>I have 3 children: a 6-year-old daughter I’ll refer to as “the old soul” and 3-year-old identical twin boys who also happen to have been blessed with an extra chromosome (aka: Down syndrome). Collectively, I’ll call them “the boys” and individually it’ll be “my big man” and “my baby” (given the 2 minutes between their births). There are those who hear of my “situation”, as we’re somewhat of a rarity, and immediately pity me for the circumstances we find ourselves in. Sadly, I cannot correct their erroneous thinking but I can write here… and introduce you all to this absolutely wonderful phenomenon I call my life.
‘Tis true, I left the highly profitable corporate world 6 years ago for greener, if not poorer, pastures as a stay at home mother. It’s also true that I have never regretted that decision even when the bills were due, the wallet was empty and the bank account ran dry. My hubby (let’s call him “The Captain” for reasons I’ll explain another time if the topic comes up) and I have always found a way to more than survive and have oft been reminded of those less fortunate to help us not just accept but appreciate our blessed circumstances.
My “Angels Amongst Us” lesson today came from hearing two incredibly sad stories: one about a little girl my daughter’s age losing her Mommy to cancer and another about a young Mommy preparing to do battle, for the second time, with this devastating disease. Fighting just for the privilege of seeing her children grow up. A privilege, sadly, I have occasionally taken for granted. How can any one of us who live cancer free (knock wood so the tree spirits continue to grace us with good health) not be profoundly appreciative of the greatest gift of all…. life? Empathy is a powerful tool. It made me stop and really think what it would be to walk a mile in either woman’s shoes. I thought about all I would miss, about all I would want to say, do or change were I to find myself where these loving mothers now find themselves. I know I would be devastated. And then, amidst these sad stories, I heard about another mother, an angel living amongst us. She’s doing all the mommy things that the rest of us do on a daily basis so I didn’t really recognize the halo… the way she wears it (She’s sort of the halo as a beret type, I think). But, when this “every day” mom heard about the first mom’s illness, as a massage therapist, she offered and regularly delivered free massages to the Mom, to help ease her physical pain and to the Dad, to help ease his mental pain. What an extraordinary gift, like that of the little Drummer Boy. She gave what she could and what could make a difference in the quality of this family’s lives. Note: This mother-turned-angel didn’t tell me the story herself, mind you. No bragging or self patronizing. Someone else told me about this incredibly good and selfless deed. I consider myself lucky to count this woman amongst my friends. I knew she was special, but today, I am in awe of her.