Tuesday, January 18, 2011

enjoying the small things.

Is there a sound in this world more beautiful than a heartbeat?

Its like an audible fingerprint, so unique to each person, as the blood flows and loops and swishes through every individual's anatomy... at one's own pace + strength...

Its the first sign of life; the most important assessment I can make as I listen to the little hearts of the tiniest babies race on... a pitter-patter of an irregular beat trying to find its rhythm in this world.

It was the last noise I would hear... that time of day after the world had calmed + the sun had set + the room was still... I would lay my head down on {his} chest to hear the soothing sound of a strong, slow, steady, athletic beat with a loud lub-dub, lub-dub... a consistent cadence lulling me in to a blissful sleep.

Perhaps, it's {what I miss the absolute most}. Perhaps, I should have insisted on sleeping on the left side?

It is impossible to have a heart as fickle as mine + not incur a few scars along the way. Some run deeper than others but I see each one as a cautionary cicatrix serving as little reminders... making me stronger. teaching me a lesson. becoming a part of who I am.

The silver lining to bearing a wide, open heart is the ability to uncover the beauty in the breakdown, the failures + flip sides... by loving all the little details... blind to the stoic eye. I feel the world, see the world through the window of my heart. It is why watching videos like rinah's sends shiveries down my spine. It is why I get oh-my-golly-giddy for give-aways like this one. It is why my eyes fill up + over with tears finding a love like theirs. It is why witnessing miracles like Gideon gives me goosebumps down to my toes. The rarest obscurities make my heart well enormously...

... if you are {still reading} + wondering where I am going with this, I swear I have a point, a marvelous one at that..

A couple of months ago, I came across a blog that touched my heart, tremendously. One where I couldn't stop reading... and wiping away tears... and reading more. I wanted to know every detail, all the fine ones that send a surge of mixed happy/sad~ness straight. through. my. heart.

Her name is Kelle Hampton + her daughter, the tiny accompaniment who has made a huge impact on this world, is Nella Cordelia... doesn't that name just exude earth-shattering, world-changing, empowerment?...

As Kelle tells the story of her life through meaningful words + photographs, I cannot help myself from {virtually} befriending her. She lives in my hometown and as she spends her days at the beaches I grew up on + raids the $1 aisle at Target like I always did, she is leaving an incredible handprint on this world. She has taken a scary and sometimes devastating diagnosis + turned it in to a beautiful blessing. She is the kind of mom that I aspire to be someday, spending every moment of everyday expanding the imagination of her children through tea parties + crafts + playing dress-up. She is enjoying the small things in the most {extra}ordinary way.

Being a neonatal nurse (*I've written those four words so many times recently... in its brief absence, I have realized just how much my career is a big part of who I am.*), I have encountered parents in the Hampton's situation... finding out their child isn't perfect in the way society would define it. Often they are in my unit because they have complications that are associated with Down Syndrome (duodenal atresia, heart defects) but it never ceases to amaze me how the parents see right past their new baby's floppy limbs + almond eyes; all they see is love... and what could be more perfect than that?

Kelle is making a big difference for a cause she has grown passionate about... like I strive to do for prematurity... and my goodness, her story has empowered me to step up my fight a notch or two... In the same way that Nella's extra "magical chromosome" has rocked her own little world, Kelle is touching hearts around the world bringing awareness + beauty to Down Syndrome and as the one year anniversary approaches, she is raising all kinds of money with her ONEder Fund + planning a celebration that I'm sure will be spectacular.

On Saturday, I'll secretly be celebrating with them. Happy first birthday, Nella!

1 comment:

Katie said...

Don't you seriously think Kelle Hampton is like the coolest person you have ever "met"? I want to go hang out all around the Target dollar spots in Naples in hopes of running into her and her brightly dressed girls. (In a totally non-weirdo-stalker way) I can't wait to see what she does for her birthday party. I secretly wish I was invited!