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We come. We go.

One of my favorite quotes is by Rod Steiger...

We come. We go.  Somewhere in between, we try to understand.

Sometimes, I think I come and go from my own life so much, there is more, I realize, to learn about myself and try to understand.

We come and go from each other's life as well and hopefully, in that process spend more time trying to understand than judging.  After all, in many cases, it is in the understanding of others where we learn about ourselves.

This week, a girl from my ward had her first baby.  I don't even know this girl.  I know of her but I have never even been in close enough proximity to her to even say 'hello'.   Through the ward Facebook page, I learned that her baby would be born with some health issues.  Some pretty serious issues.  Her internal organs were growing outside of her body, called an omphalocele. She also has an opening in her spinal chord and problems with her leg.  Pictures were posted of this little angel and prayers requested.

As I read this girl's update on her baby, I was so moved.  The medical jargon seemingly tumbled onto the page as if she had always known the ins and outs of Omphaloceles and Myelocystoceles. I had this feeling that like me, she had been prepared for this moment. Strangely, I even felt excited for her! I have never experienced that feeling before when knowing a mother has a child born with problems but it was clearly excitement that this girl is to be entrusted with such a choice spirit.  She may not have realized it, but I know that God has qualified her and will yet bless her to be a companion, an advocate and a mother to this sweet baby.

 As I looked at the beautiful picture of this sweet, baby girl, I felt like Heaven itself was so close.  For a moment, I came to understand more about my own story.  I wish I knew this girl.  I wish I could just call her up and tell her, in what may be her most anxious moments, that she was chosen to be a mother to this child and to never lose sight of that.  This child, however long remains here, needed a companion on this journey she consented to. Though there will be moments of sadness and fear and despair, the adventures with prayer and the miracles and mercies from Heaven will be such a respite.

So, often over the years, I have seen my role less as a mother and more as traveling companion with my kids.  I imagine that we were more classmates and friends, than mother and children in the pre-mortal existence.  I feel like maybe, we were tutored together on the problems and challenges we would face here and shown the way to get around them, over them and through them.  I may have arrived first, but someone had to be first.  That doesn't mean I'm any more qualified to teach them than they are to teach me.

I love that we have spent the last 24 years, learning about life together.  I love that they are mine.  I love the journey and growing that we get to do together.

I love looking at the picture of this newborn baby girl with a mountain of challenges ahead of her.  I can almost see her resolve to be here.  I can almost sense that she is okay with this.  I can see her giant spirit already teaching those around her about the mighty strength in small and simple things.  I hope that in the quiet of a reflecting moment, this new mom can gaze into this baby girl's eyes and instead of wondering, Why me?  Can feel instead...Lucky Me!

I am reverenced at this little lesson of understanding I stumbled upon this week. Not the kind of break and respite I thought I needed but it did strengthen my mind.  It has helped me refocus my own life and helped me find a little more determination as we face what I hope will be a week of plans and help from Salt Lake team.  When I'm feeling anxious and tired and even put upon, I will think of little Gabby and probably look at her picture one more time and remember that I saw that same look some 24 years ago when my own special spirits began arriving, a little less than perfect.



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