July 03, 2013

Vibrant Living

I couldn't sleep last night, memories of seven years ago filled my thoughts.  A precious friend wrote me as she has every year since 2006, to remember with me.  Then I read through several of my previous entries, something I haven't done in a long time.  Reflection is a practice I've always believed to be necessary to my healing process and also a way for me to cultivate a thankful heart even in the midst of painful circumstances.
These July posts have developed into a yearly tribute to the vibrant gift of life God has blessed our Chloe with.  Instead of a morbid review of painful memories, I want it to be a celebration of the myriad of joys and triumphs we have enjoyed throughout the year...because God saw fit to spare our daughter's life seven years ago today.
I wouldn't be truthful if I neglected to tell you that my heart still catches at the thought of what my daughter has journeyed through, what she grapples with daily and what challenges will continue to face her for the rest of her life.  The desire to trade places with Chloe, to take her pain as my own will never fade away, that's just my Mama heart ;). However, I praise God that old anger raises its ugly head less and less these days! One thing I've learned is I gotta be real.  I can't identify with people who put on a mask and say everything is sunshine and roses.  Cuz sometimes it just ain't.  BUT GOD...He is the reason we still laugh, still smile, still hope, the reason we still 'are'. 
Our Chloe girl has had a magnificent year once again! :).  She rocked her way through 3 Camp No Limits...in Maine, Maryland and Florida, enjoying every minute of it!!  The full impact that CNL has had upon our family is hard to put into words...inspiration and encouragement has filled our hearts just by rubbing shoulders with these amazing people! We have made precious lifelong friendships with people who understand with no explanation, who share victories and struggles, who laugh and cry with us, who just get it. What a blessing!!!
There have been challenges this year as well, Chloe developed a painful bursa on the end of her bone which caused her to be out of her leg off and on for weeks.  So thankful for her Drs, JH and her prosthetist!  No major procedures were necessary, thank you Lord!!
A new leg design (with skin to boot) brought a huge increase in Chloe's activity level and self confidence.  It was a wonderful 4th grade school year and she made many sweet friends and also enjoyed learning to play the violin! :)  And she is anticipating another fun filled summer!! 
Chloe Abigail Schmidt, is larger than life - lives it to the fullest and has a heart brimming over with love, compassion, tenderness, generosity and kindness.  Her spirit of determination, fortitude and perseverance are an inspiration to us all.  People, big and small are drawn to the light that radiates from her.  No, she's not perfect by any means but I am a better person because she is in my life.  I am continuously convicted by her sweet uncomplaining attitude.  And I will never cease to offer my profound gratitude to God my Father for giving our girl back to us, whole and perfectly wonderful :) 
Thank you for remembering with me...
 
Her Year in pictures --

Chloe enjoying Myrtle Beach, S.C.


Enjoying the ride called life...

Zip lining at Camp No Limits...

Climbing the Rock Wall at CNL...

Tree Climbing at CNL...

Loving her buddy, Quincey...

Flying high at her 1st Gymnastics class...

She's our hero...

Spring Recital...angel girl 

SWIMMING!!!!! :)

First visit away from home by herself...

My baby girl...my sunshine xo

We all adore her...

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