Like most parents, I don’t get much time to watch tv. Of course, I do have my favourite shows, so this is where our PVR comes in handy.

During Tristan’s nap today, I settled down on the couch to watch an episode of Oprah from a month ago. It was a beautiful show profiling real life miracles and modern day heroes.

One story in particular touched my heart and brought me to tears. Stephanie and Christian were happily married with four children. On one fateful day, their tiny Cessna which Christian was piloting crashed into the Arizona desert. The plane was immediately engulfed in flames severely burning the three people on board. Christian, with a broken back, cleared a path for his wife and another passenger to exit the plane. Christian was burned on 30% of his body, and Stephanie a shocking 80%.  Miraculously, they both survived the crash. A third passenger sadly did not make it.

Stephanie remained in a drug induced coma for three months while her burns healed. Her family held vigil in her hospital room and worried about her future. Would she make it? If she did, would her life be worth living? Perhaps they should just let her go…

Stephanie recalls a vision she had while in the coma. She was told that she had a choice. She could leave her pain and this world behind, or she could choose to stay on earth, though her life would be difficult.

With her husband and children in her mind, she chose life, knowing she would have a long, painful journey ahead.

I cannot think of an emotion stronger than the love a mother feels for her child. A mother would move mountains to be with her children. And given the choice, I too believe I would choose to live with a burned body to be able to see a smile on Tristan’s face every day. There is nothing more valuable to me than to be with my son.

Enter Andrea into the story, a stay at home mother who felt that her daily existence of child care and play-doh was boring and painful. When Andrea met Stephanie and her family, she learned some extraordinary lessons about the value of her family, and the importance of all those little moments in a day.  The mundane activities that Andrea dreaded were the very tasks and joys that propelled Stephanie from her bed every day.

There are so many things that we as parents may take for granted and see as chores that really should be enjoyed as special moments with our children. Because of her extensively burned skin, Stephanie is no longer able pick up her children at times when she previously wouldn’t have thought twice, like when they emerge from the bathtub, shivering. What she would give, I’m sure, to be able to enjoy and participate more in that “mundane” task.

What a lesson to learn from this brave woman. Oprah said it beautifully at the end of the show. “What a sacred, loving, nurturing thing it is to be able to make lunch for your kids, to be able to BE there.”

This is a lesson I never want to forget.

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One Response to “Blessings”

  1. Amanda G. Says:

    Welcome to the world of blogging Andrea!

    I saw that Oprah too, it was heart-wrenching and inspiring and a smack across the face all at the same time. Thanks for the reminder about how lucky we are that other people aren’t raising our kids, that we have the luxury of staying home and bearing witness to all their accomplishments and silliness and love.

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