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Today I reJOIce

August 14, 2013

By this time, I had already been in the hospital for about a month and today I was at my wits end. I was told that I was “sick”, yet I felt nothing. I had been poked every 4 hours for the past week and to make matters worse, I hear these words: “Ms. Butler, I hate to tell you this, but it appears as if your body is shutting down. Your liver is failing, your kidneys are failing and if we don’t take her now, both of you may not survive”. These are the words that I heard shortly after lunch time on August 14, 2001. Almost exactly 4 hours later at 4:10PM, through an emergency C-section, you were born weighing only 2 pounds and 8.8 ounces. I struggled as a mother early on and many times didn’t know whether I was coming or going. You were so tiny that you fit in my bra and I had to search for baby doll clothes for you to wear (premie clothes were too big). I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted from carrying around the heart monitor, an oxygen tank and everything else; but today as you celebrate your 12th birthday, I would do it ALL over again. You have blessed me beyond measure with your compassionate heart, your unconditional love, your old soul and spirit full of wisdom. God gave me you as one of His most precious gifts and I’m so grateful.

Even when it appeared as if you weren’t going to make it on a number of occasions, you fought and defied the odds. I was told that you would have severe delays mentally and physically, and surely you proved them wrong by being an Honor Roll student, excelling in many of your subjects, a purple belt in jiujitsu, a talented basketball player and of course you have already surpassed me in height. Your Dad would have been very proud of you (continue to rest in peace Craig M. Canteen). Your zeal for life, love of people, persistence in prayer, hunger for learning, tenacious personality and relationship with God is something I truly admire. Every day you say “Mommy I love you” serves as a reminder of the treasure you truly are. Many times we don’t understand why things happen the way that they happen, but this I do know…I NEVER knew a love like this until you came into my life. God was so mindful of me that He allowed me to give birth to perfect joy: YOU!!! So today, Joi (joy) Kamil (perfect) Butler…my Joilicious, your Nana’s Sugar Boo, your Grandma Canteen’s Big Girl, and everyone else’s joy-down-in-my-heart…I salute you on your birthday! It is my prayer that God continues to guide me that I may nurture you to be all that He has created you to be, and that your gifts continue to be stirred up that you may be used for the edification of His Kingdom…you are truly a jewel and I’m proud to be your Mommylicious.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOI!!!

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