My son Michael was born in 1998, not too long after the McCaughey septuplets were born. I have been reading about these kids over the years, watching them grow up. Last night, I saw their latest update on Dateline, about the kids in their tenth year. (This was aired last year, but I must have missed it.) This time, though, I was watching for a different reason: I was curious to see more about the two septuplets who had the more serious health problems, Nathan and Alexis.
Both Nathan and Alexis have cerebral palsy with other health and neurological problems. It broke my heart to see how much they have worked to get to where they are. They both struggled to be able to walk. They have had countless doctors' appointments, medical issues, and learning disabilities. I suppose in the back of my head I am thinking about Brady and all he will have to endure as well, and what he is enduring right now.
But then Ann Curry asked the question, "Knowing now where Alexis is, do you feel any regret about your decision to carry all seven babies?" The McCaugheys knew there was an increased risk of cerebral palsy by carrying so many babies to term instead of selectively reducing the number of fetuses.
The mother, Bobbi, answered. "How could I? Look at Alexis. There's not a person in this world who loves being alive more than she does. How could I feel sorry that I had all of my children?"
It's amazing how a different perspective can change the entire meaning of a life. Nathan has worked very hard, enduring two major surgeries, to walk. His father said that Nathan was "determined to conquer this physical impediment. That's what his legacy might be."
So what if it is easy for me to walk? It may be hard for Brady, but it may be easier for him to be happier in life than for me. It seems that way for little Alexis McCaughey. She is fiercely loved by her siblings... the brothers who run quick and play football and the sister who has been inspired by her to become a doctor. And Nathan has struggled, but he has also inspired others around him to be stronger, to strive for more than what was given.
I know all our children are inspirations. It may sound kooky, but I was definitely inspired by these little children, who have endured so much. I say "so much" , but they may look at me and think that the things that I have endured are "so much" when to me it is just my life. Perspective. Hmmm.....