Despite all the chaos in my life while I was pregnant with my son, I was a very happy person, and I knew instinctively that my baby was a happy baby as well. All tests and ultrasounds had come back normal, and he bounced along for nine months with no issues. A truly great pregnancy.
What I didn’t know was that he had a birth defect that in many cases is fatal. We didn’t find out until I was a week overdue and an ultrasound showed a deformed bladder and severely swollen left kidney.
I was right, however, that he was a happy baby. Every single day, when asked how he is, he replies with a chipper “Great!”. And at the end of nearly every evening, he will shout, “Mommy, Dad, this was the best day ever!”.
I was previously a tortured artist at heart- gloom and doom, pessimistic on a good day. But his joy is infectious- and his stubborn will to see the sunshine on even cloudy days breaks through any dreariness I would have. He is blissful; at five years old, he has no idea how close to danger he had been. In truth, none of us realize how close to the end we all are at any given moment.
He reminds me that every day is a gift, wrapped up, shiny, and new with a bow on top. Full of anticipation about what good things can happen if we seek it out, and choose not dwell in the dark past. He also reminds me that if I am doing something in my life that does not bring some happiness, some joy, each day- that I need to either change my outlook, or change my situation.
Our days are numbered, many or few, but each one should be held like a little treasure. Maybe we can’t always say we are “Great!”, but we can try. I thank God every day for sending me Vince to teach me how to enjoy this time I have on earth.