The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. – Mark Twain
I (along with the help of one of my fabulous nephews) am working on new March for Babies t-shirts for Team Roo this year. Said nephew had me searching for inspirational words so I of course looked up “inspirational words” hoping something would inspire me, and yet still remind me of Ryley’s birth. I wanted something that would speak to the journey we’ve been on, how I felt at his birth and during his NICU stay, and how I feel about where we are now. Who knew there were so many inspiring words out there?
In the process, I came across the above quote from Mark Twain. You know those things in life – the scenes, the songs, the movies, the books, the sayings – that just make you draw in your breath? Yeah, that happened. You see, when Ryley was born, and in his first couple of years of life, we were just in it. We were too busy living it to try and figure out why we were living it. That is NOT to say I never asked God why, I just didn’t dwell on the why.
Once we were past the scariest times (aka, Ryley was stable and developmentally on track), we came out from under the cloud and I did begin to wonder at the purpose of it. For there must be a purpose, mustn’t there? There had to be a reason for what we had been through. We couldn’t have suffered for naught. I needed desperately to make sense of his prematurity.
I don’t know that we will ever have a clear definition in Ryley’s life of the why for him. I do know why I went through it. I do know that because of my experiences, I have been able to reach out to so many others now walking the same journey. I know that I have been able to use our journey to comfort and give hope to others. I know that I am much more of an advocate for my children and myself than I was before Ryley’s birth. I know my own strength to the extent it was tested during that time. I have people in my life who live so deeply in my heart, and whom I would not know but for Ryley’s prematurity.
Is this the reason why I was born? Who knows. I’d like to think it’s part of it. I can’t wait to see the day Ryley figures out why he was born. That will be a gift. Lord knows the day he was born was pretty incredible.