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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lessons from Shooting Stars

Hello one and all, this is Joseph, Danielle's husband. Danielle requested I write this post as a contribution to her earlier post about things that remind you about our children. This post is simply about Wyatt, what reminds me of him, and what he reminds me to be. Please enjoy and may God bless you and your families.



Our Shooting Star.

Just a short little phrase to describe our son Wyatt. But what does it mean? What is the significance behind the phrase, what makes it special?

Glad you asked.

The phrase, "Our Shooting Star," does not appear to most to be a phrase of significance, but in our family it holds special value. Wyatt IS our shooting star, and I will tell you why, but first let's look at why shooting stars, a.k.a. meteors or possibly even comets, are special.

Stars, for all intents and purposes, are celestial bodies that do not move in position, are unchanging in brilliance, and until a star's death, only astronomers are interested in their lives.

Meteors are, as we know them to be, small fragments of matter that enter the earth's atmosphere and burn up. A meteor, before it enters the atmosphere, is unknown and relatively taken for granted. Much like how we took the news of a third child. We had two healthy children, why would anything be wrong with our third? Once a meteor enters the atmosphere, it goes on the ride of its life. The friction of particles against its surface causes heat, then ignition, which gives way to the streak of light we sometimes see in the night sky. Generally, these fragments never make it to the ground, but instead extinguish once it is spent and ceases to be. The silence is deafening. Only those that saw it remember, the general public oblivious to their short existence, but for those who observed and remember, the spectacle leaves a lasting imprint of how wonderful and marvelous life is, and how small we are compared to a higher power just beyond our perceptions.(Note: I personally believe in a living God that is actively involved in the affairs of men. The last sentence was structured as such for literary political correctness. Whatever that is.) There are many parallels in the existence of a meteor and our son, Wyatt. I don't feel the need to explain, as I'm sure those reading this have similarities all their own.

Comets are awe-inspiring. These majestic celestial bodies are on orbits that cause them to go in circles around a center point of mass. Comets are made of numerous materials and some contain ice. As a comet proceeds toward the sun, some of the ice melts and streams behind the comet which creates the tail. Comets are unique in the fact that very few will be seen in a person's lifetime. At the time of this writing, I personally have only observed two. Most comets are on orbits that will take hundreds, maybe even thousands of years to return to our solar system. They are exceedingly rare, and for this they are perceived in wonder and amazement. Comets are generally bright. I recall the two I had the great fortune of witnessing. One was visible for days both night and day, the other dominated the night sky. These celestial bodies are memorable to me, but if one were to ask another about a comet, the reply you would likely receive would be in regard to a group of religious nut-jobs, I mean zealots, that decided to kill themselves to hitch a ride on a comet's tail. Wow.

Now to Wyatt. The phrase, "Our Shooting Star," refers to a comment I made after the diagnosis which goes something like this: "Our children's lives are like stars, but Wyatt's life will be like a shooting star. His life will be brief, but he will shine brighter than those around around him and he will leave those that see him in awe and wonder."

Wyatt truly has done so. His life has touched those beyond our family, our circle of friends, even those beyond our continent. It is our hope and prayer, and I'm sure it would be Wyatt's wish, that his life not be in vain, but remind those here that are alive and remain, that life is precious: not to be taken for granted and that a life of significance is not measured in length of years or number of days, but by the number of lives you touch along the way, the number of smiles given in the gloom, the tearful eyes dried by friends, and the number of hearts comforted when the darkness of despair and separation enshroud us and give us no light to find our way. Be that light. Be a shooting star and remind those around you that our lives and our children's lives are not to be insignificant, dark, and dreary, but full of light and awe-inspiring.


Just Breathe said...

Beautiful words.

croleyc69 said...

What a beautiful post & so very true. Thanx for sharing that & I'm praying for you & your family always. I know that Wyatt is looking down from above and smilin at all of you. {{HUGS}}

Franchesca Cox said...

I love that! Wyatt is a shooting star! Thank you for sharing this. XX

Krystena K. said...

Hello, First I want to say that you have a beautiful family. I have never been so touched by a baby as your Wyatt. I have never cried so hard. My heart breaks for you and for Wyatt. What a precious little boy. I just want to scoop him up and hold him tight. May God be with you until you can see your little boy again.

Love, Krystena

Krystena K. said...

I have 4 sons of my own. Three of them have a genetic disease called Mitochondrial Disease. Our youngest, Evan Riley almost 16mths was born with ANOTHER genetic disease called NF1 (Neurofibromatosis) in addition to the Mitochondrial Disease. Life is what you make of it. It's emotionally and physcially difficult but there are so many things to be thankful for. I want to be just like my boys. They have no preconceptions as to what "normal" is. What they go through on a daily basis is just "small peas to them" which is why I named our blog Baby Peas, I have came to realize that despite it all, Life is Beautiful!

The Blue Sparrow said...

What a sweet post! My husband I were just discussing shooting stars and what they were Friday night so it was cool to read this!

Mary said...

Very well put. I knew what you meant as soon as I read the statement and I totally agree. Thank you so much for sharing your post.

Holly said...

Thank you for sharing with us Joseph. I really enjoyed reading about the meaning behind 'Our Shooting Star'. Whenever I think of stars I will also be thinking of Wyatt too.