Thursday, March 4, 2010


I've been watching a lot of Sesame Street (Mom's do you hear me? :) ) and everyday there is a "Word of the Day." Kind of like a vocabulary lesson for the genius kids out there who can actually pronounce words like "exquisite", "quest" and "marvelous". So in honor of my new past time....I'm introducing my own Word of the Day - it's really more like the Word of my Life.
There's something about the word "perspective" that can bring about positive and negative feelings. As an emotional teenage girl (as opposed to the emotional adult I am now? lol.) I used to hate when my mother would talk about "perspective" when I felt I was in a crisis. She was always right, but who wants to admit to that? And what child hasn't heard "there are starving children who would love to eat your broccoli" and then silently begrudge those words and think "I honestly don't think they would love broccoli."
Over the course of my life I would occasionally witness something that brought perspective to mind. It was an "on-again off-again" relationship - more of an acquaintance than relationship really. But last January 2009 - I was reunited with "Perspective" - and I will tell you - it was a wonderful, welcomed reunion. Perspective was looking amazing (is that the same Perspective I knew in high school? Boy, had she changed.) and I was shocked at how much I appreciated seeing her again (yes - Perspective is female - can you really be surprised?). On Thursday January 8, 2009 I truly met Perspective for the first time. She graciously appeared at our doctors visit that Thursday morning and (after the horrifying appointment the Wednesday before) she was like a cleansing breath of fresh air...well, first she was a wave of shock...a gaping mouth...and a sputtering crazy woman saying "what? but the doctor said...? What?!"...followed by a deep sigh of relief... and the biggest smile in my heart I've ever felt. It was Thursday, January 8th and we had just been told our baby had spina bifida in the lower spine. It was a fairly large opening and could affect his walking, bowels, bladder and maybe some other gross motor skills. It was the most common form of S.B. and we would need to meet with a neurosurgeon soon to discuss the closure surgery which would take place soon after he was born.
It was Thursday January 8th...and I was so relieved.
I was so happy.
This was a miracle.
("HUH!?" You might be thinking...unless you've heard this bedtime story before...)
That's were Perspective came in.
The day before (at our first ultrasound appointment) we had been given the heart-breaking news that our baby was likely (I'll never forget the wording) "incompatible with life". That the type of spina bifida they saw on ultrasound was rare and devastating and that we should consider our options (i.e. terminating the pregnancy). We were told our baby might not live. And if he did survive birth he would not have much of a life without breathing tubes, feeding tubes, every possible assistance to do EVERYTHING. He would be on life support entirely.
So, on Thursday January 8th - hearing THIS news - that the S.B. was common - that we didn't have to worry about him breathing or eating on his own -That he would LIVE without constant medical attention and support - was beautiful news.
Perspective at her purest.
Relief at it's sweetest.
God's hand at It's clearest.
To this day the memory reminds me to thank GOD for the miracle He performed. For saving my son and holding my hand through it all.
For turning tragedy into blessing - grief into gratitude.
And though there was still a hole in my baby's spine, the gaping hole in my heart - at that moment began to heal.
Since that day Perspective and I have been close confidants. We go to every doctor's visit together, watch every crawling baby together, post every blog post like all relationships ours has moments of weakness...I'll forget to invite her to go shopping with me and I'll see a toddler walking and I feel anxious, envious, or saddened by the uncertainty of my own situation...Perspective's absence has that negative side-effect. But thankfully she's never far...and she always finds me again soon with a "Why didn't you call me?" and a "Well I'm just glad we're together now." She shows me how things really are - and not how I'm afraid they will be - and reminds me of that day we met...really met for the first time. She humbles me with how quickly I forget sometimes. And uplifts me in the form of the amazing new friends I have met.
And then I feel better.
And then I feel stronger.
And then I feel grateful.
Thank you God for teaching me.
For loving me.
For helping me.
...with this comforting, humbling, edifying friend - Perspective.


Papi said...

Wow, Joanna. You write so beautifully and you have a great story to tell. But, not a story... it's the truth. God is Good. Thank you for sharing so much about little Jet with us through your words for the last year. They are precious.

krousehouse said...

I love this post, it is perfect...and it provides me with, you guessed it, perspective.

Guess Family said...

LOVE IT! but what else is new? I always love what you write. I am a bigtime cheerleader for little Jet!!!!

Lindsay said...

You are an awesome mommy! Thanks for openly sharing God's workings on your life!

And I would love to share my sling knowledge with you next time :-) do you and Jet ever visit swift cantrell? Ansley and I would love to meet up for a walk in the warmer weather!!

Summers Family said...

Beautifully written.

Leigh and Andy said...

Great post! Love it!!! :)

Heather Weir said...

This is a great post. Goes along with one I just posted, I just didn't know what to name my feelings. I guess I've got to learn how to call on this Perspective when my fears start creeping in. Thanks

Sarah Hull said...

That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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