We escaped to the beach for a few days to celebrate our positive news RE: Hopey. Here is a brief list of things we have experienced in the last 48 hours:
1. Hope reaching simultaneously for my hand and Chappy's hand. Once grasping them, trying to "skip" like a real little girl her age would do. While she still lacks the ability to "skip", she did her very best and we praised her efforts like crazy. Can you imagine the smile?
2. Charlie....petrified of the swimming pool and gripping our SKIN as tightly as possible. Who said kids with Down Syndrome have weak muscle tone???
3. 30+ sting-rays of some sort swimming only 15 feet from the shore....playing with one another, riding the waves in and then zooming out....soaring into the air effortlessly....putting on an incredible two hour show. Lydia and Natalie (with goggles), meanwhile, timidly swimming out to see them and then squealing (nearly walking on water for escape) when the "rays" came too close for comfort.
4. Finishing the book: "Tea with Hezbollah" by Ted Dekker and Carl Madearis. A MUST READ for all believers who want to explore the true meaning of "Loving Our Enemies". The book is a journal of a two week trip the two authors took to the Middle East to see if the story of "The Good Samaritan" is still relevant today. Two words that describe the book: spell-binding and jaw-dropping.
5. Caleb forgetting his size 14 flip flops (left them at home) and not being able to find a replacement pair anywhere....the typical response from store owners: "Size What???"
6. Walks along the sidewalks of Rosemary Beach with Trudy on her purple leash and the little ones in matching Winnie The Pooh strollers beneath a bazillion of the brightest stars....83 degree highs with little humidity and a constant breeze....fresh grouper with cheese grits....and homemade spinach/feta cheese bread from Lalobas Bakery.
Today, I sat on the porch and looked out over the vast emerald sea. It was one of those spectacular sunny days where it would be difficult for me to name anything more beautiful than the ocean along 30a. Hope was climbing in and out of the lounge chair with me and Charlie was sound asleep....the big kids were down on the beach and Chappy was busy washing all the salt and fingerprints from the sliding glass windows.
Nothing else mattered in those moments. Hopey's heart condition was as distant as the horizon.....the memory of a diagnosis as fleeting as the seagulls flying overhead. Peace. Beauty. Completely engulfed by God. Words of the day such as "Apocolypse" and "Armageddon" being bantered around like everyone should be expecting the end of time, news of the "Oil Spill" which is now projected to last for months, headlines reporting the tensions between "North Korea and South Korea" are rising, leaders of Iceland warning Katla Volcano will erupt soon causing a global impact, hurricane season is closing in and not looking good, Iran enriching Uranium in the face of the UN, Greece and Spain posing for bankruptcy and taking the Euro down the tubes, the stock market acting more like a roller coaster than a bull or a bear, and Simon Cowell leaving American Idol (ha! ha!)....none of that mattered to me. Senses on high alert only to the sound of the waves, the bristling of the palms, the scent of salt air, the freedom of the sting rays, and Hope's head leaning snug and safe against my chest.
Isn't it funny how life can be so enormous one minute you fear you might drown and then incredibly minute the next...more like a puddle? One breath with heart beating fast and palms sweating....the next full of calm and serenity. Same person. Same life. Same circumstances. God.