My brother has always been somewhat of an optimist. He was always the funny guy at family events, the one imitating Arnold Schwarzenegger from movies and quoting other well known snippets of wisdom from movies and well worn life sayings.
"Life is like a box of box of chocolates," he'd remind with his best Forest Gump voice.
"When life hands you lemons, make lemon aid," he'd tell me when I was being a grump about one thing or another.
And so it is with great admiration that I write this post about him and his wife and the incredible way they have handled what has been one of life's hardest challenges for them...giving birth to their daughter in April and then realizing soon thereafter that she had a failed liver, so far gone that corrective surgery was not even an option and that she would need to have a liver transplant before she was even six months old.
Now that we are on the other side of her surgery and she is home recovering we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Do they still have challenges to face? Absolutely. Cordelia will always have a compromised immune system and these first six months are particularly crucial...They need to lay low, avoid big crowds, likely miss a lot of family holiday events (or take turns!) and as they like to joke (sort of!) keep Cordelia in her little "bubble" for the next six months.
That said, please keep her in your prayers, particularly during cold and flu season.
Aside from her immune system, Cordelia is doing EXTREMELY well and we are all incredibly grateful for this blessing.
Here are some of the things that really stand out to me from the last few months:
*The smile that Danielle (Cordelia's mom) ALWAYS had on her face...a smile you could hear through the phone when you talked to her!
*The selfless way they were always thinking about others. When our prayers were narrowly focused on Cordelia and her healing my brother would remind me to pray for the other family who would be losing a child if Cordelia were to receive a donated liver (although it turns out that that was not the case for them because they used part of her mother's liver).
*Of the many, many phone calls when I'd call Cliff for an update there was maybe one teeny tiny moment in one phone call when I picked up on the smallest bit of discouragement. Cliff and Dani clung to their faith so strongly that discouragement was never evident to any of us on the outside...That is faith in the truest sense...when you are in the toughest moments of your life and your faith is evident to everyone around you.
So THANK YOU Cliff and Dani for reminding us how to stay faithful and peaceful in the middle of life's storms.
Last week my Dad said something that was SO very true..."Cordelia will never remember any of this but we (the family) will never forget it."
His statement is SO true. It has opened our eyes to so many things, namely the hardships faced by families with sick children. It has expanded our sense of empathy for others in similar situations and has given us a glimpse of the goodness that rests inside so many people. A goodness that I believe is just waiting for an opportunity to be expressed. SO many people have risen to the occasion to support and love Cliff and Dani, have offered enormous amounts of time and resources to help with the benefit that we held and the prayers of many have been tangibly felt by the entire family.
It has also taught us, as a family (a family full of socially quiet people who shy away from big events!), that through teamwork big things are possible!
So for all of this we are thankful.
Here is a FANTASTIC picture of Cordelia from this week! She is such a happy baby, full of smiles and growing healthier by the day.
|"THANK YOU ALL," she says.|