A couple of months ago, I got a call from one of Ann Catherine's NICU nurses. She asked me if I would contact a mother in our NICU whose baby was born at 23 weeks gestation.
I called her and we had a great conversation. I shared our story with her and her faith in God was immediately evident. We have stayed in touch and we have corresponded through her Caring Bridge web page.
Her posts are so amazing - so full of faith and hope. When your child is sick, it's easy to lose faith and question why God is allowing this to happen. But, Tina's faith has been so steadfast and she has been an incredible inspiration to me. One of her recent posts really made me think.
Her son Reed had had a tough day in the NICU. Tina was basically saying that if you have healthy children, you should be so grateful. She went on to say that if they are crying in the middle of the night, be so grateful.
Later that night, I was sitting on the sofa relaxing. The girls and I had had a crazy day and I just wanted to rest. They were both playing and wearing dress-up clothes.
Ann Catherine walked to the sofa, tugged at my hand and said, "Dance with me, Mommy."
My first thought was, "Honey, Mommy is so tired. Please just let me rest."
Then I thought of Tina's post on her Caring Bridge site and I thought of how she would give anything to be able to hold her son, Reed, and dance.
"Okay, baby, I'll dance with you," I said. And then Lily, dressed in her Cinderella gown, walked over to Chris, grabbed his hand and said, "Get up, Daddy."
And there we were, the four of us dancing in our living room. I am so thankful I didn't let that moment - that opportunity - pass by.
Life is so crazy and I am so guilty of telling my kids, "In just a minute," when they ask me to play or read a book to them. Aren't we all? But, Tina's post reminded me that life is so short and uncertain.
What really matters? Resting on the sofa? Or dancing with your child?
I challenge you all to dance instead. I know life is hurried and crazy, and with kids it's just downright tiring sometimes.
But, remember: there are so many mommies and daddies in hospitals right now. They are sitting next to their child's bedside and wishing they could dance with them. Or just simply hold them.
May we all, myself included, remember to cherish the special moments we have with our children. And may we always remember what a gift they truly are.
On that note, please say a prayer for Reed - and for all of the babies who are in our NICU. Each situation is unique and they all could use your prayers.