Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jude's two

When parents say it's hard to believe how old their children are turning or how fast they are aging, it's not hyperbole.  A child's birth is one of those moments in life that can be recalled like it happened yesterday.  The emotions and senses of the events leading up to and shortly after aren't easily forgotten.  Such is the case when thinking of Jude's arrival into the world and into our lives.

And, it is with these memories in mind, shortly after Jude's birth, that I say in all honesty it is hard to believe Jude is two. These words come as relief to us though, standing as proof that time does pass, and with time, pain eases into merely a memory.  But, these memories and past pains have value still- if for only to remind us of what we can survive.

No parent can appropriately prepare for a diagnosis like the one Jude received at birth.  Simply because one can never be fully prepared to hear such news, does not mean one's heart is unable to respond in love.  When I finally pushed aside all the fears and my anger about Jude's blindness, all I was left with- the only thing remaining of value- was a love for him.

And it's been two years of love.  Which, on one hand, seems like such a long time ago when I think about how worried we were about his prospects and seeing now, how far he's come and how hopeful we remain.  But, it also seems like yesterday that we brought him home, shared him with his brothers and tried to learn new ways to raise our baby.  And, we're still learning.

At his birth, I would have given anything to change him- to make him, in my eyes, more whole.  But, today, after two wonderful years, I wouldn't risk it- not if it meant Joanna and I might not have the exact same, lovable and perfect addition to our family.  As his brother Peter said after tonight's bedtime prayer, "God bless us for Jude."

Amen, Peter.  Amen.

St. Jude: Pray for us.

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