2.23.2012

Rose Colored Glasses

I've always heard the saying "seeing life through rose colored glasses" but I've never really stopped to think about what it really means.  Not until this week.  I've actually given it a lot of thought.  The English novelist Thomas Hughes was the first to record the phrase in 1851.  It means to see things in a favorable light--to have unmitigated optimism.  Have you ever known anyone like this?  For the most part, I have always had a bit of rose colored tint to my life.  In most situations I have been able to see the positive side of the problem, to see the brighter horizon, to look past the negative.  And for the most part, even after this past year, I am still a lot like that.

However, the tint is gone a bit.  It has been made dirty by the crystal clear glasses that I have worn for the past year.  365 days of in-your-face reality.  What I have witnessed, what our family has endured over the past year will stay with me forever.  The tears I have cried, the prayers I have prayed, the friends I have made and lost....those are the things that change your perceptions of life.

I have seen children die.  I have seen more suffering in the past year than anyone should witness in a lifetime. I have seen the most innocent of God's creation have their lives ripped apart before they even turned one.  I have met so many broken-hearted mothers and father.  Parents who would give their lives in a moment for their child to have another chance at life.

Those are the things that I still don't understand.  Those are the things I still question every, single day.  I don't get it.  I never, ever will.  Cancer is evil.  It has no shame.  It will destroy a life, a family and will never have remorse.  Children are not supposed to die.  They are not supposed to suffer.  It's just not the way life should be.  And these are the things that I have seen through my crystal clear glasses this past year.  No amount of tint could ever change that.

But  I have also been blessed to witness God's miraculous healing first hand.  I have been literally pulled from the depths of despair on sevearl occasions by the hand of a loving God who has never forsaken me.  I have seen my faith blossom (although I know it will never be complete).  I have learned to let go of compulsiveness, control and fear.  I have learned to walk day by day trusting in God to guide my every step.  I have grown to cherish the now and live for the moment.  I have been transformed.  I am a new person.  I still have my moments of "old me," but the change in my life has been amazing.

So while the past year was devastating, I know I am a better person for having lived it.  So life gave me a raw deal for a while.  So what?  It's what you do with it that counts, right?  The experiences, the lessons learned.  I now know how to be a friend to those who have lost love ones.  I now know what to say to a parent that has a child with a life threatening illness.  I know how to pray for mercy, faith, peace and healing with unbridled passion.  I have come close to knowing what it would feel like to be separated from a child forever.  I know how to appreciate the small victories in life like elevated ANC, central lines that don't have to be replaced, 2/10th of a pound gained, only vomiting 5 times in a day.  Learning to appreciate those little victories has made reveling in the big ones that much sweeter.

And while I may not be walking with rose colored glasses these days, I do walk through life with the lenses of appreciation.  I can honestly say that I cherish every moment with my children.  Don't get me wrong.  I stay tired, I often get frustrated, I sometimes snap too easily and I even find myself longing for bedtime to arrive.  But I still cherish every moment.  I love my children more today than I ever have.  Unless you have almost lost a child there is no way you can ever understand what I am saying.  You just can't.  There is an urgency of appreciation that I will forever live with.  And I am SO grateful for it, too.  I choose to view it as a gift.  It's something I have been given and I wear it with pride.  It's like a badge of honor.  Lord, may I never take your gift to me for granted.

This is the Bible verse that I am claiming for the rest of Lucy's life.  Our hope is in Him, our faith is in Him.
                           Luke 8:50  "Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."

February 23, 2011 will forever be the day that changed all of our lives but the way we have chosen and the way we will choose to handle every day since will define our lives.  I may not live the rest of my life with unmitigated optimism, but I pray that I never lose all of the rose tint from my life.


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17 comments:

  1. This is just perfect. I cannot imagine what it has been to live the life you have lived the last 12 months but you have done it with dignity and grace and I admire your fortitude and the strength of your religion to carry you through the really hard times. I have learned a lot from you and for that I am grateful.

    I hope you will continue to allow us into your life and to hear about the progress of sweet Lucy.

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  2. wow....words to live by for ALL of us following the Blog and praying for Lucy, thanks Kate.
    JT

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  3. Thank you Jesus....Amen, So be it

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  4. Such a beautiful post. Thanks for your transparency and honesty that you share as you walk through this difficult journey. We are praying for all of you daily.

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  5. I will continue to pray for your Lucy and your family. God Bless you .

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  6. Such a good testament to your faith! I've read and cried while watching your blog for awhile now. I've never been a mother but am inspired by your message. Kiss Lucy for me!

    Carla

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  7. You write in a way that is so powerful. I have been following Lucy's story for awhile now. It always hit me that the hardest day in your life was the day I was born. I keep thinking back to last year knowing I was celebrating 34 years on this earth and know that a dear family was suffering. My middle son has had 19 surgeries at 6 years of age and although I can't speak to cancer, I have almost lost him several times. Today, as I blow out the candles on my cake Lucy and your family will be added to my birthday wish...I wish the same thing every year....health, happiness and love for my children...Lucy holds a special place in my wish tonight. Thank you for sharing your story...you have touched my heart in an incredible way.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world. I have read your blog almost daily since the "beginning". I almost hate to say it, but I know I am not the only one that can confidently say that God has used your literal HELL to remind me that I have never had to look through crystal clear glasses. I have been reminded almost daily to appreciate every.single.thing in life and be thankful for what I have and not focus on stupid things that bring me down. Thank you for your honest post and I pray this year that your lenses will be able to be a little more "rosy".

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  9. Stunning! You make me want to be a better wife, mom & friend...thank you! Continued prayers for Lucy & your entire family. All my best, Stephanie Edwards

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  10. Eileen (South Florida)February 23, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    I think this is one of your best posts ever. Thank you for constantly being a source of inspiration and faith, and for reminding me "in everything give thanks."

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  11. (((HUGS))) to you, Lucy & your family!! I Think of you OFTEN. Pray for you ENDLESSLY and Hope for you ALWAYS!!!! I have another little card to send Lucy. I hope she gets it.

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  12. Well said. I love the idea of a badge that you wear. It does not define you but lies within you...in your reaction, relationships, and your future. May this day and every day be a time for you to remember how God has drawn you near.

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  13. You are amazing. I've been following your blog for about 6 months and through the tears, smiles and prayers, many of your posts bring such perspective to my life. I am so thankful. I cannot imagine your days, but your witnessing and proclamations of God's goodness humble my heart. You are an inspiration to me and your family is continuously in my prayers.

    With much love - Mandy

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  14. What a beautiful post. It was very well written and real. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. Continually praying for you, your family and Lucy.

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  15. Hello, I have been reading your blog for some time now, I came over to "visit" from Keegans mom blog (from which I stumbled upon from another blog) :) I wanted to say that I feel the EXACT same way as you have described in this blog post. My 2 yr. old son passed away suddenly (you can read about him on my blog if you wish), and it has forever changed the way I feel with my other children AND life. AND you are so right, it is too hard to explain :) There has been other posts here on your blog that really touched me and I appreciate your writings.
    Thank you for being so open.

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  16. What a beautiful post. I am so grateful that God led me to your blog. It has been a pleasure praying for your family. You are an amazing mother and an amazing Christian!

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  17. That was extremely beautiful. Thank you for sharing that and for sharing your life with us. We will continue to pray for your sweet family.

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