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There are so many ways to love someone; it is the most sought after emotion in the universe. So profound is it that we remember the minutest details about when and how we encountered someone we love. There is only one kind of love that is cemented into place possibly before we took our first breath of life; it is the love of one or both parents. Long before we could dream they dreamed of and for us. Long before we arrived they could only imagine the very best we could ever become, and they focus intently on that for the rest of their lives. There is no love quite like that of a parent for their child when things progress normally.
Children alter the course of a parent's life. No more is their primary focus on themselves or a partner; it is shifted instantly to what their child needs, what will keep the child safe and how to provide for that child... for a lifetime. Their path through life is widened to include walking hand in hand with someone they will love always, regardless of the twists and turns in life. Parents who make a different choice and elevate another person or interest in life beyond this typically spend a lifetime regretting it, wondering what could have been. There is great wonder in the birth of a child.
The depth of a parents love is tested regularly, from illness, handicaps, learning issues, behavioral issues and many times even with substance abuse that may transform their child into someone they don't recognize. Still, the firm foundation that exists beneath unbearable pain and anguish, sleepless nights and unimaginable fatigue is as strong as it ever was, maybe stronger. It is the uncompromising love of a parent for their child.
No matter the obstacles or appearances, it is the parent who can see past them all and hold tightly to the image of their child emerging from every challenge whole, intact and able to achieve a dream or reach a goal. They stare down impossible odds, refusing to accept defeat. They will willingly take pain for their child, brush the tears away and surround them with a love that heals and helps them to see how much more life can be than they imagine. This emotion is universal and surely must be as our Creator intended. These sentiments and sense of commitment make all of us better human beings, forcing us to take the high ground and stand strong in the face of any adversity.
Parents who have lost a child wear a cloak of sadness that is filled with hopes and dreams and all of those emotions that sprung and grew strong from their opportunity to be a parent. It is a wound that never completely heals but it can pivot them to channel their commitment into something that benefits many others. This is the healing balm that soothes their own wound as they reach out in an effort to create something from the ashes of their broken hearts and shattered dreams. To lose your child is to lose your future. There is no preparation for that. It is instinctive to bless the day we become a parent; it is a love that transcends all others.