Lately Theo has been experiencing more discomfort at night which means one of us (Mark usually manages the night shift) is up almost every hour suctioning, repositioning and administering medication. Fortunately, we have nursing help during the weekdays but we are without assistance during the evenings and weekends. When we have a nurse available during the week, we take that time to catch up on a few hours sleep.
Previous to Theo’s illness, after a sleepless night of teething or sleep regression, we likely would have spent our Saturday morning as a family curled up in bed together. We are now faced with new levels of emotional and physical exhaustion as Theo’s needs have increased, and although our favourite activity will always be cuddling with him in our arms, we recognize that life is to be lived. This Saturday morning, we packed some snacks, our stroller, the oxygen tanks and feeding pump and drove across the city to High Park. High Park is a 399 acre park in the middle of Toronto filled with hiking and waterfront trails, green spaces, a petting zoo and children’s facilities. It was Theo’s first time at the park.
Mark and I currently live in a world where sorrow and beauty coincide daily. We are coping with our grief but if there is a gift in knowing that we don’t have much time left with Theo, it is our increased awareness and appreciation of the vast and abundant beauty present in this world. Theo’s illness has also provided us with the insight to truly savour the moments of beauty we are fortunate to share with him.
The three of us walked for hours along the trails, taking in the fresh morning air and beauty of the park, stopping to gaze at the swans skipping across the water and the wildflowers searching out the sun’s rays in the canopy overhead. We left the park feeling refreshed and appreciative.
Today’s miracle is recognizing and prioritizing beauty over sorrow.