learning to stop and take it in...

You know what I mean. There are moments that touch you, bring a tear to your eye and make you stop, sit still and take it all in. Every once in awhile they will happen when I have my camera close by so I can actually capture the smile, the touch, the look.

Today I had one of those moments...

Our friends the Silva's had come by to help us decorate the house for the holidays. It's been a tradition in my family to decorate the house the first weekend in December since I was a very small child. I remember the excitement of the evening when my Dad would pull out the artificial tree and let us put it together branch by branch. Then he and Mom would string the lights and tinsel. Then the kids got to work, placing their "special" ornaments in choice spots all around the tree.

There was magic in the air sitting there looking up at all the shining lights and glittery tinsel. I still have some of those ornaments and they grace our tree this very evening. I love this day every year and it is was made even more special by our visitors.

When Miss Christine enters our home she always makes a beeline for her girl Miss Courtney. They have a special relationship. Christine is Court's confirmation sponsor and as always been one of her biggest cheerleaders since we met nearly 12 years ago now.

You can see how Courtney responds to Christine.

Nothing but joy.

She can't see her. Courtney just hears the love in Christine's voice and smiles.

This morning Court had just had a bath so her hair was really curly. Christine's is also naturally curly. So Curly One met Curly Two and they had a fine time.

Courtney laughs.

Christine laughs.

They converse in a language all their own.

This time I actually caught some of it on film. Something I am so thankful for. I can look at these images on those hard days when Courtney is quiet and still, when there are no smiles to be had for days and sometimes weeks.

I am blessed by Christine's friendship and honored to have her daily prayer support. Courtney is blessed not only by her love and care by also by Christine's two daughters, Victoria and Hannah. They come once a week and they read to Courtney, help me with her care and generally spoil the baloney out of her.

They are "sister's of her heart" as their mother is mine.

Hannah got to be Court's sofa buddy today since she has an ankle injury and needed to rest her foot on and off. So she and Courtney settled in, and Hannah read a few books, then began helping me untangle lights for the tree.

As she was doing this the most amazing thing happened.

By a miracle of God I had my camera on the side table, quickly grabbed it and snapped away.

Courtney lifted her arm ON PURPOSE and actually REACHED for...then looked at Hannah with a HUGE grin on her face as Hannah was talking to her.

You see, Courtney doesn't usually reach for anything. She's cortically blind, so why reach for things you can't see. She also has arthritis in one shoulder and that makes it difficult for her to move, let alone with purpose.

Then she leaned in for the "head hug" as we call it. She touches her head to yours with a little pressure. It's how she says she loves you...at least that what my Mama's heart tells me.

Christine was sitting next to me across the room as I was snapping away, tears in her eyes, because she knew this was a moment as well.

My daughter communicated her love and joy.

Miracles do happen my friends. If you didn't believe in them before, look at these photos again.

Courtney wants to prove you wrong.

There are tears streaming down my face as I type this because I know how precious time is with this young lady. When the good days come, I feel the need to celebrate the glory. Memories of these moment are what sustain me at 2:30 in the morning after a day filled with seizure after seizure or another doctor's appointment where they use terms like "palliative care" and "DNR".

My daughter is here right now, being loved by all she comes in contact with. She is a gift to me and I know to others.

Yes, there are many hard days.

Yes, it is exhausting taking care of a profoundly disabled, medically fragile young woman.

Yes, I can get mired down in all the "what if..." and "if only..." if I allow myself to.


Today was not a hard day.

Today was not exhausting.

Today there were only "I can't believe..." and "Are you seeing what I'm seeing..."

Today I stopped and took in the miracle of a non-verbal profoundly disabled, cortically blind young woman tell her two buddies that she loves them and she was so happy to be with them.

Today was AWESOME!

Thanks you Hannah and Christine (and the wonderful Tori) for truly "seeing" my daughter. For loving her uniqueness and meeting her where she is at.

Thanks you for making our world a little brighter place to be. For your smiles and laughter even when you might be covered with spinach after Courtney sneezes.

Just thank you...

I can't wait for another today...Happy Advent!!

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