Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gaining perspective

A good friend of mine has a friend from school who just lost his 3-year old son Christopher due to an accident involving the family swimming pool. My friend is naturally really shaken by this, and while I never met the P family (not using their name out of respect), hearing about it has caused me to do a lot of thinking over the past week.

I spend a lot of time thinking about "life" these days - I'm surrounded by new life, especially since I have baby girl growing inside me, getting bigger each day and making her presence known with more frequent and stronger kicks and punches. I spend my days with one very lively little boy, who manages to suck all of the energy out of my body by the time I get into bed each night, though I never seem to recover it all by the next morning. There are some particularly challenging days where I'll say to David, "I think this kid is trying to kill me!" and though I'm joking, I feel like I need to express the reality - that in two short years, one small person has become my reason for living. Putting aside all the jokes and mom-plaints, I simply can't imagine what my life would be like without him.

So here I am, contemplating what no parent ever wants to consider - besides the shuddered thought upon first hearing of someone else's tragedy, and then the conviction that "that would never happen to us." I'm certain that the P family thought that it would never happen to them either, and yet they are now dealing with an unspeakable loss. What I am most amazed by is that they are a couple who are rooted in faith, and in a statement that they issued as part of Christopher's obituary, they said that they know he's in a better place. I give them so much credit for being able to turn their grief over to a higher power.

I thought about what we would do if, God forbid, anything happened to one of our children. As I've mentioned before, David and I were married for a while before Matthew was born, together for a total of 7 years before our duo became a threesome. I'm grateful for the time we spent together before adding a baby because I believe it gave us a strong foundation from which to raise our family. Many couples face challenges when a baby enters the mix, and while we were no exception, I'm glad to say that having Matthew has made us stronger as a couple as we've encountered and overcome those challenges along the way. I know there will be more- not only from Matthew but very soon as we add baby girl to the mix, and I'm hopeful that we will continue to face the obstacles together and come out stronger in the end. But I think about what an amazing impact Matthew has had in his two years. I think about how our marriage, though strong on its own, has become cemented together by his presence.

There is not a day that goes by, no matter how frustrating or tiresome being a parent can be, when Matthew fails to make us laugh. Sometimes it's at how unbelievably stubborn he can be (at which point, each of us silently proclaims him "your son" to the other); sometimes it's how sweet and endearing his personality is. Those of you who know me well know that we've had our share of pregnancy losses in the 3 years, something I don't wish on anyone. But the idea of having Matthew taken from us is just too much to think of. There's just no comparison. He's become his own person, with feelings and opinions (not that we always like them!) You can see each day as he takes in new knowledge and finds a way to apply it to the world around him. I feel like not having him would be taking away the very air we breathe. In two years, he has managed to give David a reason to get up and go to work every morning, while hating that he has to be gone all day. He has given me endless opportunities to learn things again for the first time, to see the wonder of the world - a world that we often consider mundane and boring - through a child's eyes. He has reminded us of how precious life is, how joyous, funny, crazy and maddening it can be all at the same time.

I'm immensely saddened by the loss of a little boy whom I never met. My heart and prayers go out to the P family as they have to wake up each day and realize that he is gone. I pray that Christopher's life, though cut short, was not in vain. I know that he has made an impact on David and I, as we have taken the time every day in the past week to stop and realize what an incredible blessing we have been given. We are so grateful to have been trusted with Matthew's life and to have the amazing chance to raise him. Sometimes we take the little things for granted... sometimes we need to be reminded to stop and thank God for a baby's laughter, for the way he smells after a bath, for how angelic he looks while he sleeps. I am so incredibly sorry for Christopher's loss, and I am and will continue to be thankful for my son (and eventually, my daughter) each and every day. I hope that you'll do the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment