I expect every parent has a sense of awe and wonder when they watch their child maneuver through life. From the day both Jud and Jessie were born I have been amazed by the miracle of life, the development of character and strength in these little ones, and the gift of parenting.
But yesterday, as I was reading my friend’s blog who lost her one and only child to Krabbe disease less than two years ago, she described how her stomach constantly drops in disbelief over the healthy life of her new son, born to her a couple months ago. Her words confirmed my recognition that the death of a child reshapes parenting at its very core. When you have lost something incredibly dear, it gains significantly more value if experienced again.
Similarly, after watching my own flesh and blood, born of my womb, suffer and die, breathing his last breaths, I cannot help but stand in absolute astonishment at every single breath taken by Jessie Girl. To know that she could have easily suffered the same fate of her brother, but by the grace of God was spared of such heinousness, it leaves me living on my knees in utter gratitude for her. I am continually aware that there is not one part of this gift to which I am entitled and each moment I am given with my Ladybug is completely undeserved, unwarranted, and simply a blessing.
Several times a day I quietly watch Jessie in action—dancing, singing, smiling, laughing, joking, sleeping—my heart swells as if to burst out of my chest with joy and thankfulness. Intimately living with the pain of losing a child makes me significantly more conscious of the miracle of life. I have been blessed beyond measure to continue to be able to be a mama to Jessie.
The awe and wonder that I initially had with parenting has multiplied a thousand fold after losing my dear Jud Bud.