Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Avery's Bucket List Live On In The Heart of Us All

Among any other person that has come across the story of sweet Avery Canahuati and her beautiful Bucket List over the past few weeks, I was so saddened to learn of her recent passing.  Her family has so intimately and graciously let all of us in, and my heart is aching for their sudden loss, that happened much sooner than they ever expected.

First off, I will say that this post is taking forever to write.  The constant thoughts of Avery's parents making the most of every single moment with her are ringing in the back of my mind.  They knew the time they had with her would be short and made it their mission to make her life as full as possible.  And they most certainly did!

And so every time I hear those little feet coming my way, I remind myself to jump off my stool and take the time to roll around, giggle, and share a pretend cup of tea.  All of these beautiful stages of our kids lives are so short, and although in a completely different context, will be over in a  heartbeat.  Enjoy the moments and make the most of every single one of them, for as most of us will move onto the next phase with our kids, we should always remember how lucky we are to do so.

Avery's Mom and Dad can be sure that she is smiling down at them from heaven.  What a legacy they have created for their daughter, for a cause and for other parents to learn from.  So many lives have been touched, have hope and will carry on in new and exciting ways because of their daughter and all she brought to us in such a short time.  We are all changed, because they selflessly shared her with the world.  Thank you.

The Canahuati's are a shining example of the power of parenting, and although what we have seen has of them has been happy and fun and powerful, they most certainly experienced days where they needed something to keep them going... To keep living so optimistically and strong for their baby girl.

The poem that I want to share with all of you has popped back into my mind as I've been thinking of their journey, as it was something that had a profound impact on my own in the weeks after the birth of my son.  He was incredibly sick and we spent his first months in the Alberta Children Hospital facing tremendous obstacles.

It kept me going.  It was (and still is) in a baby blue frame, and I read it more times in a day than I could count.  Sometimes it was the boost when I didn't think I could handle any more.  I had to be the best Mommy that my little guy knew I could be and this was my reminder that he knew I could do it.

I still read it today, and although it means something completely different today than it did back then, I draw some new encouragement from it almost every time.

I hope that you'll read it and be touched or re-energized.  Who knows what the author had experienced or was going through when she wrote this?  It can be so meaningful in SO many different ways.   Please share it with someone who could use a boost or frame it and send it as a gift to parents who may going through a tough time with their children, as my sister did for me.  To this day, it is one of the best gifts I have ever received.

Maybe because this poem was such a big part of the most difficult time of my life, I still find it so powerful?  It should reign true for all of us though and be a reminder that as we exhaustedly raise our families, we are truly the best and only parents that our kids could ever hope for.  I truly believe that Avery's short and heroic journey could have never been as wonderful without her Mom and Dad, and she planned it that way...

Did you ever think, dear Mother,
As the seeds of me you sowed,
As you breathed new life inside of me
And slowly watched me grow,
In all your dreams about me
When you planned me out so well,
When you couldn't wait to have me there
Inside your heart to dwell,

Did you ever think that maybe,
I was planning for you too,
And choosing for my very own
A mother just like you?
A mother who smelled sweet 
and had hands so creamy white,
A tender, loving creature
Who would soothe me in the night?

Did you ever think in all those days
While you were coming due,
That as you planned a life for me
I sought a life with you?
And now as I lay in your arms,
I wonder if you knew
While you were busy making me,
I was choosing you.
~Colleen M. Story~

Ryder - My Homecoming King 

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