tragedy and mundanity

Today I’m inspired. 

I follow a group on Facebook called “Victory for Victoria.”

I’m not a serial group-follower. I don’t personally know little Tori or her parents. I came to follow her story through a request for prayer from a friend who had known Tori’s father in high school. She’d seen the news of their then 3-month old daughter’s brain cancer diagnosis through her news feed. I came to follow her when Facebook informed me my friend had “liked” her page and I figured that must be what she had mentioned. Not an exceedingly personal introduction. 

But it’s touched my life ever since. 

The most recent post gave me pause. Not because the content was particularly awe-inspiring. There are many, many posts throughout Tori’s story that beautifully describe her mother’s unbearable pain. Her hope. Her joy. Her overwhelming gratitude. The medical details of her progress. Tori’s mother uses her words to tell a heart-wrenching story where the beauty somehow never fails to shine through the pain.

This one, though, was simple. Paired with a handful of photos of an adorable dressed up one-year-old with a tube through her nose, it said only this: I always wanted to take pictures of Tori in beads and a tutu.

And it made me think. What if taking photos of a baby in a tutu surpassed fun and cute? What if that simple everyday moment consciously made life more beautiful? What if we were able to be unceasingly grateful for the child we helped create, truly soaking up every moment of the time we have with them? 

Tragedy is like that. Those moments when everything falls apart cause us to stop. If only just for a moment. Somehow the biggest tragedies seem to carry the most beautiful moments with them. 

I’m not trivializing the pain that Victoria’s family and so many others who have fought childhood diseases have endured. It’s deep, it’s real, and it’s unimaginable to me. But it seems to bring with it a gratitude and forgotten joy that is difficult to replicate. 

But isn’t all our pain like that, if we let it be? We fight, we fall, we struggle, we lose, we cry, we ache, we LIVE. And in the end, we realize what means the most to us and we press on. We are stronger.  

Let’s let all our moments be that way. The tragedies and the mundanities and everything in between. 

Let’s see the beauty in all of it. 

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