Saturday, November 13, 2004

Blessing our circumstances

"Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse it and it will curse you....If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troublesome for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you sincerely bless it." ~Emmet Fox

I found this quote and it seemed fitting for the events that we have been faced with over the last few weeks. I have been scared because of the uncertainty, but after reading this quote and sharing thoughts and prayers with friends, I have realized that we need to look at these events as blessings.

Emma Sage has had a lump in her neck that we are in the process of finding out what it might be. She had an ultrasound on 11/2 after seeing an ENT. Dr. Sheft, her ENT, thought the neck mass might be one of two things, a congential cleft cyst or an enlarged lymph node. Unfortunately the ultrasound did not confirm exactly what we are dealing with. It is a solid mass, so a cyst has been ruled out. The radiologist said that he could not confirm if it was a lymph node as it is very large, so our next steps is a sedated CT scan on Wednesday morning 11/17. In the meantime, we had to visit our family doctor to have a physical done so Emma Sage could be cleared to receive the sedation. At the appointment we recieved results from blood work that showed abnormalities. There are two areas that now need further testing, her white blood cells are abnormal and she had a strong positive read for a disease called Celiac [which is an allergy to Gluten which causes instinal deterioration].

So after a good cry [I do that when I am scared and emotional] and talking with friends and family, I have realized that we can only take life a step at a time and no matter what we are faced with, we are truly blessed by each day we have.

Well, my little blessing had no clue her Mommy has been scared....and she has just been her radiant self. Today she was so giggly and happy......and doing everything in her power to make everyone around her laugh and smile right along with her. At one point I was frustrated with something and I guess my little girl sensed my negative tone and all I hear from the back seat of the car is "Mommy, I sorry" the sweetest little voice. My little girl was trying to make me feel better by saying she was sorry.........she just melts my heart.

Blessing our circumstances......allowing us to trust that each event in our lives has a reason and a purpose. Today I will make a spiritual inventory of all of my blessing....I will count my blessings and I will give thanks daily for the blessing and gift of the day.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

"Life's sublime mysteries"

Today is my daughter’s half year birthday! Today Emma Sage is 3 ½! It was also this week, four years ago, that I first heard the words, “Your baby might have Down syndrome”. Both events, have changed my life tremendously….both have changed my life so profoundly and wonderfully, that even if I had tired to plan these events, I would have never been able to match their perfection. Perfection you say? Didn’t I just write the words Down syndrome? Yes, I did, and Down syndrome is perfection, the perfection of an extra chromosome on the 21st pair.

I found this quote this afternoon while reading through a book while waiting for the doctor’s office to call……Emma Sage and Claudia were busy playing kitchen….making me the most delicious play dough apple pie and cookies. I sat skimming my book and watching my little girl playing with her dear friend. Listening to their talk “Would you like more tea?” asks Claudia, “yes, please’ responds Emma Sage, to their little giggles when they find something amusing. Busy at work they were ~ mixing, rolling, cutting out shapes with cookie cutters and baking their yummy treats in the wooden oven. My eyes glanced at this quote and I realized how perfect it was as I reflected back on my daughters 3 ½ years of life and back four years to when the diagnosis of Down syndrome entered into our lives.

“Be willing not to make anything happen this week. Instead, allow happenstance to help you. Life’s sublime mysteries only become our everyday miseries when we insist on creating a detailed blueprint that leaves nothing to chance, especially our happiness.”

When we were told a 13 week ultrasound scan that the baby had an abnormal nuchual translucency and it could mean Down syndrome. We did not allow those words and possibilities cloud our minds,,,we used those words to research and find out about Down syndrome. Those words began our journey on an amazing path. I met a dear friend online because of those words. She responded to my request for information,,,,while opening her heart and sharing her precious daughter Tarenne with me. If I had allowed that moment when given the possibility of a ‘Sublime Mystery’ to cloud my mind and close my heart and harden my soul, and fill my days with misery, I would have never come to appreciate the gift I had been given.

As for ‘Detailed Blueprint”, our Emma Sage has proven from the moment of her conception, that she follows no blueprint. She was born unexpectedly at home, thus changing our well laid out plans of birthing in the hospital with our midwife…..but her birth brought us great happiness,,,,,a joy we would have never known if our ‘detailed blueprint’ had been followed. I got to deliver a baby…something I have always wanted to do in my lifetime. I birthed three other babies before Emma Sage,,,but this was our birth,,,her and I together. I was Mother and midwife. I was the one who announced to my family “Oh look, she does have Down syndrome”. Chance allowed us the opportunity to take something that seems so negative [the diagnosis of Down syndrome] and allow the beauty and happiness of the moment to be celebrated.

And so our days unfold. Our little girl has brought so much to our family, to our lives, to our community. She is a ray of sunshine,,,,,,,,she is so expressive,,,so caring, so loving, so joyful. She is a precious gift and we are so thankful for the chance to be part of her life.

Happy half year birthday little girl…….thank you for filling our days with such love and happiness and giving us the chance to experience Life’s sublime Mysteries!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Lazy Autumn Days

The colors went from vivid to dull quite quickly here....but Emma Sage's spirit of the season is still very bright. She loved jumping in the leaves. Otto and Emma Sage would bury each other in the leaves and then pop out giggling! What joy!

Our fall was filled with sports. Katrina's high school field hockey team was undefeated! Katrina had lots of fun on and off the field. Her team mates are such wonderful girls and they seem to get along so well, which is what I believe has given them a winning spirit. We have her end of the season banquet on November 16th and she is so excited to get her 'Undefeated' t-shirt. I know she will treasure that accomplishment throughout her life. Greta's team did well, they were 13-3-1. Greta was the top scorer of her team with 10 goals. She is a speed demon and next year it will be so much fun to see my two big girls playing for the Vikings. Otto had a fun soccer season. He is by far the biggest 8 year old on the field, but what a gentle giant he is. He loved playing goaly, but they really needed him on the front line so he split his playing time in both postions. He scored the first goal of the whole season and assisted on the last goal of the season. Emma Sage loves to watch her siblings play and I know it won't be too long before she is out on the field instead of on the sidelines cheering them on.

Rick has been traveling extensively and the kids love to put pins on the big map we have to show them all the places Daddy has been too. It makes for long days and weeks for me, but the kids are just wonderful and helpful so the time goes by quickly.

Emma Sage has a bit of unsettling news. She has a mass on her neck and we are in the process of finding a diagnosis. She is seeing an ENT and we are scheduled for a sedated CT scan. She had an ultrasound but the test was unconclusive of what we are dealing with so we are working on next steps to find some answers.

Emma Sage is a magical child. She is so sweet and loveable. She is talking up a storm and is asking questions non-stop. This sometimes wears Mommy out, but I am so over joyed at seeing her inquisitive nature and desire to learn about the world around her.

So as a chill comes over the autumn air.....we look forward to all the fun to come as winter arrives, and with it, the magic of the Christmas season!