Saturday, June 6, 2009

Keeping Faith

I've been following a blog for the last month about a little girl named Faith. Her mother, Shelly, is a friend of my friend, Andrea. Both Faith and Andrea's son, Drew are heart kids...that is, they were both born with very serious heart defects. Both Faith and Drew have had numerous heart repairs, the most recent for both kids being the same surgery. Drew had his surgery last May, and Faith had hers just this past March. Drew is a remarkable five year boy who for the first time can run, jump, and play almost like any other five year old. Faith, however, died just this past Monday morning after an extremely long and arduous hospital stay.

I've never met Shelly, and I never knew her daughter either. I only heard about their situation through Andrea, who had posted links to Faith's blog on her blog and facebook site. I read Shelly's updates on Faith almost daily, however, as Shelly's candor and honesty about her feelings over her daughter's situation were incredibly touching. As I read about Faith's passing, tears streamed down my cheeks. I felt her loss, and what is more, I felt Shelly's. Sophia is only three months old, and the impact her little life has had on mine cannot be described unless you actually are a parent. She is inextricably tied to me. Whatever pain she will feel in life I will feel also. To lose a child has to be an uncomparable devastation.

Shelly is a remarkable mother. Her daughter's passing, while painful, has touched her mother deeply. Faith's short life was a testament to loving unconditionally, making her loved ones feel special and unique, and finding beauty everyday. As a result, Shelly has committed her life to doing the same. Her journey is truly inspiring. In the end, the life that Faith lived, and the message that Shelly has shared with hundreds of strangers, is the life that each of us should strive to live everyday.

Life IS precious, and a gift that should be cherished. Each of our loved ones should know how important they are, and that their presence in our lives is a blessing. However fleeting an impact it may seem to be at the time, we should learn to appreciate the positive influence it has had in our own lives. Like Faith, and Shelly, to love unconditionally and to value the blessing that life is is a quality we should all embrace. I know that I am going to remember to appreciate all the blessings that life has to offer, as they are fleeting and temporary. A little girl who I never met reminded me to always keep faith.