And when something really bad and unexpected happens, it feels like your world is ending.
We have been through a lot with our daughter. Through warnings that we might lose her, blood oxygen scares and open heart surgery. The phone call that changed everything. Bad news upon bad news that at times seemed like the worst thing in the world. But none of it really was. It was hard, it was painful, but it was never as bad as it could have been.
I could have had to give birth to a dead baby.
I could have lost her that day we tried to take her casts off at home.
It could have been the last time I saw my baby alive when I covered her with my tears as I kissed her goodbye for her surgery.
Her legs could have been beyond repair- she could have been in a wheel chair the rest of her life.
She could have been deaf or blind or both.
The could ofs are endless.
And for people these could ofs are reality.
Today, a family had to say good bye to their brain dead 6 month old triplet boy.
Today, hundreds of women miscarried.
Today, someone lost their child in a car accident.
Today, a child lost their battle with leukemia.
Today a child was stripped from an orphanage, the only home they ever knew, had their head shaven, was chained to a bed and was left in their room to figure out this was the hell that would now be there life, all because they have Down syndrome.
Everyday, someone somewhere goes through very bad, very unexpected loss.
God has graced me with the gift of empathy. Its my cross to bare. I find my self sharing horribly sad stories all the time because they consume my thoughts, my prayers. Its like word vomit- I can't stop from talking about it. No one likes to hear about sad stories- most people run from it. Ignorance is bliss. I often think about a scene from The Beach where a character gets gangrene, and they drag him out to the woods to die
"You see, in a shark attack, or any other major tragedy, I guess the important thing is to get eaten and die, in which case there's a funeral and somebody makes a speech and everybody says what a good guy you were Or get better, in which case everyone can forget about it. Get better or die."
Nobody wants to have to deal or think about bad/sad things. Sweep it under the rug, keep it behind closed doors, drag it out to the deepest part of the woods where they can scream in pain and we can't hear them so we can go on and enjoy our lives. But I am Richard. I am the one who goes out to the woods and cleans the wounds and does what I can to keep them in as little pain as possible.
Why did God put me through having to watch my daughter suffer? Why did he make her different? I am pretty sure part of the plan was he knew my power of empathy would be put to better use. That it would grow stronger, that my eyes would be opened wider past my home, my family and myself. It felt like my world was ending, but it wasn't. It never is, because even in the worst of situations, there is always at least a gleam of hope. Always. Some times it just takes longer for the clouds to clear.
Pray for Owen. Pray for his once triplet-now twin brothers, his older brother and the parents he left behind. The mom who has to get ride of her triplet stroller and start searching for a double. The brothers who will live the rest of their lives with a piece missing. The painful changes in their lives has only begun.
I know this post wont be read by as many people as my look-how-wonderful-life-is-we-are-at-the-beach-again posts are. Because its sad. It sucks to know how bad life can be, how ugly and cruel.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?