It’s been a rough Christmas season….

For nearly a year and a half I’ve been involved as best I can with my family’s best friends and their cancer stricken 6yr daughter.  We’ve been the best of friends for over two decades, and our daughters are the same age and also the best of friends.  When something happens to them, it also happens to us.

I’m speaking of a little girl named Mira.

As time goes on, I’ll share more as she’s proven to be the catalyst that has brought me the closest to my faith I’ve ever had.  For now, I’ll share this as I offered it for the family after she passed away on Christmas Eve:

“All,

I pen this note with a heavy heart on Christmas Eve.

What I write to you, at this moment, is revision six. I had begun several other ways to address you all, and ended up not conveying proper thoughts well to you all. For you deserve as much heart and soul as I can provide. You’ve all been supportive and selfless through these many months, it is the very least I can do to pay you that respect while honoring my very best friends, the McKnight family as a whole.

Please make your comments, if any, to that of the McKnight family, as Mira is at peace with the Lord. Make no mistake; hitting the “Like” button to this post is a show of support for the family. The McKnights are eternally grateful for the compassion and love that you all have shown their family – Thank you all and my God bless you. Prayers and strength during this time are the best medicine.

If you reflect back on how the “miraCLE” came to be, you’ll see the likeness was created by a family friend who used Mira’s own handwriting and added the “CLE” in order to provide a symbol of hope and that of solidarity for us to rally behind. At first I was simply impressed with the fit it seemed to have. Since that time, my feelings have transformed to that of awe.

I, like you all, was hoping and praying for a miracle to save Mira. I prayed harder to God than I think I ever have in my life for that of a singular purpose. I couldn’t understand for the longest time why Mira had even contracted cancer. There was bargaining and brokering with God when I was the weakest. I wanted to do some horse trading with the Lord in the hopes Mira and by extension, my nearly lifelong friends, would be spared the living nightmare of learning their child’s mortality.

Through this time my thoughts and feelings have matured into something far more visionary than I have experienced prior in life. I’m a little disappointed in myself that the lesson, even in its evolving form, was right in front of me and I hadn’t been able to grasp it until recently.

All along I wanted a miracle for Mira, and only now I see Mira IS the miracle. Mira is the little girl that brought me close to my faith; she tested me. Mira has been a catalyst all along that has helped me see things more clearly. How I revere God and those around me with renewed and steadfast conviction are by virtue Mira’s concussion upon my very soul.

My daughter Kaitlyn and Mira are the best of friends. This morning KK awoke to tell my wife she’d had a dream last night that she and Mira had run and played again. She told Jenny that Mira was no longer sick and they laughed and laughed and visited just like they used to. She skipped the Santa talk, and was excited about her dream. What six year old girl expresses something so profound and ignores the obvious thoughts children have on Christmas Eve? It wasn’t until later in the morning I learned Mira had ascended to Heaven peacefully at home, a very short time after KK described her dream.

Right now with tears streaming down my face, I ask you. Can you not see what I see? Do you not recognize the bridges that have been built, the examples of faith, the recollection of kindness, and decency, and the whole of human spirit in which Mira’s fight has motivated us all?

I can’t drive down the streets of our town without seeing purple ribbons tied around trees. I can’t go past a church or a convenience store without seeing ‪#‎supportmira‬ written on the sign out front. As I scroll my facebook newsfeed I can’t move down the page without seeing purple in some fashion in her support. None of these acts are mishaps. These are examples of how we have treated and supported one another. We’ve been handed a gift from God with examples of the proper care and feeding of others.

Mira has been an inspiration to a great many people; to me especially.

We’ll cry.

We’ll miss her.

We’ll ache.

We’ll also heal. We’ll remember that while Mira’s body will be laid to rest, her soul has soared to Heaven. Mira lives on within us, but not solely in our memories, but rather in our acts, our thoughts, and certainly our intentions. Mira is my miraCLE, as she is yours too. Share her often and enrich those you encounter with what you have witnessed and experienced. Selfishly I want her back, but I know I can’t have what I yearn for… Instead I’m bound to an unwritten agreement to strive for better. I can honor Mira that way. I can pay respect to the McKnight family that way. As can we all.

To Mitch, Michelle, and Mikayla,

I have no words that will ease your suffering. I bring to you nothing save two things… I won’t let you down, even if I’m at my very worst. I also won’t forget my promise to strive to be better tomorrow than I was today. I have Mira to thank for this and I won’t forget my errand. The way you continue to carry yourselves holds my deepest admiration and I owe you my gratitude for the lessons. I thank you more than I can ever express.

God bless you.

Love,

Michael”

 

I can assure you, there is nothing natural about burying a child.  This was the second time I was honored to be a pall bearer for a little girl.  The first was baby Kendall, who lived for just 20 minutes after birth before joining God.  Holding a casket the size of a loaf of bread as you carry her tiny body to it’s final resting place is a tougher walk than one might think.

In both of these cases it was quite difficult, but it gave me a real sense of peace.  If just a single act here and there can help ease a parent’s burden of grief, then I’m glad to share the load.  I too was grieving, so it helped on another level as I felt I was able to connect to these girls by paying them the compliment of respecting their bodies as they gazed down from the Heavens.

I share this blog post for one reason – I needed to for me…  I’m simply thinking a lot about God’s gifts, and wondering how much I don’t understand out of all the things I don’t understand.  I suppose the illusion of ‘control’ catches up to us all.  “Let go, and let God” isn’t that what they say?  Doesn’t sound too bad to me…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *