Best laid plans ..

Its the end of March already. What a start to the year it’s been. I had such hopes for 2019, such excitement. But then that gut feeling hit, knocking the wind from my lungs. A call from my father confirmed it – Leukaemia. Acute Myeloid Leukaemia to be exact. These words burn my ears and stick in my throat. My knees give way and a silent scream lifts from somewhere deep straight to heaven.

This is not the plan. It’s not supposed to be this way! God, where are you??

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I was a summer girl at heart, a beach bum. Happiest with sand between my toes and sporting my pink cheeks, and freckles like a badge of honour. but then life happened. Our second sun-kissed golden girl became sick. It took a whole long year, an entire 12 months, for the experts to work it out. In that time she got sicker still. Another word to choke on- Dermatomyositis. Who knew you could be allergic to sunlight? Or that those blissful golden rays could trigger an avalanche of inflammation that threatened her very life. Certainly not me. Years followed filled with hospital stays testing monitoring and more horrid words like a side-effect, complex medical, high dose steroid, chemotherapy, biologics. Now we live in the shadows waiting for the sunset to come alive.

This wasn’t supposed to be part of our story, it wasn’t supposed to happen this way. God, where are you?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

She was the third little bundle to bless our tribe. I loved her from the very moment the test showed two deep pink lines. We rejoiced in the promise of her presence. We dreamed who she might be. We spent hours musing over names …..until that morning 21 weeks along when pain replaced my daydreams with fear and a deep sinking feeling ran through my innermost self. A scan revealed our little one had flown from us. Heaven would get her smiles first. Morphine and surgery followed by complications – the slip of a surgeons knife punctured through the soft buttery cocoon that had held her leaving scars in my womb that mirrored the tear in my heart. Broken.

I didn’t plan for this. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. God, where are you ??

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He’s nearly done. Its been a long haul getting here but just one more year of training and he’s qualified. Its a career with a promise of a secure future, family friendly hours and he loves his work. He is crazy good at it too. If only the gloves were sufficient, the tools more insulated. If only the voltage wasn’t so high, or the acid so corrosive. If only the consequences were less disastrous. How can a split-second reshape a mans life, a families existence, our whole world so finally? It was an accident.

This wasn’t the plan! It wasn’t supposed to be like this. God, where are you ??

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

She is a storyteller, a poet, an author at heart this firstborn of mine. A gypsy spirited wild child. A girl with the depths of the oceans inside her. So why is language so difficult? Why can’t she just learn the way others do? All that whimsy and adventure untapped, locked up. The world is missing out on the gift she brings with her. She is missing out and there’s no time and I’m so overdone and I don’t clearly see the need that is right in front of me as I’m so consumed by the needs all around. So she’s in it alone to fend for herself. School says they are helping but they don’t see what’s broken. She’s stuck, left slowly sinking. I’m failing her. I don’t know what to do, I’m so unqualified for this.

It’s not supposed to be this hard. It’s not part of the plan. How can this be our story? God, where are you ??

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

But through it all that still small voice whispered long, unrelenting as the years pass and the storms rage.

“This weights not yours to carry…I have you still.”

I lean in deep, breath in the life over and over….I discover a brave I wasn’t aware of, a strength that isn’t my own.

Then despite the prognosis, regardless of damage, two more blessings are added to our home and grief gives way to joy again.

A touch of crazy brave later and we take the reigns with our children’s education. Pulling our Wild one and Shade seeker from their classrooms to embark on a learning adventure together. A journey to health and wholeness follows.

So it seems the crazy brave pays off. Her medication is weaned away and her body recovers its strength and vibrancy. Her smiles return, her life restored.

Language is understood, reading is mastered and the secrets of this Wild child unlocked … Childhoods now drastically changed for the good, freedom to be, to create, to learn and explore. Life slows down and I wonder at the fear of failure that stopped me from embracing this unexpected path sooner.

The voice never leaves ….

“Jump and I’ll catch you “

More crazy brave and we take the leap. With not a cent to our name and a tribe to keep fed. We pack up our life onto the back of a trailer and move to where the trees cast long shadows late into the day. We are trading suburbia and the city for a country life…with no guarantees of an income or roof. Then it seems right away a job is presented and soon after a home that’s quite exceptionally more than ever hoped for is ours.

Far from perfection, our miracles are still being walked out. This is not the end of our story. Each crazy step shattering the best-laid plans that we had built for ourselves and the lesson learned is to hold it all loosely and embrace the adventure. Always seek out the gold from the dross.

That still small voice remains to this day whispering promises grand. While the hope for this year was dashed at its dawning, as long as that voice holds my heart in its hands, I’ll walk forward expectantly into the rest of our story. For even though nothing has gone according to plan, we are who we are because of the broken best-laid plans.

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