Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Slow Burn

Today was not the day I expected it to be. Mia spent last night at her best friend's house for a birthday party. It was a major milestone for her; her first slumber party. She made it through the night without having to come home, and I called this morning to see if I needed to pick her up after dropping Molly off at work, but she wasn't ready to come home yet, having too much fun. Sometime around noon, she was brought home by the friend's dad, but with a bit of bad news: she had slipped and fallen down their stairs, smashing her elbow. She had tried to be tough at first, but he could see that she was in pain, so he brought her home.

At first Jesse and I tried to make her comfortable. Her elbow was swollen or bruised, but she couldn't get comfortable and was just miserable, so we brought her to the urgent care center. The nurse practitioner sent her right to X-ray, and I was so proud of my little girl. The technician had her hold her arm in positions that obviously caused her pain (I don't blame him, he needed to get a clean picture), but she didn't cry, tried to keep smiling and didn't move her arm an inch. When the x-rays were done, she just broke down and cried, and I nearly went with her. We have to wait until Monday night for a radiologist to read them before we will know if she actually broke a bone, but she was in so much pain, the NP put her in a half cast and sling.

That stabilized her arm enough so that she did go trick-or-treating, although not with the elaborate costume we had intended. Instead, she just wore her cowboy hat and jeans to be a cowgirl. The sling however had a major impact on her candy intake! She came home with two buckets full of candy, plus $5 (from her sympathetic Bumpa), a stuffed bear, and even a full sized candy bar! This is definitely a Halloween Mia (and the rest of us) will never forget!

A Slow Burn by Mary DeMuth is the second book in the Defiance, Texas trilogy. Emory Chance is "perfect in every way, but flawed to her marrow." Devastated after the disappearance and murder of her daughter Daisy, Emory can't forgive herself for not being the mother her daughter needed and deserved. Hixon Jones has determined to show Emory the love of God no matter how hard she pushes him away, eventually falling in love with her. Emory's spirit was broken again and again from childhood throughout her entire life: molested, abused by her malevolent mother, she's like a sack of broken glass: the shards are poking through, slicing anyone who comes near. DeMuth's writing is a revelation. Hixon's relationship with God is a beautiful message to every reader; his struggle at the police station to do the right thing resonates. How do we treat others? Do we speak the truth in love or does love cover a multitude of sins? She never gives a sermon in her books, and yet the reader can't help but close the back cover with a deeper and richer understanding of God and his love. DeMuth carefully renders a haunting portrait of a woman so haunted by her past sins that she can't see any way out from under them and makes Emory's incomprehensible actions understandable. This is a deeply moving and multi-layered story from a masterful author.

I almost forgot about my big announcement! You'll have to wait one more day! Mia has promised to do a Mia & Mommy's Book Blog with me tomorrow, and I'll spill all of the details then.