Wednesday, June 15, 2011


15 years ago, on this day, I was meant to bring home a baby.

That baby - JL - had been born 13 weeks earlier, after a long and often painful battle to try and stop labour. He was not expected to survive, my small, fragile blonde haired, blue eyed son. Having survived - he was never expected to thrive.

He had 2 strokes in the first 10 days of life. He survived N.E.C. and had so many bradycardia attacks and tachycardia attacks that even the doctors were admitting fear and concern. Every day, walking into the Mercy hospital neonatal intensive care was a trauma. Graduating to nursery 4, then 5, then 6 were all HUGE milestones. Every gram of weight gained was a day closer to home.

We were told to not 'expect much'. Bernie and I loved our tiny son who was so ridiculously small that we clothed him in cabbage patch doll clothes.

I remember so much about that time and about how painful it was. From driving like a maniac into the hospital in case he had died overnight, to coming home and sitting, rocking his pram, crying because I was not allowed to hold him (too small, too fragile). I could not breast feed him as my breasts were bigger than his head and the effort of feeding him made him lose weight. Express milk all the way!

Today I flounced into his room to wake him up - "Happy Birthday!" I shouted quietly. "15 years today if you had been born on time!"

From with in the warmth of his bed, he raised his head and smiled at me. "I was."

From being expected to be brain damaged, small, and all things not quite right, he is now taller than me, beautiful to look at with a physique Adonis would be proud of, smart as a whip, talented, popular - in short - everything a mother could hope for.

Yet I still see the little JL. The fragile, wide eyed boy who looked at me in grief as a lumbar puncture needle was shoved into his small 6 week old spine. I know every trauma he has gone through has made him stronger. He has not needed to hang on to any of it. He has survived, thrived, grown beyond and he shows no signs of the life, the struggle, he led to get here.

An example to me, to us all. Sometimes I forget what he has achieved. I forget that it was the Energy that I use that helped save him, kept him alive, clothed him in love. It is easy to just look at the boy and dream of the man he will be.

But today I will see the man he is becoming and I will remember the boy that he was. The boy who fought, with no recrimination, no questions, to survive - and I will be.

Just be.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What an amazing time to be on Planet earth...

Life without pain sounds wonderful, but in reality it would tiresome and unfulfilling. People will often ask themselves the question of Why?' They wonder why would they do this? Put themselves here, on earth, to suffer the trials and tribulations of humanity, to love, to lose, to fight, to suffer.

I remember a line from one of my most favorite movies - 'The Princess Bride' where the hero, Westley tells us that 'Life is Pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something.'

People assume that it is their right and indeed a necessity, to live a life pain free.

The only thing that life can guarantee you is that you are born and that you will live the full extent of your life, as given, be that a day, or one hundred years. IN between birth and death, you will laugh and you will cry.

Life is pain. But not all that pain is bad, or to be avoided. Pain tells us where we have truly loved. Pain can tell us what is absent from our life. An absence of pain, of feeling, in a human is often a key symptom in a person who is a sociopath.

Yet people studiously avoid pain. Life without pain disalows you the right to be compassionate, to cry when your child is hurt, to grieve when your friend ails or dies, to mourn when you feel that you are betrayed, to know that hurting another is wrong.

To try to avoid pain is to fail to live to your full extent.

I do not want to be in pain, I do not want to cry and yet, it is this depth that will allow me to know where to love, where to trust, where I have failed or won, or am driven.

I sometimes think back on the people that I have loved and in one way or another, have lost. I feel pain. But I also feel joy that I knew that person, that I was blessed to have been part of their journey. This is a good pain, a healthy pain...

My point within my ramblings is to help you to see that life is not a free ride, full of only joy. Life is a patchwork quilt that is full of all the experiences and emotions you can feel. To deny or to diminish any of them is to live a less than full life. To love fully, you will need to experience loss of love.

Which of you would give up the intense love you have felt for another being, just to be pain free?

Between grief and nothing, I would take grief. It is in that way that I can feel true love, true joy.

Carmel Bell