I’m arranging branches for a photo in the afternoon light. I spread a bundle of eucalyptus and pine – a mix of soft green and deep green – against the white of our glass coffee table. My sweet one year old boy finds his way to the leaves, the branches, the shadows, the light.
I stop arranging and just watch him explore the textures and the movement of the greens. He learns. He tests. He explores.
It is one of my greatest joys- to see him engage with his world.
It brought me back to this time last year. When Nora was having constant seizures- she could hardly focus on anyone or anything. No longer sitting up, she was sick; her body wouldn’t allow her to get better.
I vividly remember speaking to the palliative care physician at Nora’s bedside explaining my hopes – my broken, unanswered, prayer – “My goal for Nora is to see her alert and able to engage with her world again– to see her actively enjoy the people and things around her. We want her to be happy.”
It’s what Nora was fighting for, what we were praying for and fighting for.
Today it is her miracle.
Today she is well– healthier and happier then we have seen her in a very long time.
She still has daily, or twice daily, intense seizures, is sustained solely through the help of a g-tube, and has a daily treatment regimen to care for her lungs.
But when I fall into frustration and despair over Nora’s development or health, I come back to my words to Nora’s doctor and the miracle of Nora today: alert, active, engaged, growing and learning. I see Everett too, right now reaching for the eucalyptus branch, the miracle of him and his ability to touch, pull, bang, tip, push,taste and feel his way into his widening world.
I look at my children then I look to heaven– because seeing them engage in their bright and beautiful world is a rock solid and downright miraculous answer to prayer.
And when I stood at my daughter’s bedside a year ago, forced to answer the question “What is it you want for this child?” – active, engaged, growing — it also turned out to be all I ever wanted.
Photo credit: Jessica Rice Photography