THE REAL STORY
November 18, 2004 – January 25, 2007
Before Anthony was born, we said the prayers that new parents say. At night, or during an ultra-sound, we asked for our son to be blessed with health and happiness and for his life to bring goodness into a world that needs more of it. We prayed that God would allow us to be the best parents that he could need. We asked to be blessed with a good relationship with our son, that we might be close, and that we might be friends.
While our hearts will never understand the necessity of our son’s physical suffering or why the nature of the world can be so cruel, we have learned some things about the human spirit and about what blessings we do have. When we look back at those prayers, we realize how very many of them actually wer answered…
Because some of our prayers were answered and answered with authority – in th spirit of baby Anthony – with an exclamation point. Our son knew the happiness of acceptance and unconditional love from family, friends, and strangers alike. Our son brought our families closer together, brought his father and me closer together, brought into our world stronger relationships with the amazing friends and family that we have, and introduced to us new friends that would walk these steps of Anthony’s journey with us. We were blessed with the resources to provide the best possible care for our son at this time and place in history. And we were granted the strength to be the kind of parents he needed.
We were close, and we were friends. Through the strength of his spirit alone, we were able to know our son, and to know that he understood that we loved him. And finally, we were blessed with a child whose goodness that seemed to spill out of him and into the lives of his parents and grandparents, and aunts and cousins, to the lives of our friends, and on still into the lives of people who may have never met him, but heard only the whisper of his story.
The only thing we didn’t get was the good health. For 26 months, baby Anthony was fighting for life inside a body that could not accommodate him. And now he is free.
Our wish is that his gifts and strengths will strengthen your own character, and that his life will reach you, and change you, and that you will carry him with you for the rest of your days, and pass him on in the way you live your own lives.
There is a story that we liked to tell baby Anthony, and it was not the factual story of his birth. The factual story of his birth was told to us in the doctor’s words. That story was written in his hospital charts and test results. We liked to tell him what we called “The Real Story,” our heart’s story, so that he would know how much we loved him, just the way he was.
It goes like this:
Before you were born, the world was just waiting for you.
Mommy and Daddy were evidently very good,
and so for a special reward they were allowed to go pick out their babby from the garden of babies,
where millions of babies were resting and waiting to be born.
It was a beautiful place, with so many, tiny, growing babies.
We walked the neat rows of babies, turned a corner, and saw you.
We could see that you would have health problems.
We couls see that we would have times of frustration and sadness and pain.
But mostly we couls see you, and we knew right away that you were ours.
In a language that parents and babies know, our souls and hearts can speak.
And your heart spoke such sweetness and love with ours.
Even though there were hard times, Anthony, we would pick you over and over, and every time.
In your heart, your already know.
We love you, baby kid.
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