i read Harold Kushner’s words in the title of this piece quoted by Hal Urban in Life’s Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter, just a few weeks after M was born.
it was amidst the turmoil of finding out about her having cf.
and it’s never left my mind.
and the author went on explaining that it really depends on our constant thoughts and choices — how happy our lives will be.
i can choose to let the bad thoughts manifest and keep myself in sadness, or i can choose to be happy, positive and see the joy that surrounds us everyday.
most of the time, i choose joy…
but worry and fear are sneaky emotions…
i might seem fine:
smiling at work (well, it is my job after all and it’s a pretty awesome one 🙂
enjoying a rare date night out with my husband…
happily celebrating someone’s birthday…
energetically picking my child up from school…
or hysterically laughing at the grocery store with my husband over a cheesy marketing ad, then hiding in a random aisle pretending we really need an embarrassing product but it’s just to escape having a “stop n chat” with so and so
what i don’t show is the fear of tragedy. how it can happen anytime, anywhere.
6 years ago, february 23, 2012 was a horrific day for our little family.
when Jr. was 6 months old, he and Sr. were in a serious car accident. Sr had a broken neck, in three different places. he was in the ICU and required emergency neck surgery almost immediately…
i remember receiving a phone call from a stranger informing me of the accident,
and not knowing how to operate my phone to find out the hospital where they were transported.
i remember not being able to drive to the ER.
i remember the deep pit in my stomach — the gut wrenching pain — wondering how my sweet, innocent 6 month old child and husband were going to be.
the fact that Sr wasn’t paralyzed was a miracle and i know Jr was held by angels, as he had not even a scratch.
a few days later i had to clean out the car, and it was a grim site, with a bloody baby blanket crumbled in the front seat and broken eye glasses squeezed in between the crushed windshield.
it was a terrible time following.
Sr was in constant pain and had to be in a neck brace for 6 months — all that time he couldn’t work, take care of the home, and sadly he wasn’t able to hold Jr.
and then there I was, flinching at the slightest sound of any siren or the notification of an unknown call on my phone, when i instantly would be brought back to that horrible night.
we relied on our parents not only for child care, but also with adult care — a humbling time, indeed, for new parents to an infant.
but we made it through.
…because we have an amazing village and we could not have done it alone. without the help we received, we seriously would have been homeless.
so as time went on, we found our groove again, as a little family of 3.
so much so that soon we were going to be 4!
M’s entrance into the world was a long and difficult one, as to be expected from any princess 😉 minus some fevers and antibiotics right away, nothing was out of the ordinary and there was no indication for cystic fibrosis, such as meconium ileus.
once something really tragic or bad happens in life, i guess i naively thought we would be immune from anything happening…we fell down, hard, but we got back up and we rebuilt. i mean, we had one huge blow, no way could we have another…and so soon!
i now see how selfish and self centered (and quite stupid) that was.
we definitely were not prepared for her CF diagnosis as a new tiny baby girl.
and so it crept back.
that deep pit in my stomach — the gut wrenching pain — wondering how my sweet, innocent 3 month old child is going to be.
now with flinching at sirens, i also fear fevers, and colds and coughs and germs and bacteria.
because if something bad happened before, and then again…who’s to say something else wont go terribly wrong?
bad things happen to good people.
and we can choose to let that define us or let that form us to forage onward, enjoying each precious possible moment. being mindful of the laughs, the sunshine on our skin, the tiny snowflakes falling, the smell of the lilacs during their quick bloom, the way a gentle father helps his son after he falls, or the kindness of a stranger and the amazing people that reach out to show they care for you.
im not saying i do this on a regular basis. but i am saying i am trying. i am doing my best.