Today I went into the file where we keep all our important papers so I could get Juliet's Birth Certificate. As I held the Birth Certificate in my hand, I gently touched the lower left hand stain. To an untrained eye, it may look like a simple dirt smudge, but to me it brought back so many emotions. You see, this grey area is actually a scar on this paper. The paper never felt pain, but we carried the pain for it. This scar was a result of this paper sitting in an inferno for better than 24 hours as our home burned down in 2001. That inferno stole most everything from us - our clothes, shoes, food, beds, and even sense of reality. It ripped from us 99.9% of everything we owned - minus a few miracles: this beautiful Birth Certificate and some beloved photographs.
Time has healed our painful wounds, and new shoes and clothes were purchased to replace all those that were lost, but we also carry scars like that Birth Certificate belonging to Juliet. Our scars aren't grey singes located on our bodies, but rather something unseen by mere human eyes forever changed within our souls. This event made our little, simple, ordinary family - extraordinary. A day never closes without us sharing our love for each other, we treasure our family time, I take way too many pictures, and simple things are greatly appreciated - like being genuinely grateful to see a house standing when returning from a vacation. That isn't even taking into account that my business is now helping others find their true treasures while clearing out the clutter in their own lives.
I had to replace Scott and my Birth Certificate and Dylan of course has a brand new Birth Certificate - as he was born well after the fire in 2003. I also had to order new Social Security cards, Marriage License, etc. Now, all the papers are stored in a safe location, and each carry a very important purpose - but no paper is more special that that Birth Certificate with the grey scar on the bottom of the left hand corner.
I could have replaced Juliet's Birth Certificate many years ago. She could have a crisp white one like her brother's, unscathed with no scars to speak of anywhere. But, much like our own life's journey, it is not about remaining crispy white; each wound has a purpose - to teach and to change. Life would be glorious without pain and loss, or would it? From deaths, miscarriage, and our fire, I have learned empathy - pain has been an incredible teacher.
Someday when I am long gone, I hope Juliet can still treasure that Birth Certificate with the grey scar on the bottom of the left hand corner, and appreciate that through our loss - we were forever changed.