Monday, February 6, 2012
There was this moment Friday night.
A moment that you sometimes dream about. But you don't always get.
Friday night, at Immerse Austin, we had one of our ballerinas from the 2dance2dream program of Legacy of Hope Austin perform. She was dressed in a pink leotard and a hot pink tutu, a pink rose in her hair. She wheeled out onto stage with her lime green walker and she and 2 of 8 moved through their routine, showing the crowd the positions of ballet and a few counts of choreography.
The place erupted.
Women cheered for our precious ballerina. They wiped tears from their cheeks. They clapped. They roared.
Our ballerina beamed.
And as the tumult continued, I found myself scanning the crowd. For me, it almost became silent. And then in my heart, I heard, "This is why."
It's been a 'why' eleven years in the making.
It was eleven years ago this month that we discovered 4 of 8's hearing loss. It was four years ago this month that Mike and I began to have some conversations about the concerns we had about 7 of 8's motor development.
Hearing loss for 4 of 8.
A stroke for 7 of 8.
Waiting rooms. Tests. Therapies. Co-pays. Expenses. Neurologists, audiologists, speech pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists. Hearing aids. Orthopedic braces. Tears. Questions. Decisions. Sitting alongside broken-hearted parents facing far more difficult challenges than the ones we have faced.
And all the while, trying to quiet a resounding question of 'why?'.
Friday night, as the crowd cheered, that stage for me became holy ground. I realized I was standing in a place where we don't always get to stand, in the center of the Why.
But there I was.
And there was His voice.
We raised an amazing sum Friday night to continue the work of Legacy of Hope Austin. We will be able to grow and expand our programs, allowing more children with special needs to participate in the arts, allowing more children to receive specialized tutoring, allowing more moms and dads to go on date night with their children professionally cared for. I am humbled and grateful. It is a need I would not have known about, a dream I would not have had, a mission I would have missed, an experience for our family that would not have materialized if....
the diagnosis of eleven years ago....
and the diagnosis of four years ago...
had not come across our threshold.
Our ballerina's dance ended. I needed to speak to the audience again. I wrestled through impending tears. I steadied my voice. It was only after I left the stage that I wept and trembled at the mystery and preciousness of being allowed to see the hem of a bigger plan.
It's not too often we get to hear the 'why'.
And it is holy ground.