Meet MJ. She was born three days ago. Here she is smiling at her Pap’s deep voice telling her how beautiful she is. I like to think she is in agreement as the world has yet to tell her otherwise.
Her grandmother, J, had to leave just before her granddaughter’s arrival to take chemo. J is in a lifetime battle with cancer. A few months ago, it didn’t look as though she would ever meet MJ. She was the first to hold MJ other than Mommy and Daddy and the first to hold her every chance she gets.
This is Ron, her only Uncle. He brought her a balloon to the hospital because it’s what Nana would have done. She can’t, so he did. A few years ago, it didn’t look as though MJ would have any uncles. The one she does have can’t stop smiling and talking about his ‘peanut’.
This is Caden and Ian, her only cousins…so far. MJ’s Aunt T is freezing her eggs so she can bring another cousin to MJ. Aunt T is tough and has kicked breast cancer…twice. An award-winning baker, Aunt T told MJ all about the cakes they will make together, when she can eat them, of course.
This is me telling MJ her first story. It was about her crazy Auntie who will tell too many stories and feed her too much sugar. I told her she has a future and a hope and that we are so thankful God lent her to us.
Her birth has filled us all with a sense of wonder (and not simply because her mother delivered in less than 12 hours like a rock star). We keep hugging and crying as if the Steelers have won another SuperBowl (the only other time I have seen her daddy cry).
MJ is inspiring me to write new stories as part of LessMoreAbundantly. Less heartache, more joy and abundant hope.
Circumstances of the past few years have broken us all. In our brokenness, cracks visible and invisible alike, we have learned we can still smile, still love and ultimately be still and know that our lives are not our own.
Our family is rising again. Not like a phoenix from the ashes, that is too complete a metaphor. Rather we are taking the ashes, mixing them with tears and time, and using it to fill the cracks. Discovering, as we put ourselves back together, that we cannot be broken in the same place, in the same way, ever again.
Some pieces we are leaving on the side of the road as we dare to take a step. We walk, alongside little feet, into a future only dreamed about and whispered into God’s ear.
I love you, little peanut. I pray you would have less heartache than we have seen, more love than you could ever imagine and an abundance of adventures. I pray you would know that together we can walk through anything.