Life is not the sum of our experiences… it’s the sum of our responses to what we are handed.
We’ve all been handed that one crappy card (or maybe multiple crappy cards). You know the ones: those cards that make our hand seem unrecoverable and we don’t see any other choice than to fold.
Times like the layoff when finances were already tight, the car accident that resulted in lifetime limitations, or the illness the doctors said doesn’t have a cure. Whatever the hand you were dealt, it hurt and it’s hard to imagine where to go from here.
My card was the stillbirth of my daughter, Adeline Grace.
These are the unexpected (many times, unimaginable) events that set our paths in motion; however, they are not what defines our story. What defines our stories are the choices we make in the aftermath of those events.
I did not choose to be the mother of a stillborn child.
I did not choose this life.
But it is the card I was dealt.
So here I am, learning to live in this new and unexpected state.
As I stumble along this path, I realize, even though I did not choose this life, I still have a choice. I can still choose how I want to live the life I’ve been given.
It is impossible to control what happens in life. There will come a time when we’re all faced with unimaginable circumstances, situations where we have no choice in the outcome or the results.
That does not mean we lose our ability to choose.
I choose to live a full and joyful life.
Not in spite of our tragedy, but in honor of my life and hers.
Each of us has a choice. No matter what you’ve been through, no matter how hard it’s been, remember you still have choice and that is a powerful word.
It opens our minds to new possibilities; it allows us to see futures we couldn’t even imagine. The thought of living a full and happy life after the loss of my daughter seemed impossible. It’s seemed so far out of reach. I felt as if I was doomed to a life of misery and sadness, but I am not.
Yes, there will absolutely be heartbreak and sadness for the rest of my life, yet I choose to embrace this life as it’s been given to me. I choose to find the joy and happiness of knowing Adeline. I choose to find the good in what I’ve been given while still honoring the sadness within.
I know it’s not easy.
I know it hurts, but it’s ok to hurt. It’s ok to be mad, angry, frustrated, and sad.
I’m all those things too.
But I am also happy.
I choose to be happy… to smile big and love hard.
I am happy to have known her, blessed to be her mother, and so very honored to share her with the world (albeit in a form I never could have anticipated).
The power of choice lies within you, my friends.
Choose the life you want to live.