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!


Anna said...

I am thrilled to read that you were well enough to get out. You two have already had to miss out on alot...... So thankful our paths have crossed. {hugs} to you and yours!

Tish said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures and stories of these 3 special little children of God. I love the picture of JoAnn holding Miss Zoey. :)

I know my Zoey gave both Jeff & JoAnn as well as Rachel & Wes big hugs of LOVE for us.

Glad you're all feeling better!! We'll hook up again after Thanksgiving; may the Needhams have a beautiful holiday together.

scrappy quilter said...

Glad to hear you were able to get out, that you both are on the mend. Look at those little pigtails in her stinking cute. I too am glad our paths have crossed, even though only through blogging. Hugs...and hugs to your wonderful Zoey.

Peter Olson said...

Zoey is God's handiwork, perfect!
Looking forward to the pictures
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

3saints said...

I am so psyched you got to attend all those events...amazing people for sure. I can't begin to imagine all the emotions you felt, you must be exhausted.


Googsmom said...

{{{HUGS ZOEY}}}}}} and all of her sweet friends. I think you bloging about your friends has changed more lives than your aware of Heather, mine included. {{{{HUGS}}}} for the friends :)

Angi said...

Thank you for the update, so glad you and Zoey could get out to all of those wonderful events ( I read about them but I am just too far away!!) It was so sweet to hear of a doctor going on a ride of that sort "volunteer type "...really gives a different perspective than what a lot of people get from day to day experiences with them!!

Kristen's mom said...

We got a surprise in the mail yesterday! I took a pic and will post it soon. Thank You so much for your friendship,kindness and support.

Lacey said...

Wow, busy momma. I can't believe he's already made it to California. And how cool those riding outfits made expecially for Pablo! And how great for the doctor to come participate. How often does that happen? Not much. Love you guys.

Denise said...

First of the pigtails!!! And secondly, you continue to amaze me with your wonderful view on life. You are able to write things in such a way that I feel like I can truly understand how you are feeling. Glad you had a wonderful experience at each of these events.

Anonymous said...

Love the pigtails!


The VW's said...

Sounds like an emotional and an inspirational 24 hours!!!

Glad to hear that you guys are feeling better! HUGS!

ParkerMama said...

A beautiful update. So glad things are so exciting (in such a good way) for you guys!

Stephanie said...

The Pablove is awesome!
Good to see Jeff with a smile.
As Mom's we tend to get much of the credit for the day to day..
But there are some totally amazing Dads out there for sure.
Pablo has got to be crazy excited about everything his Papa has going on.