26 years ago a five year old girl was skiing with her dad at their local resort. A terrible series of events ensued and this beautiful five year old was left with a catastrophic traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Many TBIs are permanent and only through intensive therapies,medical interventions and prayer is any recovery possible at all. As you can imagine,the first few years were quite rough and this remarkable young lady has many lingering challenges as a result of this long ago accident. Her life and those of her parents was forever changed on a beautiful Colorado day.
For the last 26 years there has been joy and fun in this young lady's life, but there has also been sorrow and grief. As the mother of a child who was born with a disability, I cannot even fathom the grief a mother with a child with an acquired disability must have. We grieved Alex’s future when she was born, this family grieved their daughters future as well as their own when she was five, the promises of this young girls life had already begun to realize, and then it changed in immeasurable ways.
This 31 year old will never be able to have children, not only physically but developmentally. She cannot carry or care for a child and despite her dream to have four or five kids, it will not happen. Her parents will never have grandchildren, and despite their dreams to retire and know their daughter is happily married with a family, it will not happen as planned. The “day I lost my children” is a deep wound this young lady and her family still suffer and one that wants to be healed.
It is because of Alex and ONLY because of Alex that I know this woman and was invited to participate in the lost children healing ceremony performed by a Ute Medicine Man. This took place on a beautiful fall day at the exact location this life changing accident occurred. Ten of us were driven 30 minutes up the mountain in the back of two old pick-ups. We traversed the mountain on a treacherous rock strewn road, but never felt in danger. Instead, we felt peace from the beginning to the end of this healing journey
As we arrived at the site with the Ute Medicine Man we were told to create a semi-circle around our friend with the deep wounds. For the next 45 minutes this wise Native American called to the old spirits through song, prayer and his wooden flute. He blessed our friend and called for the ancients to heal and help her grow stronger. He scattered the evil spirits to the wind with a powerful eagle's feather and as he did the wind blew and blew stronger and we felt the spirits. In that simple yet powerful ceremony we were all healed. We prayed for our friend, her family and ourselves.
I looked out from the top of the world through the colors of the fall aspen trees and I prayed for our future and Alex’s. In those moments of complete communion with the world I shared my sorrow and grief with the spirits and asked for strength. And as the wind blew even stronger, I felt goose bumps over my entire body and I knew a power greater than myself was listening and healing.
Everyday I thank the universe that through Alex I know sorrow and grief and I know it is because of Alex I can find peace and serenity.