Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?

I see an IV staring at me…

Wait. That’s not right.  Nor is is a stretch from the truth.  Wednesday, October 19 was supposed to be “Brown” day in Kindergarten for Kelsey, full of activities from the beloved story Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle.

Instead, Kelsey was admitted to a Children’s Hospital.  She was devastated.  Whether it was the book itself or the reality that life was not going according to Kindergarten plan, Kelsey was beside herself about missing the day.   A Child Life member was kind enough to make sure Kelsey had a Brown Bear to hug during her stay, but even his warmth could not completely wash the tears or the worry away from her eyes.  Worry and fear are not the faces a five year old should wear.

Earlier that day, Kelsey was in school, hiding her pain and inner torment.  Her will is too strong to admit Kindergarten defeat.  She said not a word and quietly made it through the day.

When I saw her walk out the door wearing a wool sweater on a day that was 86 degrees warm, I could not help but crumble inside.  It was the inability to walk, feverish warmth, and the prevalence of deep purple and red lesions all over her legs that led us into the Emergency Room for a second time in two days.  Unsettled and uneasy is how we felt with the urgency and abundance of testing that was completed in just a few hours time.

Overnight, Kelsey underwent countless scans and even a biopsy to discover the reasons behind her body’s attack.  By 3AM, we were void of emotion and fuel in our tanks.  We collapsed for a few hours as best as we could manage through the vital checks and check ins.

Kelsey awoke the next morning more energetic than she was the evening before, but she was quite cranky and very irritable.  Can you blame her?  Between the new piece of her body taken out for study and the evening spent without dinner or proper sleep, she had the right to feel any way that she wanted.  While I fully supported the crankiness, I just wanted to take the pain away.

My poor, fragile little girl is also incidentally my beacon of strength.

I have been forcing myself to eat and stay strong through it all.  If I am being honest, a new type of distress has recently set in as a result of the unknown and the many unanswered questions this episode raised.

Seeing Brown Bear staring at the IV and watching a five year old girl utterly crippled with pain made my family’s quest for answers even stronger.

We pray for strength, we pray for a cure, and we pray for answers,  yet again.

We can not do it alone.  Please join us in these prayers.

Please join us on November 25 for a night of hope to help us get one step closer to a cure.  Please click on the link to purchase tickets if you have not already done so.  We will be raffling a signed jersey from a Chicago Cub playing in the World Series right now, Rodan & Fields products, restaurant gift cards, Tide Water Aquatic Swim School Lessons, Photography sessions, Mary Kay products, a Pandora bracelet and gift card, and many more.  


6 thoughts on “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”

  1. Jen, what a beautiful story you shared with the world. I will continue to pray for a cure for this heart-wrenching disease. I will continue to pray for you to stay strong and to continue to battle this fight you have been battling, and more importantly find the answers you need.
    Terry Xoxo

  2. “I see a beautiful little girl looking at me”. But only from afar.
    Love looking at the pictures and video….but it’s not the same as being there. Wish we could have made Kelsey’s Kaleidoscope Gala on Friday night…… but the Wisconsin Connell’s thoughts and prayers were sent air mail…… and continue today.
    Love you all
    Aunt Marie and “Uncle JJ”

    1. Our work is just beginning for that beautiful little girl. Wish you were there, too!

      We love you and appreciate the thoughts and prayers, whether in person or via air mail…

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