I found myself wrapped up in his arms like an adolescent girl at her very first dance. We swayed back and forth to the music in our dimly lit kitchen and we held on tightly. The words from the song playing rang true to our life; promises that we try to keep and youth we try to maintain.
I picked up our girl and sang to her a song about our unchanging God and how all things work together for our good. As I held her, I felt a peace beyond my thinking and I sang to her. I can both accept the truth of God and the truth of this disease. It is difficult but with acceptance comes absolute peace. It doesn't mean there's no pain, because moments later as I sang those same words I sobbed as her dark haired head rested on my shoulder.
We are all doing this dance of life differently.
Some of us step fluidly with the ability to look gentle and at ease. Some of us are more rigid, upright and focused on the precise measure of each beat. I feel a gentle balance as I wrap myself up in the ribbon of grace and the medallion of strength. The delicate draw between them is difficult to explain.
Two nights ago I got to spend time talking to a friend who has been selflessly bringing us dinner each week. I realized as we were speaking that God is probably doing something bigger for the both of us. Our friendship is rooted in children and differences but also in similarities between women, mothers and wives.
As she was leaving we spoke briefly about how lucky I am, being Mabel's mother and enduring this journey.
The truth is: I am.
I have the ability to saturate myself with total devotion to this little girl. It gets complicated because I want to live normally but my normal is with the knowledge that life is fleeting and she won't be with us forever. That is a gift.
I have a constant reminder of the beauty of both life and death. The two go hand in hand and are a mere stepping stone in the eternity of our lives. I get to have an understanding that most parents forget and I don't take it lightly.
Yesterday when Braden woke up he was smiling. He told me that he had a dream that Stevie and Mabel were in Heaven with God and that it made him so happy.
It's a delicate dance, indeed.