Friday, April 3, 2015

Why I Marvel

 photo b3a653e1-72e5-43ff-b420-7f79aa160496_zpsl0ihktov.jpg 
[Elisabeth Elva, age seven.]
I was looking at Elisabeth yesterday and marveling. It is an interesting thing to parent a child so unique; quite different than I ever imagined it would be. I recall a day in particular when I was pregnant with her. I was at the mall and saw a family pushing a wheelchair with a severely handicapped child in it. The girl was not just physically handicapped, but mentally as well. I knew that if Elisabeth were to survive until birth I was looking at a clear image of what my future would be. It was a little frightening, to be honest. 

When Elisabeth was born she looked as normal as any other baby. Even in the first few months she seemed like a typical infant - because really, newborns don't do anything other than eat and sleep. But I knew the truth, that other children would grow and learn and progress while Elisabeth stayed behind in a permanent state of babyhood.

And so it has been, Elisabeth is still like a baby. She can't talk or walk or eat. Nor does she understand much or know how to communicate. She has become that girl in the wheelchair at the mall. But it's very different than I imagined it would be. You see, it doesn't feel like a burden, but a privilege. The truth is, when I take Elisabeth out to stores and I see people looking at her, I secretly assume everyone wishes she was theirs. I feel like I am the keeper of an angelic being. And when I look at her, I don't see a person who is lacking, but a child who deep inside holds more wisdom than I could ever comprehend. It's almost as if she's on a different plane than the rest of us, like she can't even be compared to typical humanity.

 That is why I marvel, that is why I am grateful, and that is why I feel so blessed that she is mine.

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