I found this picture and shared it a few years ago! I call it, “Pure Joy”. In fact, I can’t think of one thing that has ever given Popaw( and Mawmaw) more joy than family, especially the grand and great grandchildren.

There’s a story behind this picture.

At first glance it just appears Popaw and Matthew had been playing on the floor. Actually, that was not the case! In fact, for several days, Matthew had been so sick he could barely hold up his head. I’ve never seen a child hurl (puke) as much as he did. We were fortunate to keep liquids in him for more than 10 minutes. He was pitifully sick.

The boys and I had gone to stay the weekend with Mawmaw and Popaw. Snow was in the forecast but it was March. Besides, if you’ve lived in our neck of the woods, the mountains can breakup or dissuade any would be snow storms. However, it just so happened that is was the Blizzard of ’93! Accurately dubbed the ’93 Superstorm . Here

During the wee hours of the morning, Saturday March 13, I was awakened by a cough, then a gagging noise followed by the sound of rushing liquid pouring from Matthew’s mouth. The bed covered in vomit and him sitting in the middle of it all, crying. Mawmaw heard the commotion and came to help. We got Matthew cleaned up and sheets off the bed and just as things settled, Matthew got sick again, Fortunately, we kept it off his clothes. Unfortunately, he just kept throwing up. I knew the best thing to do was keep him from getting dehydrated. This became quite the chore because with every sip of water or chunk of ice, within minutes the volcano erupted again, and again, and again. We managed.

The snow came with a fury. Heaven had multiple dump trucks filled with the white stuff. Matthew continued to hurl. Fortunately, more time elapsed between episodes and water and ice became our friends. Then it happened, within 36 hours of Matthew being sick, Ryan started. His sickness didn’t have the vengeance of Matthew’s. Now, we had two puny little boys and a pile of snow so deep, we couldn’t dig out if we tried. We were stuck. Inside and out.

As if we, Mawmaw, Popaw and myself, weren’t tired enough from taking care of the boys, the unthinkable happened. They got sick, at the same time. I think they took turns back and forth to the bathroom, where they spent the better part of a day. The good news is the virus only lasted for about 24 hours for them. Ryan was recovering well. Matthew still had lingering effects but mostly better. That’s when picture was taken, Popaw was feeling better and so thrilled to see Matthew feeling better that he got down on the floor with him. Played with him and then grabbed him and hugged him.

As it turned out, we ended up staying with Mawmaw and Popaw for about 10 days. Not only were we waiting for the snow to clear, I got sick too.

Honestly, when I look at this picture and remember our time with them, there’s no place I’d rather have been during that time. More than that, for Mawmaw and Popaw, they loved having us there. Mawmaw always felt very useful when she was administering care and Popaw just loved having us around. There was always an inexplicable joy that came from being with them. And there was always “pure joy” whenever there was a child in their arms.

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