One of our favorite musicians is Bob Marley – I mean, geeze, we even had Bob Marley songs playing as our guests were arriving at our wedding! As a kid (and even still), my favorite song was “Three Little Birds.” It goes like this:
“Rise up this morning, smiled at the rising sun.
Three little birds by my doorstep, singing sweet songs of melodies pure and true,
Singing, this is my message to you:
Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing is gonna be alright.”
When Jax was born, we were not expecting it (obviously!). We weren’t prepared to handle the statistics or the medical diagnoses. We weren’t prepared to have a child in the hospital for months. We weren’t prepared to live with terror and the absolute uncertainty of whether or not our son would live. We were worried. And we sure as hell did not believe that “every little thing was gonna be alright!”
We were not prepared to have a sick child. We did not choose this life.
I have a good friend who lost a child to cancer when he was 16 months old. She was not prepared to have her son spend the majority of his life in the hospital. She was not prepared to teach him to walk in the hospital halls among the machines and medicine. She was not prepared, but unknowingly, she helped me through some of the toughest times with Jax. I remembered what she said about staying connected to her husband. I remembered what she said about taking it one day at a time. I remembered what she said about allowing myself a “treat” (for her, it was a new pencil; for me, it was a walk outside) to help ease the pain and clear the mind. I remembered that she went through hell…
and came back out on the other side.
This weekend we found out that a newborn baby in our community was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. If you’ve been following Jax’s story, you know how close to home this news hit. Piper is gorgeous! But she has a long road ahead of her. They were not prepared for this diagnosis.
As parents, we are not prepared to have children who are sick or require different care. But we can choose how we react; we can choose to come out on the other side.
Will we let the anxiety and pain and terror consume us in a sea of “what ifs?” Or will we keep our eyes on the positive: a successful feeding, weaning oxygen, weight gain, a smile from our babies? Will we allow ourselves a treat now and then? Will we let other families who have been there teach us when we need help? Will we push on to the other side?
Even if every little thing is not alright, there are still a lot of other things that will be.
We did it. We dug deep. We leaned on each other (and you). We trusted our Guardian Angels. We kept our hope. We “smiled at the rising sun”…
And you can, too.