Life's Challenges

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are. ~ Bernice Johnson Reagon, Singer/Composer

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When Life Becomes a Volcano

What do you do in those times when life turns into some kind of volcano and erupts in an explosion of staggering experiences that send the debris of your stability across the landscape of your days?  You see the pieces of your normal existence floating down around you and suddenly you’re standing in a footing that is melting and cracking apart.

My second grandchild was born two days ago.  A beautiful baby boy.  But upon his arrival a series of critical medical complications appeared.  Doctors stepped in to work the magic of the astonishing resources now available to them.  Our baby Austin got here full term and in perfect weight only to begin a heroic battle of survival.   

Newborns seem so fragile to us, tiny and defenseless, wiggling and writhing in their attempt to acclimate themselves to their new existence.  Babies in early distress obviously seem even more vulnerable and we bigger humans gather around them to do our best from a distance to protect and heal them.

But every baby is born with invisible armament that works amazingly well.  And when it is supported with medical genius, dedicated physician skill, fiercely loving parents and other family with arms and hearts extended, the chances of winning the battle of survival, though not guaranteed, are nevertheless increased.

So far only delicate signs of progress are appearing.  But they are enough to offer comfort and the possibility that Austin might very well get beyond all of the obstacles inside his small frame.

In the meantime, those of us who love him dearly, struggle to find our own footing in what feels like hot slippery lava beneath us.

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