On the second to last day of the cruise I met up with a family from Payson, AZ. I was impressed with my discussion with them and wrote a little journal entry. The following is an exerpt:
"I just met a family from Payson, AZ. We were just chatting about the pools and when the best times for swimming were for families with young kids, when the mom mentioned their middle daughter having passed away back in May. She mentioned it a few more times in the course of our conversation so I felt comfortable in asking more details. Her daughter Hannah was born with Cerebral Palsy. She'd contracted a flu and given all the other medical treatments at the time, her kidneys had failed and she had passed away on the way to the hospital. They had bought the cruise before she had passed away and her mother in-law came to take her place. She was battling many emotions on the vacation and had much to share. We talked about the miracle that all children are but also about how children with special needs are our greatest teachers.
I really enjoyed our conversation and at the end we were both in tears. There was an instant bond and a sense of more to this life than mortal eyes can perceive. Given some of my experiences of the last ten years I'm not one to open myself easily to others and yet having Elias has made me more tender and more willing to be vulnerable. In so doing life is richer. Such is the gift of my son."
Just wanted to post this to count some of the rich blessings in my life!
Here's my little man, wiped out the last morning of the cruise. I miss all the snuggling we did on the trip and our early morning conversations!