I’ve been keeping things pretty light-hearted around here lately. Sure, once in a while I make you suffer through a bout of poetry that probably only makes sense to me, or I touch upon our struggles of raising a special needs child, or I vent about random crap that needs to be vented about so that I can clear my head and proceed with Life. But for the most part, I hope you expect a good laugh when you drop by. So I feel it only fair to preempt my post tonight with a fair warning that what you are about to read is not for the faint of heart. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay; it just means I want you to be aware of the magnitude of it.
Suz Broughton, who is a columnist for OC Family Magazine and the lead blogger for OCFamily.com wrote a post today about a little girl who lives here in Orange County named Maddie James; a tow-headed beauty, aged five, who loves the sea and looks pretty darn fabulous in her tiny spectacles, and who, as of January 16th, 2011, has been given only months to live.
Like most of you, I simply cannot wrap my mind and my heart and my soul around this kind of information. I hate suffering of any kind, but when it touches a child, something inside of me ignites and a raging fire burns until I am incapable of thinking or feeling anymore at all.
I know the struggles of parenting. I have gone to bed sobbing from exhaustion and fear, cradled in the cold, hard, unforgiving grasp of reality, wondering if my prayers are being heard, and on the darkest nights of all, wondering who the hell I’m praying to anyway. But none of that matters when I read a story like this, nothing makes sense when I read a story like this; I am humbled and terrified and inspired by it and as I stare into the face of this tiny, precious, beautiful little angel, I am stripped bare of all of my previous complaints and worries and priorities and I am just a floundering human being, raw and vulnerable and wanting, more than anything to understand.
But that is not my place, and instead, I choose to focus on what I, You, WE, can do.
So before you do anything else tonight, please read this little girl’s story, and the amazing plight of her mom and dad.
I know that by the time you read this your children will probably be snuggled up in their beds, your mental reel playing back a day filled with spilled milk, pick ups, drop offs, missing shoes, burned dinner, too much homework, messy bedrooms and backseat brawls.
And I hope, more than anything else in the whole wide world, you’re also thinking how damn lucky you are do have to do it all over again tomorrow.