Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.

Matthew's birthday. Such a treasure this child is. Two years today and he's already lived a lifetime of pain and trauma. Yet he is the happiest baby, blissfully unaware of what's in store for him in 5 short months.

Open heart surgery is not the sort of thing babies should have to anticipate, much less endure. Children should not have to face the idea of death before they've had the chance to fully embrace life.

But we know it happens every day. Sometimes unexpected illness takes a life. Sometimes the inexplicable act of a single human who has lost its grip on reality senselessly takes 20 little ones from their families just before Christmas.

It always seems like it will, but our pain does not stop the Earth's rotation. The sun does not go dark and the moon does not lose its luster. How can that be? These events do not define us, do not steal our ability to be happy, joyful people and to go on loving, even when it seems that it should.

The most amazing part is how Hope endures. How - like the rays of the sun breaking the horizon at dawn, just when we may least expect it - Hope peeks out of our hearts and reminds us that it's still alive and that our spirits are interminable.

We know Matthew has a long journey still to go, in spite of the mountains he has already climbed. And we know the stakes are high. And we know what he doesn't - the risks that keep heart parents awake at night.

But we also know the odds of a good outcome and by now we have two years of this kid demonstrating just how remarkable and resilient he really is.

So in spite of great fear we embrace Hope with gratitude and put our faith in the same process that has allowed Matthew to celebrate his second year of life. We celebrate Matthew, who never ceases to find a smile, who is never EVER at a loss for unbridled enthusiasm when he sees a Mickey Mouse, who reminds us what it's like to grab the life we are given and ride the wings of Hope, as high as they'll take us.

Happy Birthday, Kid!


  1. Our precious little Matthew, you are such a blessing to each of us. All our Love, Aunt Marsha and Uncle Tom

  2. I can't believe it has been two years! He looks AMAZING and trust me, he will continue to amaze you and everyone he meets! Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas from one heart family to another!
    Kathy, Chris, Sam (HRHS), and Luke from Macon, GA (originally from Mobile, AL)