Be of Good Cheer


Gail DeMasi // Genius of the Call

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October 21  

Last night I woke up and realized I must not title my post “Helpless.”

But I have been feeling this overwhelming sense of doom and of sad anger; mostly, though, it is a sense of helplessness.

Just five days ago we buried our granddaughter, Suzanna Hope. The five days of her life are now the demarcation of life for her family—before Suzanna and after Suzanna. We all knew she had trisomy 13, and when I wrote her obituary, this was included:

Suzanna Hope was a source of family celebrations during her time in her mother’s womb. She had many favorite stories read to her, artwork prepared for her, and special clothes made . . . suffice to say, her arrival on October 4th was a great day. Her family and extended family, near and far, were filled with gratitude and joy.

Though her time with her family was short, it was five days that changed lives. She will be fondly remembered for her unique attributes, her beauty, and mostly, her presence. She was a living witness of the essence of pure love, the love she experienced from family and others, as well as the love she gave.

Her gifts included the healing of hearts, laughter, tears, and importantly, the invitation to find meaning in life, death, and God. Her family will forever remember their precious baby and will be forever grateful for their time with her.

We experienced a watershed of grace—we had miracles; we had a procession of cars to the cemetery that one would have thought was the President’s. And why wouldn’t there be that witness? Suzanna Hope was a gift from God to parents and siblings, who he knew would love her to her death and through her death. Had he brought her to a different family, she may have been aborted; or she may have been left alone in the NICU to die, alone. But not in this family.

I was not prepared for the “after Suzanna’s life” part. My son and daughter-in-law are in such sadness—tangible, isolating, personal, and grievous hearts of sadness. What can I do?

I am helpless.

The Lord woke me up last night and gave me a word or two . . . Not helpless: meditate on “possible.” Possible. Yes, possible. It gives me a new attitude, a new vision. Yes, possible. All things are possible for those who love God. And we do love God; all of us love God. He just sent love directly to our arms and we returned her to him—he who is Love sent his love and received his love back.

All is possible. We will surround our little heartbroken family in love. We have experienced the greatest beauty, the suffering of Love.

The other word I received was, “Be of Good Cheer.” Yes, I will be of good cheer. No, it does not mean I will feel good cheer . . . I will to be good cheer.

I almost failed as soon as the morning got underway . . . you know those irritating details of life? Fortunately, I remembered, and returned to be of good cheer.

This is the path to the possible.

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