Although the last couple of weeks have been trying, I cannot think of a more special time in our home.
I found myself wrapped up in the warmth and love of these kids and have drawn closer to them than ever before. I looked at Braden yesterday and realized that I haven't had to truly discipline him for weeks now. He's growing and things are changing. It's so nice to be able to teach them in ways that they understand and to see the fruit of it.
I painted Nora's room yesterday. She picked a brilliant, clean purple. As I painted and the kids played quietly throughout the house I thought about Stevie. I miss him. I thought about Val and how my heart breaks for her. The anguish I feel is so physical sometimes that it catches me off guard. To know that someone is hurting and there is just no true way to help them-it is an awful feeling.
As I thought about Stevie, I sang. I watched the strokes of my brush as I painted coat after coat onto the walls of my little girl's room. I am thankful for her health. I am thankful she's thriving. Having two 'healthy' kids doesn't make Mabel's sickness any less difficult but I do find that I'm even more grateful and I can say that with complete certainty. I lived in a time when I took it for granted. I just assumed that children were supposed to grow and be well. I think that's how most of us live because no one goes into parenting assuming that they will have sick children. But now I know better and I've purposed to be thankful for every thing that they do that indicates that they are, for today, strong and healthy.
I am so grateful for the time that I got to spend loving Stevie and Stef. The time that I spent with Stevie in the past months were times where I was worried about Mabel and sad for Val but they were times that I looked at him longer, kissed him more often, laughed at his voice and made sure my kids knew things about him that they will remember. I was very conscience and present when I was with him and I am grateful.
It took Mabel and this journey to make me fully present for the people around me. I thought that I was before but little did I know, I was skimming past some of the most intricate details of this life. Some of the most beautiful, balanced, remarkable moments that I am aware of now, I would have simply missed before.
Don't make the same mistakes. Now you know better too.
Look around you and love people who deserve to be loved. Taste your coffee and make it a little richer. Comb your daughter's hair a little longer and breathe in her scent. Kiss your husband deeper and flirt a little more often. Fall in love again and do not be afraid. Hold your baby tighter and appreciate the healthy cries that last for hours. When your children talk back to you, smile and nod. Know that the ability to do so is birthed from health in their bones. Play trucks with your little boy and watch his hands as they dance from toy to toy. Teach yourself to be aware. Be present. Don't miss these things.
Mabel, Stevie and all of these children that are now part of my every day thinking have shaped me to be better. I am a much more adequate person. Life is so much more full all around me.
Here is a beautiful article written about Stevie and the people whose lives he touched. It was printed on the front page of a local paper this morning.