WRITTEN BY STAR BOBATOON, ESQ.
sorrow. The pain in his eyes and the tears streaming down his face confirm it is bad news. “Do you want to talk about it?” he asks. An oppressive heaviness fills my chest and constricts my throat. I find myself suddenly thrust into a foreign emotional place where the pain and fear are so large, so overpowering I cannot speak. I collapse into his chest knowing at that moment my life would never be the same. That was a life-defining moment for me. I can say without a doubt my life has not been the same, nor has it been what I had imagined it would be after that day, that moment. Since that moment my life has been far more challenging, more painful, more interesting, and more joyous than I could have imagined. Joyous? Yes, there has been a great deal of joy in my life, even though for a while it seemed I would never be able to smile again, much less laugh. Over time, however, my joy came. My joy came because I wanted it to come. Philosopher Kahlil Gibran, in the famed book, The Prophet, writes “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain.” Initially, the intensity of my sorrow created a deep cavern of emptiness in my heart. I could have chosen to fill that cavern with bitterness, resentment, and fear. Many people do just that when hit with tremendous sorrow. I admit I had my share of those harsh emotions. Eventually, however, I chose joy. I did not want to continue to live in fear and sorrow. I wanted my son to know joy, laughter, and love. The only way to make that happen was to live in joy myself. Joy is always available; we just need to first choose to open our hearts to it, and second, look for all the ways it is available to us. I chose to fill that empty space with joy, with as much joy as I could. My family has a better life because of that choice. Life is filled with certain defining moments when you know your life will never be the same. However, it is not the moment itself that defines your life. It is what you choose to do, how you choose to respond in the moments, days, weeks, and years that follow, that truly define your life and who you are. What will you choose?
Published on Jun 7, 2011
When her 5-year-old son was first diagnosed with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, the first question Star Bobatoon asked was “Why Me?” Several ye...