Eleven years after a miracle

It’s been eleven years since one of my twin sons almost died in an accident at the beach. Eleven years since a stranger intervened and turned our lives from grief to joy. Eleven years of being able to move forward with our family intact and love both of these beautiful children every single day.

 

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July 2007

Eleven years is a long time to live with a miracle. It’s easy in the day-to-day to forget what a gift each moment really is. It’s easy to let the intensity of the near-loss and the unexpected recovery to fade as the press and stress of daily life takes over. But on the anniversary of almost losing him, I stop to remember how close we came to disaster, and I recommit myself to nurturing gratitude for and mindfulness of the profound gift of life.

It’s hard sometimes for me to talk about this experience publicly, because I know so many people who have suffered the loss of a child (including in sand hole collapses), and I don’t want my own celebration after a near-loss to be somehow insensitive to parents who grieve. And yet it is precisely this – the fact that any one of us could lose any beloved and precious person at any time – that compels me to write. To live in the awareness of the fragility of life is to discover that every breath is a miracle, every moment we have with anyone we love is a miracle. I got a real honest-to-goodness miracle on the beach that day, thanks to a woman who was radically open to the stirrings of the Spirit. But each of us is surrounded by miracles every day, and the world is so much better when we treat each other with the awe and wonder and gratitude befitting this reality.

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November 2017

A lot has changed in my life since the last time I wrote about our miracle on the beach. A lot has changed even since this picture above, of our family last fall. In January, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare, aggressive soft tissue cancer, and by the time it was discovered, it was already Stage IV. I was feeling well when I was diagnosed, and I’m feeling well still, but it’s been a hard few months of treatments and major life decisions and trying to survive.

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June 2018

Our family looks like this now. I no longer have the hair that Rob and I have always shared. There have been a lot of other losses along the way, but what happened on the beach in Santa Rosa in 2007 reminds me daily not only that life can change in an instant but also that impossibly good things can happen even after things have gone horrifyingly wrong. So I face every day with a lot of hope. And joy. And the love of the three men in this picture as well as a wide web of family and friends who are holding me up.

Even though I rarely write in this space anymore, I had to come by and invite my readers again to celebrate with me that we got our son back. Thank you for sharing in our joy and gratitude. [I’ll be back tomorrow with a more practical reminder about sand hole safety!]

July 2007

July 2007

May 2018

May 2018

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making a plan :: knitting for kids

have yarn, will knit

have yarn, will knit

I just checked to see how long it’s been since I finished a sweater for either of my sons. And wow, it’s been awhile. That’s about to change, as I’m gearing up to accomplish something I’ve not yet managed – knitting a sweater for each of them in the same season. The problem with knitting for kids is that if you aren’t quick enough with the knitting, the sweater you planned no longer fits them when you’re done! I’m hoping that this time, I will be motivated enough to Get. It. Done.

TWICE.

I stashed yarn for a sweater for Tiny Dancer when Plymouth Tweed was on a closeout a couple of years ago, and I pulled it out today. I asked him what he thought of the color, and this is what he did:

yarn sniffer

yarn sniffer

Oh, the sweetness. He learned that from me, years ago. I always sniff yarn. I LOVE the smell of yarn (especially if it’s got that little hint of vinegar in it). And Tiny Dancer has been following suit since he was in preschool.
I dug this old picture out to show him as proof:
YIP.4.10 - fabric sniffer
There he is at four years old, applying the yarn-sniffing principle to fabric – he interrupted me while I was sewing, to ask if he could smell the fabric. I was happy to oblige, and it still makes me smile whenever I see him stop to smell the textiles.

He held the yarn I’ve picked for his sweater and he sighed a great sigh and said with satisfaction, “Yarn smells so good.” And then my heart burst a little bit.

Surely with that kind of enthusiasm from the recipient, I can manage to stay on task and get this sweater knit in a timely manner, right?

I’ve got a little colorwork in mind to keep things interesting:

Plymouth Tweed

Plymouth Tweed

I still need to procure the third color I want to go with these two, which is a little bit of a challenge since it’s discontinued. But I’m optimistic (and can be resourceful if I can’t get exactly what I have in mind). I’ll be swatching soon, and I’m excited to get going!

this boy deserves a sweater

this boy deserves a sweater