Once upon a time, three friends went to lunch. They chatted in pursuit of solving the problems of the world and hypothesizing their place in it, as friends at lunch are prone to do. In what is often the triangle of lady friends, their summed up personalities were these: the moderator, the know-it-all, and the undecided.
*Welcome to a #TBT post. originally published July of 2013*
These women were young, unattached to life’s burdens and at the crux of their futures.
When the question of children arose, all three looked forward to the experience. Surely each would commandeer, partner, or follow lovingly along (whatever the case may be) into marriage and family.
“What if you found you were to have a disabled child?”
The question floated among them.
Undecided held her ground. She was unsure and would remain that way.
The know-it-all answered quite plainly, “No. This will never happen. Abort without a second blink.”
And the moderator, she hesitated, then came forth with, “Yes. I believe I would have the child and do the best I could.”
As is the case with friends, no judgments were made and the conversation carried along into other plans and issues.
These three women did in fact have families, and they all bore beautiful perfect children. Life went along as planned.
Until the day one of the children became trapped and mutilated from a terrible car crash. Cut from the vehicle and flown swiftly to the nearest trauma hospital, the sweet innocent child was changed.
The once bright and perfect girl would have to relearn all that the brain injury took from her. The future became newly uncertain. They all held their breath while the child slowly, painfully, became alive again before their eyes.
The girl’s mother carried her and fed her. She nursed her daughter’s wounds then, as the bandages were taken away, re-imagined their life’s path. Without hesitation, she stood tall, her child was worth fighting for.
Together they learned a new future in a new way. Together they celebrated milestones long since taken for granted.
Together they learned she was not such a know-it-all after all.
This is a true story friends. It says much to me, what does it say to you?
**Update – from the friend who told me this story: “You told the story beautifully. However, there is more to the story than I told at first. Undecided had five children. When number four was born, there was obviously something wrong. She told the pediatrician that something was wrong, but the pediatrician said that ‘No, the child is fine.’ I saw the child and knew something was wrong. When the child was two months old, mom took him to the hospital. Nine days later the child died, still in the hospital. The doctor’s don’t know why he died and said ‘failure to thrive.’ Moderator had a little boy first. He was born 10 weeks early and his lungs weren’t developed. God took him when he was 10 days old. Moderator also had 3 miscarriages. Moderator would gladly love any child God was willing to send her. God did send her three beautiful girls to raise. Determined not to raise a special needs child was the only one of the three who God actually gave the challenge to. She did a beautiful job raising the little girl.”
Of course in truth, you can see all three friends faced challenges, moments very difficult to bear, as seems to be the case with the human condition.
What lessons can we take from this, if any at all?