Sunday, August 02, 2009

Six years tonight...

Six years tonight, Jen and I decided to go to dinner at Ricardo’s, her favorite Mexican food restaurant. We joked about spicy Mexican food and it's rumored effect of causing expectant moms to go into labor…who knew that it would do the trick for her?
I was awakened very early on Sunday morning, August 3, 2003, with the announcement that she was in labor and that we needed to head to St. Francis NOW!
While rushing there seemed important at the time, our impending delivery was on his own time schedule…
At 4:29PM, Nathan Edward Russell joined us and our lives were forever changed…we did not realize just how much at the time.
The last six years have been a roller coaster of events and emotions and I am so happy that I can post a message about Nate’s SIXTH birthday. If we had believed the neurologist that delivered his diagnosis and followed his advice, we might not have even celebrated Nate’s second birthday.
Thankfully, we took the opposite approach and on August 3, 2009, we reach yet another milestone in his life!
Nate has proven time and time again that he is an exceptional little boy. Numerous times over the last six years, I have thought that we were going to lose him. Each and every time, he has proved his resilience and demonstrated that his mission is not complete.
I have posted the following quote from Aron Moss before and I think it is appropriate on this special occasion. I feel it is so true about Nate, all of our SMA kids and for ANY handicapped child.
Every birth is a gamble. A soul enters the world innocent and pure. But it may not stay that way. This world is a maze of diverging pathways, both good and evil, and the choice is ours which way we go. Once a soul enters a body, it is free and therefore vulnerable to corruption. While acts of good elevate the soul, every act of evil makes a blemish on the soul.
Some souls are so lofty, it simply isn't worth the gamble. These souls are too precious to risk being compromised by life in a body. They are too high to come down to this world. But the other option, not to be sent down at all, to never reach this world, would mean that we would miss out on meeting these holy and lofty souls and hearing their message.
So these souls do come down. But in order to be protected from the potential evils of an earthly existence, they are sent down into a body that will not compromise their holiness. They enter this world in a form that is above sin, above evil. From a purely physical perspective we call them "disabled" or "handicapped"; from the perspective of the soul they are protected. They will never sin. Their sojourn in this world is often brief, and in terms of this world may seem sad. But they have retained their purity. And they have fulfilled their mission.
These special souls remind us that true love doesn't need a reason. We often love others for what they give us -- we love our children because they are cute, smart, and high achievers; we love our spouse for the pleasure and contentment they give us; we love our parents because they care for us. This is love, but it is not pure.
When a child is born that will never achieve worldly success, cannot provide the usual source of pride for his parents, all extraneous reasons to love him fall away and what's left is the purest love that there can be. These children are lovable not because of what they do for you, and not because of what they will one day become, but simply because they are.
These pure souls remind us what love should be. Only such a pure and holy soul can elicit such a pure and holy emotion. We can only stand in awe of them, and the parents and friends who care for them. And we can only thank them all, for giving us a glimpse of what true love really means.
Thank you to all of our family and friends for their love and support over the years…Jen and I really appreciate it!
I know that you all join me when I say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NATHAN….HAPPY SIXTH BIRTHDAY!!!”


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