I read a lot of mommy blogs. Some are sarcastic and funny, some are inspirational, some are full of helpful advice. But most are just real…full of the tales that photos posted to Facebook or Instagram will never tell. Reading their experiences is a tremendous help for someone who is a new mom, because I now I know that I am not alone in my fears (allergies), worries (current ear infection/cold) or things I find funny (Miles peed on Evan – again). It’s like being a part of the most awesome club ever in the history of time and space.
Today, I stumbled on a new (to me) blog. I had linked there from something else; I can’t recall what, but it wasn’t to read what I ended up immersing myself in for the better part of an hour. This mom wrote like so many of us, about life. But her life was different. They have a daughter who is four, but they have also experienced the loss of not one, not two, but three sons. They lost their twin boys when they were just 18 weeks in utero. They lost their third son just a few weeks after he was born, after finding a rare disease that prevented him from having a much needed heart transplant. This is my unfairly brief summation of the cards they were dealt.
Reading her posts made me do The Ugly Cry. For those who don’t know, The Ugly Cry is exactly what it sounds like. That overwhelming, consuming, emotional cry that causes your face to twist and writhe, your breathing to become short and gasping, and your eyes to get so puffy and full of tears you couldn’t even read the address on your mailbox. You. Look. Ugly.
And those of you who know me are also aware of my complete avoidance of all things that bring on The Ugly Cry. I don’t do Lifetime or Hallmark (lame); I don’t read Nicholas Sparks (lamer) and I change the TV channel every time that ASPCA commercial with Sara McLaughlin singing in the background comes on (lamest, ever). I can’t do it. I’m not coldhearted; I just don’t want to cry. The Ugly Cry is the reason we can’t watch things like Extreme Home Makeover (TWO HOURS OF UGLY CRY – NOTHANKYOU!)
So for me to sit there and read, at length, this family’s story, was difficult. But I couldn’t stop. Because, while difficult, I found her healing and faith inspirational. I felt drawn to continue reading. And I felt called to pray. A lot.
When I picked up Miles from daycare today, I hugged him tight.
This morning, he had a congested cough, which led to me taking another trip to the pediatrician with him today. And I’m not going to lie; I felt exhausted and exasperated, and not understanding why after ten days of antibiotics for an ear infection that had no cough, we woke up to a cough. I felt sad for my baby, even though he smiled and played and ignored the cough completely, because I want him to be well and feel his best. And I felt frustrated that we were dealt something else to handle, in less than a week.
Now? Well, now I feel blessed that it’s just a cold. That’s not to say it isn’t still something to struggle with; in life, you will find that while your situation may be better than others, it is still worse than some. We all have things to deal with, and there is no diminishing what anyone is experiencing, because it cannot be compared to anyone else. But, in that moment, I felt blessed.
There are times in life that call us to question, “why?” Times where we struggle to find a reason, an explanation, a purpose…the point.
What’s the point of illness and struggle? What’s the point of dealing with hardships? What’s the point of being here, now, in this?
Here’s what I know about the whole point: there are actually two points. Two reasons, two purposes, two explanations for what we’re here for:
1. To love God.
2. To love each other.
That’s it. Of all the things we do on a daily basis, our entire purpose, being and existence (in my mind) comes down to those two very important points.
So when someone you know, or even that you don’t know, is going through some stuff…our calling is to be there for them. To love them, comfort them, help them, pray for them. We go through this stuff together. God put us here, now, together, for a purpose.
You will find love and peace in the arms of friends and family, through conversations with people who understand where you’re coming from, in prayer and meditation, and sometimes, just by reading words on a screen written by a stranger but connected to you in heart and spirit. And while these things won’t always offer the explanation that human nature may cause you to search for, it will always lead you to the point: LOVE.
“The most important command is this…
Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is this: love your neighbor as yourself.”
Be the hands and feet.