One year ago today, I met this little lively spirit. Lying together in the hospital bed, I watched her tiny hands quietly move within our great world for the very first time.
As I watch her now, courageously plunging her hands into this vast mystery, without the visual assurance most of us fortunately possess, I am often overcome with fear: “What if she gets hurt?” “What if I don’t teach her well enough?” “What if she can‘t take care of herself?” “What if she never finds friends or a partner?” “What if she’s unhappy?”But then I hear her humming a little song to herself, which dissolves the clouds from my furrowed brow, and I look over to see her grinning as she claps her hands in the sunlight. She, as usual, knows just when Mommy needs a reminder of exactly who she is.
Just last night I discovered that “Eleanor” originates from ele (“light”) and aenor (“to heal”). Any other name wouldn’t have fit her so well. Her bright and joyful being has the ability to move me from despair to hope almost instantaneously. It shines through her smile, her laugh, and her high-pitched squeals of delight! Coiled inside that whimsical layer of self resides a tremendous strength already shown in her stubborn will, powerful voice, and persistent determination. And I know, that no matter the obstacle, she will move beyond any “limitation,” continually traversing our and her own expectations, and reviving us all with her beautiful and persevering spirit.In one year, you have already taught me so much about life, especially love.I love you, Eleanor! Happy birthday.