Okay, okay, everyone, thank you all for your participation in today's melee. Now let's all (me too) take a nice, deep breath.
Here's the thing: I have requested on two separate occasions in the not-too-distant past that comments on this page remain positive. If you are reading this blog, thank you for being here. However, I must ask a third time, please censor yourself if you find yourself writing a comment that is not positive. I pour my heart and soul into this blog. I have shared the most naked and vulnerable thoughts, feelings and fear I have here with you. I provide TREMENDOUS value and inspiration on this page for free and have done this just about every day since June. What can you do in return in the spirit of reciprocity? Keep your comments positive, or keep them to yourself. If you don't want to do that, or don't feel like you can do that, please do not read my blog anymore. Find another blog to follow, and God bless. Sorry, it's my blog and I'm pulling rank ;-)
Today was my first of the two-day internet boot camp down in San Diego. I began looking into doing business through the internet when Bella was born as I couldn't work in a hospital and take care of her at the same time. Since then, I have dipped my toes into the internet marketplace without much monetary success, but have learned a ton, and developed an amazingly loyal community here, thanks mostly to Bella. Without Bella, I wouldn't have started blogging. Without Bella, I wouldn't have written a book, raised money, donated books to every new EB family in the US for the next 4 years, raised awareness for EB, met a whole new family of friends in Minnesota, and across THE WORLD. It's all because of Bella. Bella was good for the planet, wasn't she? Exactly as she was. I'll never forget doing bandage changes on her in May, shortly before leaving for MN. They were soooooo peaceful. She would lie on the bed, and watch Baby Einstein as we would 'put her back together' in her fresh bandages. Every once in a while, she would pull her gaze away from the TV and just smile at me. That smile said to me, "Ah, yessss.... THIS is why I picked YOU. I knew you would take this good care of me."
My personal belief is that the soul chooses its own journey, and chooses the parents it wants to come through, not the other way around. The illusion of control is so thick in our society. Folks, we are not in control. If we were, nothing bad would ever happen. To anyone.
How many married couples do you know that have had a "change of life baby" later on in their marriage? How many have tried everything under the sun and just can't get pregnant? How many have gotten pregnant even on 'birth control?' What if we did IVF and the baby ended up with Down Syndrome, or a million other childhood diseases or maladies that fill children's hospitals around the world... every. single. day? Who would we blame then?
All I can say is that this baby chose us, just like Bella did. In fact more so than even Bella did, because, candidly, at least with Bella we were specifically trying to get pregnant. It's not like in November we said, "Hey alright! Let's through caution to the wind and pump out another one!" The conversation was quite the opposite. We weren't ready. But we are still pregnant. Abortion doesn't fit within our view of the world and of life, so here we are. Folks, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it's not the events of life that determine our outcome, it's our response. There are no if-then clauses about life. We make them all up ourselves. I fully take responsibility that I made up the if-then clause that if someone says something crass the day I post the SCARIEST and most EXCITING news of my life, I'm gonna deal on them. I did that of my own volition.
And trust, us, we know exactly what the possibilities facing us are. We don't need to be reminded.
However, we walk the walk, and have since day one. SO, the event is here, NOW WHAT??? How are we going to be in the face of whatever it is?
I wonder, is there anyone from the U of M hospital staff reading this that was in the room the day Bella died? How was I being in the face of that? How was I being as I harmonized to Bella's song, as we unhooked her from all her machines? How was I while I watched the team administer CPR for TEN MINUTES? How was Angelique as she delivered her eulogy not once, but twice? What was she like to meet at one of our many round-the-country blog gatherings? How was my faith when I wrote the the post: October 11 Part II? How has Ali been throughout this grief journey?
All of these things have been a choice, despite the events taking place. It's actually all we have. We have our vision, but life does what life does... ah, but we also have our response. We always get the final word in. It's THAT final word that ALWAYS and without escape determines the final outcome.
That's it. We cannot control the events of life, but we can control how we respond. Now, it's time for me to take a little of my own medicine here and say that I do not practice this perfectly, but I do practice it powerfully. Yup, I get triggered and reactive also, yesterday was evidence enough of that. I'm no saint, just a guy doing my best to be the best I can be. My gratitude and heartfelt thanks goes out to all.