In the last few weeks, my favorite on-line message boards have lost three dearly loved people. Gabby, a sweet 4-month-old with Down syndrome passed away after complications from heart surgery. We at Baby Center's Ds board grieve with her mother and mourn her loss.
On the Sonlight forums (homeschool support group), we were shocked to find out that Char, a sweet and thoughtful member, died suddenly as a result of an apparent heart condition that she was unaware of. We are devestated for her husband and two daughters. Just this week, another member lost her 7yo niece in an accidental drowning.
These deaths were on my mind as I was trying to articulate what exactly it is that I'm grateful for. I am thankful for my health and the health of my family. I am thankful that I was chosen to parent each child in our bountiful brood. I am thankful for their individual, and often hilarious, personalities. I am thankful for my amazing and witty husband. I am thankful for our home, and all our other stuff. I am consistantly thankful for hot showers.
But, I realize, now more than ever, that all of the above are circumstantial and temporal. It could all change at any time. We are all just a heartbeat away from a drastically different life than what we know.
So I am grateful for something more.
I'm reminded of when I discussed Eon's increased odds of Ds with my midwife. I had just been to the perinatologist's office and met with a genetic counselor. I was relaying that my odds had increased to 5% or 1:20. She cut me off, waved her hand and said, "Oh. It's fine. He's going to be fine." I agreed with her words and parroted the "fine" comment but added, "but even if it's not 'fine', it's going to be ok." She refused to hear me and kept insisting, instead, that there was nothing "wrong" with the baby.
We were saying the same words, but meaning totally different things. She could not believe that our son had Down syndrome. I was trying to tell her that it was ok if he did.
I realize that the same sentiment is what I'm experiencing now...even if it's not fine, it's going to be ok.
Even if my world changes tomorrow and the unthinkable should happen, it's going to be ok. Nothing surprises God. His grace is sufficient for me. He has promised to meet all my needs and He is here, with me. That's what Immanuel means, you know...God with us.
There will be struggles, grief, and wrestling with God when future trials hit, and they will come. Of that, I'm certain. But I will not be alone, of that I'm certain, too.
I was sharing this with my sister and trying to wrap my brain around my full heart and she said something profound. She asked, "You know what that is, don't you?" I did not. "Peace on earth," she said.
And she is right.