BY MICHAEL ARMIJO
We go through life and we grow, we build, we conquer, we reach our successful arenas; our niche in life. We overcome things we never dreamt we could possibly overcome. We accomplish the impossible. Then we reflect and feel this power about ourselves, the power of controlling our lives and accomplishing what we need to. We feel strong and purposeful; in control of our own destiny.
And then one day, by an act from God, a 60 pound, 4 foot 1 inch person rips away every sense of power that we’ve worked all our lives to obtain.
I’ve felt helpless at times in my life, but have always felt that I could overcome anything life gives me. But strength, intelligence, and endurance cannot compete with certain elements that come into our lives, seemingly as an act of God. Only God could show us how love can make us feel powerful…or powerless.
When her tiny voice cried out I could hear the weakness in the tone. She looked frail, lethargic, and felt much warmer than she should have. I could sense the virus creeping into her weak little body; she lay exhausted and motionless as her fever climbed to 102 degrees. My child was sick.
Motivated by strength I rise to the occasion and I’m determined to stay by her side and make her well – for as long as it takes (but deep inside I feel afraid and helpless). Intelligence kicks in and I start the bath water running and carry her to the cool water.
Feeling even more helpless as her fever hits 104 AFTER the bath, I call for help. The fear escalates as the paramedics take my child away and I follow them to the hospital. As doctors and nurses attend to her my eyes fill with tears. I spend a sleepless night at her bedside.
I sit slumped over in a chair next to her bed, head in hands, exhausted. My mind starts wandering, and I begin to wonder, is it worth it? Is the responsibility of this little person too much? Does the giving, sharing and loving balance out with the worry and fear?
And then, I feel this soft little touch on my hand as tiny fingers try to interlace with my own. I hear this little voice whisper, “I love you, Daddy.” I feel the tears run down my cheeks and I’m overwhelmed with relief. I look up at my girl and see a hint of a smile, reassuring me that she is better. That little ray of sunshine feeds my soul, and I’m feeling better, too
As she feels stronger, I feel stronger. I embrace my child and feel some of my power being restored and I begin to understand. The moment she was born I relinquished all of my power to her. She is the source that can bring me to the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows.
And so it is with children. They motivate us, give us strength, and show us the power of love. They are worth every worry, every tear, every laugh, and every moment of our time. The power of a child is the power of love.