Life is wonderful and difficult... and I am grateful!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dear Elizabeth Claire....

Elizabeth Claire,
I know you are sick of being sick. I know I can't feel the exact pain and sickness you feel, but as your mommy, trust me baby, I feel your suffering in ways only you will understand once you have a child of your own.
Every pain, every needle, every excruciating procedure, every minute of lost modesty or embarrassment, every time you feel scared or angry or lost- I feel it as an ache only a mother's heart knows.
And I also understand your frustration, discouragement and even your thoughts of envy. I have felt those same things on your behalf and in my own mind over the last years.
So my Lulu, this letter is for you to remind you of the things we have gained as a result of pain and suffering; your pain alone, and the pain I have had as your mommy as I have watched you take on your trails.....

If you were healthy, you may take the ways your body is strong for granted.
If you and I didn't spend so much alone time together, we wouldn't talk as much as we do.
If we weren't stuck in the hospital room as much as we are, we wouldn't have as many of our own silly jokes or secrets.
If we never had to wait (and wait and wait) for doctors or recovery, we wouldn't be practicing so much patience.
If you weren't sick, you wouldn't have helped put something back together without even knowing it was broken ( a story I will share with you when you are older).
If you weren't sick, I wouldn't be as strong as I am or as good of a mommy as I am to you and your brother and sister. You have given me that gift.
If you didn't have to fight through pain the way you do, you would not be nearly as compassionate towards others as you are.
If you weren't suffering, many of us may not be reminded of humility, endurance, grace and patience as often as we are because of what we see in you.
If you weren't sometimes too tired or sick to do things, you may take for granted the days you are strong and doing fun things.
If you weren't sick, there would be so many less prayers and less people talking to God.
If you weren't a little hero, we wouldn't have been as touched by the lives of your hero friends, and goodness, can you imagine life without having those friends?
If you didn't have to practice mind-over-matter or have to be brave so often you may not be as strong as you are now.
If I didn't watch you endure so much for so long, I wouldn't appreciate much of what I do, in the ways I do- soaking in the happiness you, Kate and Jack bring. Breathing in the yummy way you smell after a shower, just as I did when you were a newborn. Closing my eyes to take in all of your giggles and the sound of your voices singing. Committing the happiest days to memory knowing they will get us through the next trial and bring us smiles again.
If you didn't have to suffer my sweet girl, we may not recognize that life is hard, but it is also so wonderful in even small ways.

These are a lot of "ifs", I know. There are many other ifs or whys that we could list that have nothing to do with your suffering. Everyone has a list and is fine to question things and even be sad about some of them.
I want you to remember that even though life can feel so unfair and even as if God has forgotten to protect you or answer you at times, many of our "if's" have awesome answers and there is always something to be grateful for.
I love you Elizabeth Claire. If only you could grasp how much and how proud I am to be your mom.

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