Not My Plan-Receiving Your Child’s Gift
I recently read the Upworthy story of Eva, The Superhero Who Never Lived. This story will tug at your heartstrings as you witness the courage and the willingness of her parents to receive the gift that their daughter brought forth through her short life existence in this lifetime.
Not My Plan- Even when these parents received the news that their daughter wouldn’t live once she was delivered, they chose to receive her. They, being the parents that they are, wanted to make the most out of her short presence and make it a gift that others would receive as well. And even in that, they discovered they weren’t in control, as they discovered that
Eva had other plans.
She draws her last breath before birth, eliminating the opportunity for her parents and family to be with her for even a few brief seconds. It was her parents’ wish that her organs be donated to others so that her life could live on through others and her parents could bear witness to these lives.
Eva had other plans.
“The mission was simple: get Eva to full term, welcome her into this world to die, and let her give the gift of life to some other hurting family.”
The Gift- Her death in the womb prevented this possibility, except for the opportunity for her eyes to be donated so that Eva could see the world through another’s eyes. What we as parents and human beings often don’t get, is that there is more to life than what we expect it to be. We experience more disappointment when we live through what we expect, rather than what we can receive.
Some lives have more impact for change as they choose to be willing to give the gift they be in whatever time they offer and in whatever way they choose. In Eva’s case, her parents could connect to her in the womb and not physically beyond that. However, Eva’s life gave them the opportunity to experience her presence beyond and forever more in ways that may never have occurred had she lived the “normal” expected life her parents had planned for her.
“What we unexpectedly found, though, was joy in the pregnancy. We happily talked about our sweet Eva, and day by day, our love for her grew. We got excited to be her parents.”
They could no longer dream about what their daughter would grow up to be, so they fantasized about the difference she could make. And even in their fantasy, they made plans that would not occur. Yet the fantasy kept them going, and in their hearts, they knew that their daughter would make a difference. They just didn’t know how.
Being Willing- As parents we often create our own heartache, disappointments and disillusionment when it comes to our children as we live through our expectations. As I read this amazing story of Eva, I saw some similarities to my own life as a parent. For I too, led a life of expectations for my children. I came face to face with the futility of those expectations when my son died at the age of 19, still having much of his “life” ahead of him. There was a gift to receive once I was willing to open up to receive it. And once I did, my whole life opened up before me in ways I never knew were possible.
I receive the gift of our continued connections beyond life and death. I know that my son's existence here had greater impact for not only my life but for others too, that extended beyond my expectations and his physical life here at that time. I am grateful for the awareness of greater possibilities by allowing my children to choose the course for their life without my judgment or expectations.
Later, when my younger son encountered his own difficulties, I could be at a place of knowing that he would navigate through it as he needed to. I did not live in fear, but I chose to be the space of greater possibilities beyond my comprehension for his life and living. Just as Eva’s parents did not abandon her existence, (regardless of how they chose to move forward), parents can be a greater presence with their children when they let go of the expectations, judgments and desires for their children. Greater things happen and change the world.
Tools for Being Willing- I found some tools helpful to release my expectations and be more empowered as a parent with my children. You may find these helpful if you are struggling with your parent/child relationship.
I continue to be in awe of the children who have come into the world for brief moments to encourage more people to be kinder, more caring and to open our hearts to receive more than we ever thought we could. I applaud those who are brave enough to meet that challenge, even though it means experiencing the pain the heart endures by the passing of such amazing beings. The gift given is not in judging the wrongness of their shortened lives, but the strength to receive the gift each being truly offers us.
What would it be like if we embraced such love as it is through kindness, caring, joy, gratitude and allowance for all of our children, young and old?
Mary Dravis-Parrish is available to facilitate change through these areas of expectations, as well as other limitations that occur for parents. Contact her here.
Mary shares her desire to create different possibilities for families and individuals who are looking to live a more conscious and aware lifestyle. BE YOU Parenting is for parents who want to BE all that they truly BE and to allow their kids the same privilege.