These are the words that come to mind as I reflect on the family vacation we returned from a few days ago. For the first time ever, my children experienced the beach...the gulf of Mexico...
We spent a week in Ft. Myers at a condo I used to frequent with my own family as a child. It was spectacular.
But the pinacle moment, or rather, moments, was watching my children limitlessly and passionately run across the vast white sands of the beach toward the breaking waves. It is a moment I will take with me to the grave. It touched my soul.
The giggles and frolick with which they ran and played tag and enjoyed such freedom with, was more than I could take the first night. I cried with gratitude. I cried for our superhero....who after a year and a half of being restricted with timelines of swimming and no swimming, no sand, no baths, etc., was able to spread his wings and fly...toward the heavens and pink glow of the sunset....toward his toddler joy of playing in sand, wading in the tide pools and dipping his beautiful self into the crashing waves. This is what the wait was for. This is what the sacrifice was unleashing... this one week of bliss for our boy. I know this now.
We are three days away from our 9th journey to Shriners. We prepare mentally and emotionally with hopes of the news that our sweet baby might be on his last cast. We step into our own crashing waves: waves of emotions that come with letting go of the cast-off time, of the joy of touching him skin to skin the way only a parent needs and craves...of sweetly watching him sleep curled into a ball in such a way only a castfree body can....it is painful yet again.
But behind the pain, there is such radiant hope and light that illuminates this darkness. We have a chance approaching...our hearts are near a song that sings of burying the days of casts and welcoming the new chapter of his story; the story of Infantile Scoliosis. His story. It is a story God created and wrote for our son, and one we accept with waves of alternating gratitude and sadness.
This morning at breakfast, I asked Jackson if he knew what Thursday was: "We go to the hospital for your new cast," I said. "Yaaay!" was his response. With excitement and smiles he asked me if they have the color orange.
This child amazes me.