This summer, my friend's son suffered a terrible tragedy: he was paralyzed after diving into the James River in Richmond. I wrote a post about it last month, Life Can Change in an Instant...
Despite the fact that I did not know him personally, and haven't been in touch with his father since college, my husband and I were profoundly shaken by this tragedy. Here was a 16 year old, athletic, teenage boy who was taking advantage of a bright sunny day on a summer afternoon and, by the time the afternoon ended, his life was left forever changed.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of how quickly life can change--and how quickly it changed for their whole family.
As I watch my children, 2 in college and one in high school, begin the transformation into young adults, I have a new, and very strong, appreciation for the miracle that I am witnessing. The process of growth from infancy to adulthood and beyond is truly a miracle. When they were babies, we celebrated it daily, but the miracle at this stage is just as profound. And often overlooked.
Sometimes we can get complacent with life; we fret about the small stuff instead of savoring the small joys. I know my friend would give anything to see his son get up and grab a soda from the fridge and wouldn't think twice if the can were left on the counter. I know that they are witnessing their own daily miracle as skills that, only a month ago, seemed impossible or improbable, slowly become possible for their son.
We bring our children into this world knowing that the only certainty is that we have no idea the path they will follow. We have hopes and dreams and plans for our children. In the end, we truly have no idea how their journey will spread before them. Our plans are really only our wish for them.
It seems too easy to say that the miracle I am celebrating this fall is the miracle of my children as they grow and succeed along the path of life. But after being reminded, in such a heartbreaking way, how quickly and unexpectedly life can change, their ever changing dreams and achievements are an amazing miracle to me--every single day.
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