Happy Seventh Birthday, Miraculous Pen! Your seven years prove to all who know you that we do not actually have anything worth complaining about. Every breath you take must have enhanced oxygen. Every drop of food you have ever had has passed un-tasted through a tube. Almost every thought that has crossed your mind you’ve kept to yourself. None of your muscles work as they should, and doctors are amazed.
But you have taken your place at the center of our family and clan. You have required someone’s constant care, without ever demanding a single thing. Mother, aunts, grandmother, grandfather, father, step-father, uncles – we all learned how to do things we never expected to need to know. Those lessons were not burdens, looking back on the past seven years, but were keys to the mystery of what is important.
The most important things in life are hidden. False values and fake treasure tries to pass themselves off as top prizes. They deceive and betray those who believe in them. But you know what matters. No-pain matters. Air matters. Not doubting that people care counts for a lot. The list is really short. Swallowing, coughing, crying are rare for you. You have never sneezed or scratched an itch, or laughed. You have smiled and we laughed for you.
Little Pen, we bless you. You are a living miracle.
[The picture of Pen with her mother, Aem, was taken when Pen returned home from almost a month in the hospital where a time or two “she was not expected to make it.” Pen is Pramote’s and my grand-niece. She lives just across the valley, about a mile away. Her birthday is July 19. We will have a birthday cake. She loves the candles. Her cousin blows them out for her.]
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.