In this world of medical innovation, children are not supposed to die. Infant mortality is way down in this country, true, but that is no comfort to the parents with infants born with special needs. In the last few months, we've prayed for two families - high school and college friends, respectively - with newborns who may never get out of NICU. As a mother, I can't think of anything more scary than the daily hope and daily fear of my child losing her battle before her life really had a chance to begin.
This morning, we learned one of the babies wasn't been able to continue the fight. Just a few precious days with her parents and now she's gone. A heart problem that was more than the doctors could repair.
Another dear friend lost a son a few years ago. She says there is absolutely nothing - nothing - that can prepare you for the grief that cascades over and through you. Drowning you in what should have been. Yet, she says, you go on breathing, living for the family you do have. In her case, a very bewildered three-year-old and husband.
It's moments like these when I want to hold my own children and never, ever let them go. Ever. My frustration about a misunderstanding or a naughty moment are feelings these other parents would give so much to share with their child. So today, I want to remember my blessings. They are many. I want to find a quiet place and pray for my fellow mothers who have been forced to live on without a child. And I want everyone of us to remember just how precious each breath is.
What do you have to be thankful for today?