Day Twenty-Eight

What She Wore: bright green long-sleeve tee; blue jeans with sparkles on the pocket; tennis shoes.

Ok, I’d like to act like yesterday’s post never happened–major blonde moment there! Oh well, I’ll probably recover.

I feel like my life is moving in fast-forward, and this posting every day thing doesn’t help. I would like to share something today, though. You know how some bloggers are kind of famous? You know the ones that a lot of people read? Well, Billie is one of those bloggers. She had two twins born extremely premature. She documented their NICU stay on her blog and their subsequent growth. They are now three years old (I think). Both of her daughters developed cerebral palsy as a result of brain bleeds. One has mild CP and the other moderate. I found her blog not long after Charlie was born and I check it regularly. It’s filled with detailed information about the girls, their issues, their doctors, their therapies, etc. I consider it a major resource.

Recently, Billie was asked by another super-blogger to participate in a round-table discussion about grief. She had not, however, experienced a literal death. Her grief is not unlike mine–she grieves for the children that might have been–the children with perfect health. I’m not going to talk about that again, though–at least not today. I’m just going to comment on one little thing.

Many of the people who talked about grief mentioned a certain phrase that they hate hearing: Everything happens for a reason. I feel compelled to comment on this phrase–I’ve used it and heard it, and I think it bears a little examining. Why would someone hate this phrase so much? I think, because it places blame in a round-about way. If everything happens for a reason, does that mean that someone is to blame for what happened to my child? Or to Billie’s? What about the little girl who died while Charlie was in hospital? What was the reason for that tragedy? I think the word “reason” over-simplifies things. I think that people mean to say that we can’t explain God’s ways, but the way it’s phrased doesn’t make sense. Is God trying to teach someone a lesson? Me? My child? I just don’t think God works that way; I don’t think God is in the business of standing on a cloud, orchestrating “lessons” for each of us. I prefer to think of the whole thing as bigger than that–beyond my comprehension. I like to think of it as those pictures people make in stadiums–where each person is holding up a card of a different color. Mine may be white and Charlie’s may be blue. I don’t know why we each got the color that we did, but I know that it all makes sense from up above (lets just hope it’s not like this).

I think my husband puts it in a way that makes a little more sense to me. Charlie is perfect. He is just the way God intended for his purposes–not anyone else’s. Perfect. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

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  1. Nadine Hightower says:

    I agree with him! The Hub is sooo right….Charlie is perfect!

  2. Charlie is perfectly the way God has intended him to be. I can’t wait to read about how many lives he touches, opinions he changes, or influences as he grows. He sure has changed you. You have grown so exponentially since you have become a mother. And grief for me comes from somewhere so deep that even when the words come, I am not sure that even if I put them out there, unless, like you, you have have gone through it, you would not understand fully. And that is not meant as insult, it just is. Children are born perfectly healthy every day in America and that is what is expected, and when that doesn’t happen, it shakes your core, you know that, and you have to grieve and come to terms for what is not. I am going to go check out that blog.


  3. Girl, you know I know exactly what you mean.

    Well said, sweetie. :-)

  4. Small Town Girl says:

    Well said, Hub!

  5. The Hub did say it well!! I sometimes get caught up in the “why’s” of life and get frustrated with “whatever was meant to be” , “it happens for a reason”, all those other sayings. Fact is sometimes you have to say it is what it is and we can’t always try to find the WHY’s but instead focus on how to go forward with life as it is.

    Thanks so much for your comment, you always say the right stuff. And I’m glad to see someone agrees with me that bridges are hard to burn sometimes! Interesting you think I seem happier when we aren’t speaking. I never realized that, b/c after all I’m always stressing about it, but I think I do focus more on ME during those times. And on the thing about how he started this – I agree in fact I already thought, if he told me again that I screwed him, I’d be like umm NO you are the one who started all this, so don’t go blaming me!

    Phew long comment!!

  6. Playing by himself can be as simple as sitting in his chair or floor for bit with a toy and not crying to be “lapbaby” as I call him! I think you’ve done this with Charlie with the hangy toys while he’s in his chair!

    Seems like you guys have things in perspective to me.

  7. Hi There. I’ve stumbled across your blog from another… Anyhow, I work with children with disabilities for a living – almost 13 years now. “Everything happens for a reason”…it is pretty generalized…I like to think that everything that happens has a purpose. Sometimes we feel sad, sometimes happy, sometimes disappointed, and sometimes devastated…but definitely there is no “lesson” to be learned from a child’s death, or another’s pain. But I do believe we would all benefit from taking the time to reflect, appreciate, and admire the strength in others. People will admire Charlie – he will be a brave kid who handles more responsibility than most kids his age. He will be surrounded by adults, therapists, etc., and will have a wisdom beyond his years from all of his time with them. But he will hold that joy and spark that only children have…and he will still be your precious son, perfect in every way for your family. Best of luck to you and yours. Take care! ~~~A Friendly Canadian!

  8. I think you’re right on about why people dislike that phrase–saying it “happens for a reason” makes us want to know what that reason is…and none of the answers with which we are capable of coming up are good ones–they’re all bad (i.e. God is punishing me…).

  9. Your husband is a very smart man. Nuff said!

  10. Your husband is right Charlie is perfect. God created him. :)

    Just like you I have used that phrase everything happens for a reason but I also can’t stand it. Recently, though I have reflected on it and realized that though the reason may not be what one wants to see at the time sometimes bad events or unfortunate occurrences bring about great results.

    Give your fellas hugs and have a really great weekend.

  11. ooh, I completely agree. I always had a hard time with that phrase too because it’s so…vague. Reason? I understand it as this is one (from innumerable possibilities) of the versions of your life and it is intended to unfold this way. There’s no undo or ‘take it back,’ because this is how it is, for now.

  12. Yep, Charlie is perfect just the way he is.

    I do think that God uses circumstances to teach us lessons. I agree with you in the fact that I don’t believe that he causes those challenging circumstances to happen – at least not 100% of the time. And even those circumstances that are just really hard and impossible – he uses those for His good. Sometimes he challenges us so we can also be examples to others.

    You just never know what you’re going to get day to day. That’s the hard part!

    Hope your weekend is going well!
    God bless :)