Three years now...this beautiful, sassy, determined girl came into our lives!
I was still celebrating the good news of my daughter’s pregnancy when I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. I was in Dublin on business when I got the call. I wept as I walked along the Liffey processing the magnitude of change that lie ahead. I pondered life on the shoulders of my driver and doorman, and prayed in a pint of Guinness. I wondered if I would be alive to meet this baby…and then did the one thing that would distract me from this cancer diagnosis and went shopping. I bought the cutest baby girl outfits in my favorite shops on Grafton Street, not even knowing if the baby was a girl. And over it all, I prayed for peace, trusting God to carry me through the uncertainty.
Life changed in an instant. I left work, started treatment, studied all I could about multiple myeloma and was shaken to the core by the dreadful odds I faced! I was not going to get trapped in worry…I was determined to survive, determined to meet this new little one.
As we all awaited her arrival, I thought of her, I focused on life! Her life! My life! How this child would bring abundant joy just as her brother Reid had done a season before. I dreamed of the hugs and smiles and happiness that only a grandchild can give.
Chemo was killing the cancer but not my hope. It tried to steal my joy but it could not. In the midst of the hell of it all, I was at peace…I trusted God’s timing, as inconvenient as it seemed, and His grace to sustain and restore me and bless our family with two new lives…mine and Mila’s.
A good doctor knows the best medicine is balance. Balance between treatment and living! I was given options to live in this moment.
I chose to wait until after baby was born to have the stem cell transplant. I was determined to hold this child right away! To meet her fully coherent and not in recovery or worse. I would have an ally to begin a new life with…to be bald with and that was the one surprise!
Mila Grace was born that June day. Full of spirit…full of love…full head of hair!
Now she is three! And I have been gifted three years “new” life too! Stable and strong! She is still my compass. My measure of time. My reminder that life is a gift and hope lives in the heart of those who believe.
So on this birthday, I celebrate all it is, that by the grace of God I am still here to love her…the sweet, brave, smart, funny and beautiful girl that delights us with her charm. She is a force…adventurous and fearless and I dare to say I see a little of my spirit in her!
Photos with permission from my daughter!