Forgiveness …

I did something today that I don’t often do with strangers who offend me. I do it easily for the people I know and love. But I’ve never really done it for someone I don’t know. It really made me think and made me want to change my ways. I’ll get to it, but let me first share what happened to me around noon today.

Unfortunately, I had an encounter with … let’s call her … ROAD RAGE LADY. For the record, I use the term “lady” VERY loosely. Typically when I have these types of interactions I BRIEFLY wonder what gets people to THAT level of enragement. Then I move on with my happy life.

Anyway, about 20 minutes later I had a lovely interaction with a young woman who was my cashier at a local department store. She said that she liked the pattern of the SIXTEEN Christmas cookie plates I was purchasing. I figured that she probably thought it was a little nutty to be buying so many cookie plates, HA! So I explained.

A few years ago I started a tradition with Reese’s teachers, aides and therapists. Every Christmas I give them a new Christmas cookie plate and other treats. After explaining, this young woman immediately said that she loved our tradition. She then shared with me that her nephew was born very prematurely and has many therapists as well. She said that she and her sister were trying to brainstorm Christmas present ideas for her nephew’s therapists. She said that she was excited to share our tradition with her sister and thought that it might be something that she would want to start too. This sweet woman thanked me profusely and then we wished each other well. I left the store with a smile on my face … and then I remembered ROAD RAGE LADY.

And I actually felt badly for her.

Just 20 minutes after experiencing her anger (screaming, honking and fists slamming against her steering wheel) I was blessed by a woman who freely shared her life with me. We connected, albeit briefly, because of two very special children and a village of therapists and helpers who are appreciated beyond measure. I was reminded, in that moment, that my life is filled with an abundance of good souls. And I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

It took me a while to process the good and the bad that had just rapidly entered my life. I thought about the balance of all of it and it made me laugh. Life can be so weird sometimes. And then, I found myself moved to pray for ROAD RAGE LADY. I didn’t just go on with my happy life this time. I thought about her and her fury. And then I prayed that she be blessed with an abundance of good souls in her life too. After all … we are all human.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you forgive someone who you don’t even know!!!

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A story about faith, love and believing in miracles …

I post these words every year. I don't think I will ever be able to change them. To do so would be an injustice to her. To me. And to all our family and friends who stood by us then and who continue to share this life with us now. This story is about our beginning together. It is a story of faith and love … and believing in miracles.

We were told when I was about 11 weeks pregnant that she did not look quite so “typical” … I didn’t care. I loved our baby. And I prayed.

A few weeks later we were told that not only was our baby “not typical”, but that there was a chance I would be delivering her still born … I wanted our baby even more fiercely than I had before. And I prayed.

Several weeks later, we almost lost our baby … to which I screamed an adamant and angry “NO!” And I prayed.

A month later we were told that our baby had a “very large hole in her heart” … to which I said, “I don’t believe you.“ And I prayed.

Two months later we were told, “Your baby is small” … to which I laughed and said, “Of all the things that you have told us, this seems pretty manageable.” And I prayed.

Two weeks later, on what was supposed to be a brief doctor’s visit before we headed to our local water park, we were told that our baby was not growing, that she was too small and that she was not acting the way she should be. We were told that I would be given another amniocentesis to see if her lungs were developed. If they were, my doctor wanted to take her right away … I felt like my body was failing her. And I prayed.

My doctor gave me a drug to speed up our baby’s lung development. The results of the amniocentesis were not what we had hoped for. My doctor told us that our baby’s lungs were not developed, our baby could not breath on her own. Now we had a team of medical professionals. They hoped nothing would go wrong for the next 48 hours so that the steroid they had given me would have time to help our baby’s lungs grow … to which I said, “OK”. And I prayed.

Less than 24 hours later I had a hospital room full of people wearing blue who were running around and pumping my body full of fluids and drugs. We were told that we could no longer wait. We were told that our baby would not be breathing and that she would be very small and weak … to which I cried in her father’s arms and said, “I’m scared.” And I prayed.

Minutes later I was strapped to a table. I had refused anything that would alter my mental state. I wanted to be there for our baby. It took a long time to get her out. I was told that she was so small that she kept slipping through the doctor’s hands. I kept screaming, “Is she out?!?!” And I prayed.

Then, I heard a cry … to which I thought, “That is a loud cry for a baby who is supposed to be weak, small and not breathing.” And I prayed.

A few minutes later our baby was brought over to me, warmly swaddled, pink as could be, breathing on her own and with no hole in her heart. (Sure, she has some extra chromosomes, but who cares about that?) And when I saw her I thought, “You are my miracle and I love you.” And then, I praised God for our beautiful daughter.

Eight years ago today, through God’s amazing grace, Reese Lindsey Grace was born by emergency cesarean section. She was 6 weeks early. She weighed 2lbs 15oz and was 15 ½ inches long. My world has not been quite the same since … and I would have it no other way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a miracle … and always remember to pray!!!

Everything went wrong but it still turned out perfectly …

Eighth years ago today my family and I were headed to a local water park. I was 34 weeks pregnant with Reese. We had planned on stopping by my doctors office for a brief check-up before. The hospital was just down the street from our water park so we thought our morning would go easily. It didn't. Things couldn't have gone more differently than we had planned. But in the end, it all couldn't have turned out better.

Well, I hope you all have a day where things go wrong and still turn out perfectly!!!