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Friday, 21 February 2014

"For 38 days, nothing mattered more than our love for...."

 ...their child. Their severely disabled, child.
Their severely disabled, dying, newborn child.

 But "in the midst of an ordinary life" where is that love?

This is a stunning, beautiful testament to the preciousness of a human life, whatever its "imperfections", and a wonderful reminder that the "easy" times can be the most difficult times to be our best selves.
For 38 days, nothing mattered more than our love for Silvan. Like any parents love-struck with their newborn, we stroked his skin, sniffed his loamy head and marveled at his starfish hands.

But unlike ordinary parents who hold hope for a future adult within their love for a child, Silvan as a newborn was all we had. Knowing our time was brief, we loved him fully in the present. He taught us how to do that. For all our rage and grief, joy overwhelmed us in his presence. For 38 days, Silvan was our life, and then, once he was gone, the habit of new love continued.

On a reverse sort of honeymoon, grief united us. Stripped of petty complaints, we felt grateful for everything, for waking to sunlight on the bed, for each other’s hands beneath the sheets. With the dark humor of comrades in suffering, we called any kind of parenthood other than what we had endured “parenting lite.” We had held our child until the end.
That kind of love can feel...  heroic, in a way the daily grind seldom does, and Monica Wesolowska, a lovely writer, captures both ends of that spectum.

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