MRIs, three days of hypothermia, two high-dose steroid treatments, three feeding tubes, a blood transfusion, four failed attempts at burst suppression, five rounds of plasmapheresis, 37 days on a ventilator, 41 days in ICU, and 89 days total in the hospital. We watched his vitals crash time and time again and came very, very close to losing him more times that I can count. It was by far the deepest, most prolonged, and most consuming suffering we’ve ever experienced.