Last week I saw a request for prayers on social media. A friend shared a heartfelt post about her granddaughter, let’s call her “Gracie”. This sweet soul, who turns two in about three weeks, has been under a doctor’s care for most of her life. When she was a few months old she was diagnosed with cancer.

Gracie has been healing from her 2nd bone marrow transplant. She’s been at home and able to be a happy toddler and play with her older sister. But last week news came that the cancer is back and the spread is severe. In her tender post, Gracie’s mom shared that their goal now is to prolong her quality of life for as long as possible, all the while hoping for a miracle. Gracie’s parents want her to enjoy playing with her sister and just be their precious happy little toddler.

Today I saw a video of Gracie and her sister playing Patty Cake. Both girls beamed and bounced and clapped with joy and giggles. Gracie, with her pudgy porcelain face and smiling eyes, was full of delight in life, delight in play, and delight in being. My heart sung as I watched the video several times. My first thought was “Wow, how gorgeous that she gets to live in the bliss of not knowing.”

Not knowing “what” though?

It seems that from Gracie’s point of view, what is happening isn’t special or horrible or wrong. Gracie is living. She gets to be her lovable, raspberry blowing, little bouncing being full of joy and love.

This is freedom.

What if we all were able to live like that, through eyes of innocence?

It would be such a gift to live in the same delight of this toddler.

Life can be such a strange game that I try to navigate and control. This seems silly when I think about it. Whatever I make up is all that stands between living in regret and worry, or in peace and ease.

And death… Death gets such a bad rap. I love that Gracie hasn’t been taught that there is a thing called “death” or “the end.” She hasn’t been bombarded with any ideas of what might happen if she shuts her beautiful brown eyes, the color the afternoon sun shining through southern sweet tea, and takes her longest nap. And as my fingers typed these last couple sentences, my heart aches for Gracie’s family and all of those that walk with her on this journey. So much love to you all.

Maybe when we slip into that long nap, that will be the finest moment of Life. There is nothing that refutes this idea. It could be the complete truth. We won’t know until we experience what there is to experience.

For now, I wish to live without ideas or predictions of what might happen, without beliefs and without a timeline. I wish to live in the freedom of being in every moment. I wish to experience the innocence of Gracie’s giggle and sparkling eyes.

What a gift. Thank you, Gracie, for being a wise guide and teacher. I dream to live in your grace, and to play Patty Cake just like you.

 

Photo credit Ricardo Moura on Unsplash

 

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Living Beyond

If you are interested in joining me and my dear friend from Denmark, Natasha Swerdloff, for an 8-week exploration on zoom: We begin on April 26th. This is a space of inquiry and conversation that will encourage us all to experience for ourselves what is possible when we see beyond the beliefs, ideas and behaviors that hold us back.
More info here: Living Beyond Group Program