Leaving Seattle, we thought Abbie had turned the corner and would be back to her spunky self in short order. Not so fast. Her fever began rising again, and the diarrhea returned. Her pediatrician explained that this bacterial infection can flare and recede for 30 days or so…ugh.
In light of her current health, her orthopedic pre-op appointment yesterday resulted in us postponing the surgery, again. We had planned to do it in February, but then her leg was broken. We are hoping that this will only be a 2-3 week delay, and given her recurring fevers, started her on Zithromax yesterday.
She seems a bit better today, and is really doing well with her physical workouts. Schoolwork is a whole ‘nother matter. She just doesn’t have the energy to engage right now, so I’ve been letting her rest. Math and reading will always be there.
It warmed my heart when Abbie’s nurse was asking her about Spring Break. What elicited the biggest smile was when Abbie was asked if she got to see Chase. She loves that brother so much, even now that he is gone for much of the year.
I’m a huge chat group lurker, and recently on one of them was a story that captured the vision I’ve had in my mind for many years. I’ve long known that it was Abbie’s choice to come back to us, and pictured her bouncing up and down, arm raised as high as it would go (probably held up by the other arm), pleading, “Me, me, me — pick me. Abbie can do it!” (She still often referred to herself in the third person). Jesus smiled down at her, knowing full well what she was made of, and granted her wish.
This is the story:
The Brave Little Soul
By: John Alessi
Not too long ago in Heaven there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. He especially enjoyed the love he saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however the little soul was sad, for on this day he saw suffering in the world. He approached God and sadly asked, “Why do bad things happen; why is there suffering in the world?” God paused for a moment and replied, “Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see, unlocks the love in people’s hearts.” The little soul was confused. “What do you mean,” he asked. God replied, “Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences and show their love and compassion for those who suffer. All their other motivations disappear and they become motivated by love alone.” The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued, “The suffering soul unlocks the love in people’s hearts much like the sun and the rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their heart, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine freely, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this – it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer – to unlock this love – to create this miracle for the good of all humanity.”
Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could hardly contain himself. With his wings fluttering, bouncing up and down, the little soul excitedly replied. “I am brave; let me go! I would like to go into the world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people’s hearts! I want to create that miracle!” God smiled and said, “You are a brave soul I know, and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this and so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. Those souls will help you create your miracle; however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others. They have already chosen a name for you”. God and the brave soul shared a smile, and then embraced.
In parting, God said, “Do not forget little soul that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel that you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought, and you will be healed.” Thus at that moment the brave little soul was born into the world, and through his suffering and God’s strength, he unlocked the goodness and love in people’s hearts. For so many people dropped their differences and came together to show their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those that were always too busy found time. Many began new spiritual journeys, some regained lost faith – many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. Distant family reunited, and every family spent more time together. Everyone prayed. Lives changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle had happened. God was pleased.
While we do wait for Abbie’s full restoration, her miracle has already happened.
We look forward with much joy to celebrating Easter — the confirmation of our hope. I pray that you have a wonderful time of both reflection and celebration as well!
He is Risen!