September 23, 2011

One from my archives... On Life and Death

This has been stored up in the unpublished section of my blog for two years now.

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To my shock and regret, I realized recently that I am actually quite
superstitious.

Miss CC has been sickly lately, battling some nasty bugs and concurrent pneumonia.
When she had turned dusky and we were speeding to the ER, I held her little blue hand and sang a little song. I smiled and cooed at her and tried to assuage her my fear. I realized then that since she was born I've had in the back of my mind this idea that we've been trying to avert Death's pesk
y pursuit for the last two years, dodging and darting about, leaving a zig-zagged trail -- you know, as if that helps.

And each one of these seemingly desperate events feels like it must surely be the last, because I've somehow managed to be influenced by our strange socially constructed notion that death, in its dark and smoky anthropomorphic form, does indeed hungrily pursue us and that eventually, if we are caught unguarded, will prevail.

But it's not really this way. As unlikely as it seems, life prevails.

Or perhaps it's just that these days we are blissfully ignorant of how diligently Death pursues us. Germ theory, antiseptics, vaccines, scientific medicine... all these things have had a profound impact on staving off Death and his pesky scythe.

In pre-scientific medicine era, Charlotte would have been born only to immediately begin starving to death.
There would have been no surgery, no IV nutrition, no ability to sustain life. This precious girl that's sleeping peacefully in my lap as I type would have been an unknown.

*****
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That's where I stopped writing two years ago. And now a four-year-old Charlotte sleeps peacefully in my lap again. I can feel her heart beating slowly against my leg, and again I am pondering life and death. Her heart beats so slowly because of her faulty wiring. But faulty wiring doesn't mean faulty heart. Charlotte has, in just four years, touched more lives than most of us will in a lifetime. And though it seems like we've often had to sprint away from Death, I think really what's been going on is that Charlotte's been running so furiously towards Life!

The piece is disjointe
d, which is why it never got published. I am a good started, not such a good finisher. I know when I started writing this two years ago I was going to finish it up by praising modern medicine and the doctors that saved her life for the third time. Two years later I still thank them, but I can't leave out one very important person! I have to thank Charlotte... thank her for saving so many other lives with her kindness and purity and inspiration. Imagine what she'll do with the next four years! And the next, and so on!

I feel so fortunate to be her mother, though I can't imagine what I did to deserve such a special honor. When s
he sleeps at my side, or naps on my lap, I gaze at her with profound wonder and awe. To me, she hung the moon, as they say, and is busily painting the stars as well.







1 comment:

  1. Tears Jenna!!!! Love me some Charlotte. Without her I would never have met you!!

    ReplyDelete