has many challenges. I’m not a new parent. My daughter is twenty-two years old, but that fact has no bearing what-so-ever on reality. I look at the people around me who have small children and I, on some level, feel sorry for them.
The only bloody nose I ever gave anyone was my girl’s elementary school principal. It’s funny, in a sick sort of way, that I will take it and take it, whatever it may be, but when my child is threatened, I become a different human. Or maybe I become less human and more animal, a mama bear, a she-wolf … whatever works. What I do know is that I would go to the ends of the earth for her.
I am certain, beyond anything else, that were she to know I speak so of her, she would be mortified. I don’t care. Not one whit. What I do care about is that she is happy. That she is safe. That she is where she is supposed to be at this particular moment. I, in some ways, live vicariously through her. She is so much of what I wanted to be. A musician, a fighter, confident and brainy. I always hoped, as she grew up, that she would be herself and not like me. That sounds overdramatic, I’m sure, but it is true.
I was so backward. Being one who was bullied and too shy to stand up for myself, I spent much of my life alone. I learned to be alone and, at some point, began to thrive on it. I decided early on that I didn’t deserve to be loved and when someone said they did, I immediately assumed they were lying. The sad truth is that they usually were. It is like a line from a Billy Joel song that says “she’ll ask for the truth but she’ll never believe you”.
But all of that being said, it doesn’t matter how old our children become, they are still our babies. My mom said that to me, but until I had my own, I couldn’t understand it. She is a wise woman, my mom. A wise woman indeed.
Posted in a photographer's heart, a woman's tears, blog, child, courage, daughter, emotions, faith, family, from my heart, hope, Life, life experiences, love, parent, Photography, tears, Time, words
Tagged beauty, blog, child, courage, daughter, emotions, encouragement, faith, family, fear, friends, gina minton kearns, gina minton kearns blog, Gina Minton Kearns Photography, life, love, parent, words
Down’s Syndrome. I had heard of it, seen people who had it and been around other folks who had children or grandchildren with Down’s but on a personal level, had no real understanding of it. At least not until the birth of my youngest niece, Gracie. Gracie came into the world nearly eight weeks early and spent the first two months of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NIC-U). She had tubes in her nose and mouth, IV lines in her veins and spent much of her time in a special incubator that kept her body temperature regulated. There was great excitement at each wet or dirty diaper and each dropper of formula that she was able to swallow. The doctors said over and over to not get our hopes up, that there could be many things wrong and that she would likely be brain damaged, a near-vegetable. They told of the horrors of holes in her heart and dysfunctional kidneys, blindness and the inability to walk, talk or do many of the activities that other children do. Their faces serious and their prognosis dire, they didn’t know what we did.
That God was already working in that little life and had been even before she was conceived. They didn’t know that this child was a miracle in the making, a blessing that would far exceed any of our imaginings. As her little body rested in the incubator, her lungs strengthening with each breath, her muscles growing with each kick, her eyes, unfocused and blurry beginning to gaze directly into ours, we prayed. Our friends and families prayed, our sister churches prayed and an ever-faithful, merciful and loving God gathered the prayers together and let His blessings flow, falling like the gentle rains of springtime. When Gracie came home from the hospital, the nurses rejoiced that she was well enough to leave and cried that she would no longer be a part of their everyday lives. At first, we handled her like a fragile china doll, afraid that the slightest touch would break her. So tiny was she that our hands could cover her entire body. But she didn’t stay tiny for long. She grew and she thrived, she looked and she learned and she brought joy into all of our hearts that we had never known before. With each milestone, she would smile and clap, then watch and wait for her fans to clap with her. Watching Gracie grow is one of our most cherished blessings and I, for one, am grateful that this beautiful child graced our lives. Not surprisingly, she has made her way on to numerous greeting cards, most recently, a Nurses Day card for Oncology Nurses. Her love, light and laughter is contagious and I hope everyone catches a little bit of it. I pray that God will continue to bless our sweet Gracie-Bell all of the days of her life.
a little pray-er goes a long way
Posted in baby, blog, Down's Syndrome, Down's Syndrome, Photography, Encouragement, faith, family, God, Life, love, Photography, Time
Tagged beautiful, blessing, child, Down's Syndrome, God, grow, joy, love, miracle, thrive