I’ve heard of collateral damage. It’s when damage occurs to something other than the intended target. However Collateral beauty was foreign to me. I assumed it was when beauty occurs to something other than the intended target, and I believe my assumption was correct.
My husband and I recently sat down to watch this movie which was probably not advisable given the “Brooky situation” we are now in the midst of. The story revolves around the devastation a family experiences after losing their daughter. When you’re sitting and watching your baby deteriorate from the inside out, I warn you, it’s probably not the best possible choice. There were a few take away's for me however that I would like to share:
Notice the Collateral beauty in the experience.
In the midst of watching a child suffer, nothing should be beautiful, however there is so much beauty that we had to stop and intentionally take notice, so as not to miss it.
Watching Brooky suffer is difficult. We share lots of happy smiling videos and pics of #BeautifulBrooklyn, but for every happy moment, she has double if not triple the difficult and painful experiences. We decided early on not to share her suffering with the masses. Initially it was just too painful for Sheltaya to watch over and over again, but eventually it just kind of happened naturally.
The positive in that decision is that now when we look back on Brooky pics and videos, we see the happy smiling bright-eyed baby we were blessed with.
Her suffering is not chronicled and we can see all of her good days and happy moments. God has given us so many good times with Brooky, it’s a blessing now to have them readily accessible.
The theme we’d like everyone to take away with them is: Live life to the fullest.
Brooklyn lives life as if it was the most wonderful gift ever. She plays hard, gives all of herself, and smiles at almost anything. This is where we see the Collateral beauty in Brooklyn’s short time here on Earth.
Allow me to summarize:
The Collateral Beauty of Brooklyn is the smile from a child who’s writhing in pain and the kiss she blows as she’s struggling to gain control of a mouth full of teeth.
The Collateral Beauty of Brooklyn is in the many milestones she has reached from sitting up, holding her head up, grabbing toys, talking over a full cuff and the list goes on. It’s found in her doing all of this despite the medical team’s belief that she shouldn’t be here.
The Collateral Beauty of Brooklyn is the “Hi” she says so clearly over a full cuff. The Hi that has been indelibly etched in each of our hearts and minds when we think of Brooky.
The Collateral Beauty of Brooklyn is the ultimate shade she gives the nurses by staring them down to determine whether they are bringing more pain, or if they come in peace.
The Collateral Beauty of Brooklyn is in her staring with all of us at her machines when bells and whistles are going off. The look is as if she is either just reading her numbers to make sure everything is OK, or processing the numbers in order to help us understand what’s going on. I have to giggle just thinking about her intent little face looking like a mini doctor when checking it.
The Collateral Beauty of Brooklyn is the crazy feet that kick when she recognizes who is talking to her and gets as excited to see you as you are to see her.
The Collateral Beauty of Brooklyn is the worldwide ministry she has begun with her piercing eyes from that tiny little hospital bed.
The Collateral Beauty of Brooklyn is that we have been touched by an angel and her short time here on Earth has completely changed everything we thought, believed and felt about God, and now we truly know that we know the true and living God.
So, as you travel through life whether it is a life-threatening tightrope like we are walking, or if it’s deciding between going to work or taking in that once in a lifetime adventure, be sure to live every moment as if it were your last. I’ve said before but at the risk of sounding redundant, I implore you to smell the roses, take in the sunrise, walk in the rain and just enjoy life to the fullest.
Anyone who has seen Brooky smile in the midst of the storm or dance (kick those feet) in the midst of adversity, knows she would totally agree.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
(John 10:10, ESV)