In a dark moment I ask, “How can anyone bring a child into this world?” And the answer rings clear, “Because there is no other world, and because the child has no other way into it.” — Robert Brault
In this pandemic-infused environment the world has become a place that’s pretty hard to savor, and if you’re anything like me, the sheltering in place can sometimes feel like a black hole from which there is no escape. I can find myself looking for a way out, and from past experience, that’s a dangerous place. My ten-month-old granddaughter, Annalee, recently threw me a lifeline.
Marsha and I had invited our son’s family over for a backyard patio get-together. We adhered to social distancing and wore masks. We brought out the grand-kids’ toys and in no time they were entertaining us all.
As many of you know from earlier posts, our twin granddaughters, Annalee and Margo, had a rather harrowing journey coming into this world. They shared the same amniotic sac and placenta and, as a consequence, the pregnancy was both difficult and risky. Kelly spent many weeks in the hospital as the babies needed to be closely monitored. The girls came eight weeks early but have since matured into healthy little darlings. Each time I encounter my precious granddaughters I can’t help but think of the miracle they both are.
On this recent visit I looked over at Annalee and noticed that she was watching me intently. I decided to take her lead and look back in perfect stillness, with no silly grin, no words of any kind, just to allow our eyes to lock in on one another. She was not fussing, not fidgeting, just sitting in her father’s lap, perfectly still — staring right through grandpa.
I found my thoughts landing on the absolute miracle I was gazing upon. More than a year ago this tiny person did not exist, and to even get to this moment she and her sister received many weeks of special care. Oh yes, indeed, she is a miracle, I thought to myself.
Then a thought came to me, as if it sent from little Annalee: Grandpa, you, too, are a miracle. You, too, were sent here from the same Creator that sent me. You, too, have had your shot at life, and now we have this splendid opportunity to be together.
Soon she became hungry and her attention shifted to being fed, but not before she single-handedly adjusted my attitude and got me feeling humble and grateful — pandemic or no pandemic.
Here’s another story I recently came upon. A group of school children were asked to list what they thought were the present “Seven Wonders Of The World.”
The following received the most votes:
- Egypt’s Great Pyramids
- Taj Mahal
- Grand Canyon
- Panama Canal
- Empire State Building
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- Great Wall of China
There was one student who spent a long time with her list. When the teacher inquired if she was having any trouble, she replied, “Yes, a little. I can’t quite make up my mind because there are so many.”
The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.” The girl hesitated, then read:
“I think the ‘Seven Wonders Of The World’ are:
- To see
- To hear
- To touch
- To taste
- To feel
- To laugh
- To love
Yes! Yes! This was the same message Annalee sent to me — that life itself is the greatest wonder of all, this singular, blessed opportunity to partake in the joys and sorrows of this perfectly perfect, broken world of ours.
Just a thought…
Copyright © 2020 Patrick J. Moriarty. All Rights Reserved.
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