Recently I was able to invest some one on one time with my oldest son. We found ourselves in one of our favorite places: at the movie theater, in comfy reclining chairs with some popcorn excited to see the most recent movie that had Minions, Despicable Me 3. We are definitely Disney fanatics but not snobs, so you can sign us up for anything that will give us a good laugh!
Then right in the middle of this movie, amongst the silliness & nonsense was a powerful lesson I just have to share.
In the movie the youngest, Agnes loves unicorns. She is told there is a special forest where she can see an actual real life unicorn. Beside herself with excitement, she convinces one of her older sisters to take her. Since no one wants to be the one to break the bad news to her that unicorns don’t exist, her parents agree she can go. The girls hide in some bushes & wait. Then sure enough a little baby unicorn jumps onto a rock & Agnus squeals with delight! Her sister doesn’t have the chance to tell her that it’s really only a baby goat with one horn, because Agnus is already running home with the “unicorn” to show Gru. After a day filled with disappointments of his own, he gently tells her: “Life is just like that sometimes. We’re hoping for a unicorn & we get a goat.” At this point you expect her to burst into tears or get upset instead she pauses for a split second & responds gleefully: “But he’s the cutest goat in the whole world!”
Queue the waterworks for this Momma.
My take away? I don’t need my life to turn out a certain way to be happy.
This has been my lesson of the year, how to really be grateful.
I choose to live a grateful life & that is a special magic of its own.
Troubles, difficulty, loss, & disappointment will come. They show up when you least expect them, sometimes feeling like a punch to the gut while our arms are still lifted for joy in celebration. A perfect example of this is something my family & I are experiencing right now. We found out a few short months ago that we were going to add another niece to our family. My brother & sister in-love had a gender reveal party, which I was able to watch live from across the state. Sometimes I really love technology. The joy erupted as soon as that balloon popped & pink confetti burst into the air. Replaying that celebration of Charlotte’s life is a gift that none of us realized at the time would be as valuable as it turned out to be.
The very next day, still on the high of celebrating we received that swift punch in the gut I was talking about, when we found out Charlotte has something called Ectopia Cordis. Because of this her heart & intestines have grown outside of her body, causing multiple health issues. The doctors say that if Charlotte is born alive, she won’t live more than a few hours.
What does one write to follow that statement?
Her beautiful celebrated life may only last a few hours.
Shortly after finding out about Charlotte’s condition I wrote to a friend letting her know that I was taking care of some heavy family stuff. This friend of mine is a beautiful soul, who loves people better than a lot of Christians I know. She believes in a higher power, & that God [wherever & whoever that is] is proud of her for loving others. So I shared a few of the details regarding Charlotte & with a heavy heart ended my note with: “She will not make it, outside of a miracle”
Her reply keeps popping into my head ever since. “That’s so sad. 😦 But miracles do happen, so we’ll keep praying, right?”
Honestly, her response kind of lovingly kicked me in the hiney. My agnostic friend reminded me to keep hoping, to keep praying, to keep believing…I am forever grateful for her response to me.
I quickly perked up & responded within myself: Ummm…yeah! Miracles DO happen! & YES we WILL keep praying!
We are all aware a miracle might not happen. BUT we also know that miracles happen every day! We don’t understand why it happens for some & not for others [although some would painfully speculate they know the formula].
What I DO know is that no matter what happens, walking through this journey has changed our family. Individually & as a whole we are changed. We have purposed to celebrate Charlotte’s life for every single second she is here with us, in the womb & outside of it.
A few weeks ago as the due date neared I found myself with a lot of “what if questions?” My brother replied to me, in my opinion, perfectly. He said that after they thought & prayed about it, they felt strongly that in scripture it tells us not to pray for one thing & prepare for another.
They will pray & believe for a miracle & so will we. They will not prepare for the alternative. The amount of strength & faith the two of them are exhibiting is inspiring. I’m sure they feel weak, I know they feel tired, but they have impacted the lives of many by choosing hope & staying true to their beliefs.
They were expecting a unicorn, that turned out to be the cutest one horned goat, & they are celebrating the beauty of her in every way they can.
Life is quirky & fickle & messy, but my God it is beautiful.
With tear stained cheeks & what feels like more questions than answers at times, my heart is still full of thankfulness for every beat of Charlotte’s heart & the journey we are all traveling by loving & celebrating her.
Together, we keep moving forward & you can too. Dig deep, find hope, hold tight, & don’t let it go. The beauty will show itself eventually.