Beautiful day today - couldn't help but think about the many things to celebrate concerning my little family as Nat and I sat on the dock, enjoying the breeze, waiting for a seat at one of our favorite places in FL. The buzzer went off and up we went to our table overlooking the water- absolutely perfect!!! Nat just looked at me and said, "I'm so happy!" I could see it all over her face. Made me feel great. A content and joyful momma on Mather's Day is truly a blessing.
As we sat, sipping on our drinks, we saw a couple come in pushing a big jogging stroller. It was much larger than most so I looked closer. There, lying in am awkward position, was a boy who looked to be around 8 yrs old. My heart sank. As the couple sat down, the mom struggled to place the boy next to her; halfway on her lap, supporting his every move, his limp limbs lying in his lap. His head fell side to side. There was little, if any emotion on his face. His eyes seemed to bounce randomly around the room. No sound was coming from his mouth. His shirt was wet from the inability to control the saliva falling from his mouth. As the couple's water arrived, the mom pulled out a long syringe-looking thing and filled it with some liquid. This was their son's drink. He couldn't taste it or enjoy playing with the ice cubes like most kids his age. His mom attached it to a small hose that went directly into the boys stomach. She slowly eased the liquid down the tube and into his belly while gently brushing his hair back off his forehead. You could see the affection in her every move.
It was powerful- I could only imagine what this mom had to do everyday; what she was called to in this life. Nat looked at me and said, "Now that is a whole other level of love . . ." So true. We talked about how much we love Selah and the challenges you already face as parents when your child is healthy. Yup babe, this is a whole other level of love. This mom and dad don't get the rewards of being parents from their boy in the way of conversations, laughs, hugs and kisses like we all do. Obviously I don't know the extent of the interaction with their child but I could see that it would be very limited. But they choose to love this boy each and every day with not so much as a blink and the feeling of his beating heart. I could only imagine the times they have cried, wishing his body and mind were whole.
But even as sad as it was to see them and feel such empathy for their situation, it was as equally inspiring. Their lives WERE love everyday. Every person that sees them feeding their son sees love. Each time a stranger watches this mom cradling her son in public sees love. Really their pain is seen by SO many as all that is good, right, hopeful and courageous.
To this mom- thank you for the gift you gave Natalie and myself today.