Ya know, now that I think about it, I really cannot remember how I came across this story or got in contact with the creator of this movie, but....
Somehow I ended up being invited by the creator of the movie, I Am Not My Body, to attend the documentary's premiere. It is a story about this special young man, Marius:
The story's beginnings are devastatingly sad, starting with poverty, severe abuse, and a house fire that took both Marius' parents, and nearly cost Marius his life. The middle of the story is bedazzled with miracles that ultimately brought Marius to the United States where he receives proper medical care, and is thriving on love from his adoptive family. There are so many lovely details, and you really should find them out by clicking here. Well, even that is only part of the story, but it will still give you a pretty good idea.
The story made me appreciate where I live, how close I am to good medical care, what a loving family I have and have always had, and the miracle of having a healthy body. Oh my, we take our bodies for granted! This morning I watched Chloe struggle to simply hold her head up so she could blow Grammy and Papa a kiss.... she struggles through so much! BUT she doesn't suffer -- how amazing is that. She doesn't allow herself to suffer through the struggle. What an incredible girl! It was likely one small infection that reached her brain during the very early parts of her development in utero that caused this lifelong condition. It's sad, yes, but it's also a wonder, don't you think, how MANY babies are born without problems like that? Honestly, if there is a person out there who believes that miracles have ceased, then I would like to take that person to any hospital nursery anywhere in the world, and look at all the beautiful babies. So many cells and chromosomes and other microscopic pieces of anatomy had to come together in such perfect form to create the miracle that is the human body. Even Chloe's body -- it is so beautiful and perfect. Our bodies are miraculous!
BUT as amazing as our bodies are, and as much as I appreciate my good health, I have come to understand the message of Marius' movie, that there is so much MORE to all of us than our bodies! Chloe teaches me this lesson every single day when she "speaks" to me without a voice, and when she seems to move mountains and stir hearts even though she can't use her legs or her hands.
I was so grateful to be in attendance. I was grateful that my mom was so willing to watch Chloe, so happy to be on a date with my main squeeze, and so overjoyed to be surrounded by so much inspiration. Marius was in attendance, and was such a delight! He talked about hope, his broad definition of "family," and was seriously cracking me up -- he's a funny little dude!
The infamous nienie was in attendance at the movie, and also appeared in a segment about burn victims. I went to meet her afterward, but she was already surrounded by loving fans . I'm not one who typically gets starstruck, but I have followed nienie's blog since even before her accident and even before I started blogging, and I have come to love her. I think she defines true beauty.
I decided that I didn't need to meet her. It was just enough to be around her and Marius, and to have learned their special lessons. Stephanie shared a special lesson in this post recently. Please read it and soak up the message. Life is to be enjoyed and appreciated!
Watching this movie, and witnessing many other little miracles recently, have caused me to have this overwhelming sense of appreciation every second of every day! My heart is overloaded with joy lately. I wish I could somehow express it properly and/or bottle it up so I could just take it in the next time I need it. More than anything, I just appreciate the true gift that life is.... it is a mystery to unfold, and I sit anxiously awaiting what might come next! However, I also love this moment, exactly as things are now, with my Chloe and my hubby, and all the amazing people in my life. I love that every single day is an opportunity to create the life you want, to be the person you want to be, to experience love and joy. I appreciate the change of seasons, but particularly spring, with dandelions and tulips springing up through the snow, after the storms, reminding us that we too can persevere and find our way, bud and bloom and infuse color into the world.
Wow, am I rambling. Sometimes, though, I just have to allow myself to at least try to express the feelings in my heart. If I don't put those feelings out there, I'm afraid I might explode! So sorry for going on and on, but thank you for allowing me to prevent my own spontaneous combustion.
Last but not least, I appreciate the opportunity I have to be a mother. And specific Chloe's mother. What an honor! I was speaking with someone a few weeks ago, and told her a little about Chloe's condition. She said, "Oh, that would be the worst thing ever." I kept thinking about that phrase, 'the worst thing ever....' What is the worst thing? There is no right or wrong answer, but I imagined a few things: the death of a child, the death of a spouse, war, natural disasters, poverty, being an orphan.... I don't know what 'the worst thing ever' is, but I know one thing for sure is that Chloe and everything that makes up WHO Chloe is, and being her mother -- that is definitely NOT the worst thing ever!!! Oh, I know she didn't mean it that way, and I certainly wasn't offended, but I just wish that people who pity children with special needs and/or their parents could just have a peek into the reality of the situation. Yes, there are tough things about it, but even the tough stuff is sprinkled with love and joy and a vulnerability that adds beauty to life, purpose to days, and appreciation of the simple (yet most important) things.