Sunday, July 6, 2008
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."Gandhi
Today I met yet again, an amazing example of courage and resiliency. A face that radiated pure joy, even in the face of an uncertain future. A face of a young woman who should, by all accounts, be planning her college bound future but instead is fighting cancer. A malignant brain tumor to be exact. Her name is Breanna and I will not soon forget this tiny but mighty package. All 60 pounds of her. This 18 year old, feisty girl captivated my attention throughout church today. I stood in awe of her and her family's strength and their love that shone so brightly in even the most subtle ways. Our paths have crossed because, Breanna and Zoey are both "going " to Australia together. Well, not ACTUALLY going, but yes, their presence will be seen and felt in the " land down under" come next week. You see we were honored to be asked if it was alright if the youth and chaperones of our parish could carry a picture of Zoey as they traveled to experience World Youth Day. World Youth Day is the largest contingency of catholic youth who will converge together for one purpose, to learn more about their faith and experience the love of God. It is expected that over 125,000 international visitors will come together in Sydney, Australia. More than the 2004 Olympics. Pretty darn amazing. Pretty darn amazing that they thought of our Zoey and felt compelled to "carry" her with them as they made this spiritual journey. Breanna's picture will go as well and to be "traveling" along side her, well, we are beyond privileged. Church today was very emotional. Yes because of Zoey and the fact that so many people have embraced her as their own but also the sheer reality once again of the battles so many others endure and how I so wish that burden could be lifted some how. If our prayer and our faithfulness to God and His plan is what it takes, then so be it. But today I felt so compelled to speak of the many others like Zoey that have crossed my path and captured my heart. I wanted to say: don't forget, Sam and Parker and Rhett and Chelsea and Sheena and Roy and Reagan and Dawson and Jude and Matthew and Patrick and Kennedy and Presley and Ivey and Gavin and on and on and on. For every Zoey there is countless others. So I spoke their names in my heart and to my God and I asked that they too be prayed for and remembered for their strength and their courage in the face of their own sometimes uncertain journeys. All of these children and their indomitable spirit, inspire us and carry us and force us to step outside our individual boxes and be ever mindful of the the great big and sometimes unfair world out there. So today I again found myself in that weird introspective, over analytical, trying to make sense, of life's big picture,place. When do you think I will get it that I more than likely will never see that picture with the clarity I want? It will probably remain slightly fuzzy with only brief moments of transparency. Our day was full. Matt, Jessica's boyfriend, turned 22 and we celebrated that milestone along side him. The past few days packed with moments and memories. Zoey has now hit 8 nights in a row with sleeping straight through, 10-11 hours. Sheer bliss. Seizures, well we have lost count on the number of days that those have been under control and boy is it nice to not be counting seizures and watching for movements and twitches. More tummy time and for a child who NEVER was on her tummy or rather never ever stayed on her tummy till a week ago, well that is her position of choice the majority of the time. Which is so wonderful for her gaining core strength and head control. Her physical development remains at that of about a 4-5 month old. At 16 months of age, yes quite behind but when we start subtracting for Down syndrome issues(low muscle tone), heart issues, blood issues, stroke issues and most significantly, seizure issues, well, we think all in all she is amazing. She will get there in her own time. She remains happy and full of kisses and for now we could not ask for anything more.
*Birthday boy Matt and his girl,Birthday boy Mark and his girl, Zoey in her position of choice,the kids minus Taylor who AGAIN is working a 42 hour week,she is a hard worker and never,ever complains.