Saturday, November 21, 2009
"Most people can look back over the years and identify a time and place at which their lives changed significantly. Whether by accident or design, these are the moments when, because of a readiness within us and a collaboration with events occurring around us, we are forced to seriously reappraise ourselves and the conditions under which we live and to make certain choices that will affect the rest of our lives."~Frederick F. Flack
Miss Zoey and I have had a busy 24 hours.With some antibiotics finally on board we both felt well enough to spread our wings and attend 3 incredible events,for 3 incredible little friends.Friday night we headed to a wonderful dinner benefiting the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation.Saturday morning found us at the finish line for the Pablove Across America Ride and Saturday afternoon, we attended the memorial,celebrating the beautiful life of sweet Kai.Three separate and individual events,different in cause and purpose but all similarly woven with the light and love of three magnificent,young lives.These three children,with a combined age of 11,have taught me more about life and living,over the course of the last year,then I have learned in all of my 45.
The day I found out that Zoey would more than likely arrive sporting an extra chromosome,that is the day my life,our lives, changed forever.It was by God's design,no other,that we were given a gift of a child,whose struggles and fights would in turn open our eyes and our hearts to those around us,navigating the uncertain.We could have chosen to close our eyes,we could have chosen to not see before us,the gift of perspective.I can say unequivocally that Zoey's entrance into our lives, was a turning point for us all.We could turn our head and our hearts to what was being placed before us,or we could choose to embrace.We chose the later and with that choice our world became bigger and began to overflow with others on similar journey's.Those journey's never needed to look identical,they often didn't but the mere fact that we were SEEING the journey's of others meant we had made our choice.These three lives,Gwendolyn,Pablo and Kai,represent only a portion,of the many lives that have effected the course of ours,on a personal level as well as,a family.I have heard on a number of occasions that perhaps I have become bitter or angry or ready to fight and you know,I'll wear those labels.Proudly in fact.I wonder what other human emotions should be elicited when one has seen the suffering of children and their families?Doesn't that mean I am feeling and living and seeing the world outside and beyond my little corner?Doesn't that mean I have answered the call to make a choice about a gift that came packaged slightly different but when opened,brought with it a multitude of other blessings?Along with my bitterness and anger and fight,dwell,joy and hope and faith.And the former three actually fills so much more of who I am and what I am about.
I smiled a lot over course of the last few days.Coupled with those smiles, were a ton of tears as well.I watched families that I love,carry their load and do so with amazing strength,grace and dignity.I cannot take from any of them,the sadness and heartache that has stolen pieces of their hearts but I can join them with unconditional support and an unwavering promise to not leave their side.To join in their fight,whether it is on an emotional level or for a concrete cause.Along the way I hope to adequately express to them what an impact their children have had on my life and how completely changed I am because of them.
I only had my camera the Pablove finish line.The pictures are of Jeff and his cycling coach and friend Rick.And Jo Ann and Jeff with Zoey and also a picture of one of Zoey's oncologists,Dr.Marcio,who joined the ride in Long Beach to the finish.I was so emotional seeing him,as I felt it was yet another unselfish thing he was doing for our kids.I was so bummed out that I forgot it Friday night but Gwendolyn and Zoey are going to have a play date soon so I'll be sure to get some then!