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Life is fragile.
Breathing is something we take for granted.
Breathing is something that our Courtney would stop doing when she had a seizure. To watch her struggle to just take a breath was heart wrenching and down right terrifying every single time. It's something I never got used. Never.
There is a seen in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" where Jesus is carrying the cross and he falls. His beloved Mother Mary runs to his side to comfort him. The scene shows a flash back of when she did the same when he fell as a small child. She says "I'm here. Mama's here".
It's what I would say to my daughter when she was struggling during a seizure or crying after her blood was drawn or during an MRI or EEG. "I'm here baby girl. Mama's here." I would whisper a million I love you's or quietly sing to her, anything I could do to keep her calm.
When we took Courtney to Lourdes on a healing pilgrimage, our whole world was flipped upside down and sideways. We were shocked at how it all turned out. To look back and see the hand of the Lord in it all is amazing to me. He had a plan for our daughter and boy howdy did he make it happen. When we arrived home we were not the same people. We had heard our daughter's voice and we were bound and determined to honor her wishes.
Accepting that she would be disabled for the remainder of her time with us was not as difficult as I thought it would be. To see my daughter as Our Lord saw her, perfect and whole, came easy to me. I had let go of my children in Lourdes and handed them over to God. They were not mine to hold tight to. They belonged to God and if He needed them home before I was ready to let go, then He would prepare me for that. Even though she was blind, could not speak and would never walk, God was making all thing new again for my daughter. He had opened our eyes and our hearts to truly see her.
Remember the movie scene I referenced earlier? When Our Lady falls down next to her son Jesus, she holds his face in her hands and tells him "I am here". The look of love and anguish on her face is one I have become very familiar with. I have seen it in the mirror a million times in 23 years. It's what followed that I had to wrap my head and heart around.
Jesus says "I am here to make all things new again."
We had traveled across the ocean, trusted our daughter and ourselves to Our Lady of Lourdes intercession. We had laid our children's lives down at the foot of the cross trusting that God would carry us through whatever was coming. We had witnessed a miracle or two and when we came home, sought Our Saviors counsel in prayer. He gave us what our hearts desired.
To hear our daughter's voice and know that she was ready and willing to take on the challenge that God had called her to. All we were asked to do was love her (and her brother) without condition and be her voice to the world.
We had finally arrived at the destination the Lord had been leading us to for seven years. He had never pushed but was always right by us, encouraging us to to love more and trust deeper than we though was even possible seven years prior. It had been a hard road with lots of dips and turns but Jerry and I had a peace now that we never thought we would have.
All because of Our Lady's constant leading.
Pray with me won't you;
Dearest Mother Mary,
You never walked away from your son, even when he was nailed to the cross. You were there always loving him right up to the end and beyond. You never gave up and gave into despair. You loved with all you had and then some. You ran to be by his side at the darkest of times. You cradled his face in your hands and remembered who his father was. God makes all things new. He allows us to chose His love or reject it. Help me Mother Mary to always choose rightly. Help me to choose love, always love, no matter the cost.
We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus,
Labels: 31 Days with Our Lady, catholic life, Courtney, faith formation, grief, jonathan, meditation on faith, seasons of motherhood, special needs children, women of faith