I've used the term, 'everything happens for a reason' without thinking about what it really meant, for as long as I can remember. Usually it's my answer to things like break-ups or losing jobs...and quite often I've said it for lack of a better answer. But, I would like to think the universe has a plan for us all and it's our path no matter how hard we try to deviate from it, and it's filled with only the best intentions. But, if that's actually the case, then why would we have to suffer through cancers, abuse, divorces, homelessness, war, poverty, natural disasters...and Charlie being sick?
When Charlie was first diagnosed and we were told she probably only had a few months to live, there was absolutely NO way I was thinking, 'everything happens for a reason' on the contrary, I was thinking something more like, "f*ck you universe! you suck and you're evil!" But, as time goes on (and of course, it helps that she's still here, and I could and probably will change my tune in the future) I can sometimes begin to believe that 'everything happens for a reason' again...but only on the good days. It's still mean, and it still hurts, but sometimes I think I'm getting it. My life has more meaning, and I'm a better person because of her...and, I have to believe that it's all happening for a reason.
We were out for dinner tonight with our friends, Mike, Kim, and Dana. Kim and I started talking about this, 'everything happens for a reason' theory, and we were both pretty much on the same page regarding it. I trust that Kim knows what she's talking about because she lost her mother to cancer several years ago after taking care of her for months, while her mother struggled painfully through her final days. If she says she can still believe things happen for reason, it really gives me hope. She's been there... she's hurt so bad, and felt like her mother was stolen from her way too early, but she's come through it with a changed perspective and a beautiful outlook on why these things happen sometimes, and she uses her situation and pain to relate to and empathize with others (such as myself and Matt) in similar situations ...and I feel immense relief just knowing that it's possible to lose someone and miss them dearly, and still carry on.
I would not be who I am today if it were not for Charlie. She came here to teach me and Matt and YOU about ourselves, and to show us what's important, and what we're all capable of. My friend Cindy called me the other day after she'd read the newspaper article about the Adventure Challenge and the fundraising me and my team mates were doing for Canuck Place. Cindy told me she was proud of me and reminded me of how, when she came over shortly after Charlie's diagnosis, I had said to her, "I'm not one of those mothers that fights with the teachers or doctors to get the best care for my child, I'm not the type to 'do something' ". I did say that. But, I had underestimated the power of the mother/child bond. I have since 'fought' with doctors, and I have since raised awareness about SMA, and...I'm doing a TRIATHLON for a children's hospice on Saturday! Who am I?! I don't even recognize myself anymore, but I like this Cherie more than the one that existed before Charlie. It's bittersweet though. I'd take the old Cherie and a healthy Charlie over this 'new and improved' Cherie and sick (but GORGEOUS!) Charlie, any day!
And so continues my love/hate relationship with 'everything happening for a reason'.