By Acacia Hathaway

When my daughter, Ella, is older I will tell her the heart touching story of her first birthday and why I chose butterflies as her theme. She will begin to understand that she was strong from the beginning. She has taught me what strength really is.

When Ella was almost a year old, she had another appointment with the urologist. She was diagnosed with kidney reflux and needed testing. When we went in for her appointment she was happy.

But behind her eyes I saw her restlessness that others did not. I saw her covering up her nervousness. She had been around doctors and nurses for so long it was almost instinct to feel worried whenever she saw them.

First, let me warn you of what some may feel is graphic in this coming paragraph.

At this appointment her procedure required inserting a catheter. Ella had had catheters before but she was older and knew a lot more than she had before. We went to a room painted in fun colors that displayed mobiles from the ceiling. One of these figures was a butterfly.

Ella pointed to it so her grandmother pulled on the string attached to the butterfly. The wings began to move up and down, mimicking the motion of a real butterfly. Ella laughed, but her laugh was short lived when the nurses began inserting the catheter.

She screamed and cried. I wanted to comfort her but I could not hold her. She was going to have to go through this pain on her own.

Somewhere inside, strength and courage emerged above pain. In the midst of her screams, she raised her hand and pointed to the butterfly hanging above. Her plea was heard. Grandmother pulled down on the string and Ella began to smile as she cried. She knew it would be over soon. She showed strength at not even a year old.

This why I chose her theme to be butterflies. God never gives us anything we can’t handle and Ella is an example of that. This precious child has shown more strength than I’ve ever had.

I believe that in her future trials she will overcome pain with happiness, something we all should learn.

Acacia Hathaway is a guest blogger for the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias.

Share Your Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *