Earlier this week my world shuddered with the passing of my daughter Micaela. Today we gathered as a community to bid her farewell and celebrate her l life.
I had the opportunity to share what Micaela meant to us in a Eulogy during the Mass:
Micaela, through your short life, you taught us (and continues to teach us) a whole bunch of things. I’d like to share just a fraction of these now.
Micaela, you taught us about miracles. Your quick wispy breaths and light fluttering heart let us know that you were special: an angel in our midst.
Micaela, you taught us that through our deficiencies come our greatest strengths. Spinal Muscular Atrophy left you with little movement in your limbs when you were born, and gradually weakened you over time. In recompense you were gifted with staggering alertness and a powerful, transfixing, endearing gaze.
Micaela, you taught us that life doesn’t always give us what we expect. But that’s OK. What we expect is based on a view of normalcy that deserves to be challenged from time to time.
Micaela, you taught us how powerful the small things on this planet can be. Size really doesn’t mean much. For you, seven weeks was a lifetime. A gentle pulse from your small fingers could put us on top of the world. A twitch of a smile could melt our hearts.
Micaela (or bubbles as you were often referred to thanks to your ability to produce a cute little foam through your pursed lips), you helped us realize how loving your brother Marco is. We saw his willingness to shower you in kisses and feature you as a central character in the stories he built.
Micaela, this one I can barely explain: you reminded us that this life is transitory. I believe you chose us, and chose us for a reason. Exactly what that reason is I continue to ponder, but that choice was made by you before you arrived. And as your breath finally faded on Monday afternoon, I felt that although you had left us here, you had gone somewhere. That truth was written in the peace on your face.
Micaela, you taught us that our lives are measured not by our worldly accomplishments or by the status we achieve. Nor by the arguments we win, and that the resentments we harbor are worthless. You literally had no time for any of this.
Yet through your life, sweet relationships were built.
Between you and us.
And between ourselves to create the web of support you needed.
Support from your grand parents, our aunt Martha and cousin Louise who have been with us constantly.
The medical services and hospice staff who work in this most heartbreaking of areas.
The extended family, friends and colleagues who have showered us with thoughts and prayers.
So, we can’t look at your life without seeing the relationships it fostered.
But after all, isn’t this true for all of us?
We should not forego building relationships in favor of the other worldly stuff. Because when it comes down to it, there is no other stuff. The only thing that really exists is the love that binds us all.
I thank you Micaela, for spending some time schooling us in the matters of life. For you now I pray for everlasting peace.
Feb 23 – April 15, 2013
We cannot say enough about the Families of SMA who provided tremendous support from the moment we heard Micaela had SMA. If you feel moved to help this organization, they welcome donations.