1 year ago today we lost the angel God sent to make all of us appreciate life a little more. My husband coined the title "Brooklyn's Healing Heart Challenge," because despite all of the challenges she had with her little heart, she loved hard and lived life to the absolute fullest every one of the few moments she had here on Earth.
Her loss has left a hole in the hearts of all who were drawn in by her big beautiful eyes and perfect smile, but her legacy lives on in the form of lessons for each one of us to live by.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Brooky could care less about the world around her. She loved her bed, her TV, her tablet (Thanks Tiffany), and her toys. There was very little that could shake her or bring her spirits down. She battled everything from the common cold to the flu and sepsis like a boss with a smile on her face.
A definite lesson our lil angel leaves is not to sweat the small stuff. Be grateful, and enjoy the blessings you have without dreading or complaining about the ones you don't. As she looked death in the face every day and chose life, I implore you to fight against negativity and defeat. Recognize you are more than a conqueror and use Brooky's battle as inspiration.
Lesson # 2
When Brooky chose to love you, you knew it. Her face would light up when you entered the room and she let you know she had you on her mind. Despite the fact that she could only speak about three words, she communicated with her legs, hands and those big beautiful eyes. She even went as far as getting excited and kicking those little feet when she could hear her mother coming down the hall. She held my husband's face and beard and looked him right in his eyes whenever he was there. It was her way of keeping him as close as possible, and letting him know she never wanted to let him go.
Her example to the world is to love hard. More than just telling them, show your loved ones how much they are loved each and every day. Get excited when they arrive home and let them know your heart is overwhelmed by their presence.
See the Silver Lining Behind Every Cloud
Brooky loves a good movie, and The Little Mermaid was one of her favorites. Unlike most children who are only sucked in by the great graphics, music and loving characters, Brooklyn was thoroughly entertained by Ursula. While many children would hide their eyes or be frightened out of their wits by the villain, Ursula sent Brooky into almost uncontrollable laughter. She chose to find the funny in an otherwise scary situation. It is telling of the way she lived her life. She often smiled during procedures that would bring even the strongest of adults to tears. She also had an uncanny knack for making us laugh when the scenario was grim and all we wanted to do was cry.
This teaches each of us to look for the good in every situation, and to laugh in the face of adversity and let the enemy know just how much of a joke he really is.
Find Peace In Your Pain
We were so concerned about getting Brooky home that we forgot the hospital was truly all she ever knew as home. We attempted to enforce our norms on her as if that would be beneficial for her. In reality the hospital was the best and safest place for her to call home. She had around the clock supervision, she had trained staff ready to respond to a crisis at any given moment, and she had her own room to do as she pleased. She never complained about wanting to go outside, to the park, or the zoo. She never concerned herself with how much fun others were having because she was content and happy in her own little world. She found peace in what we thought was pain. She took in every experience as if it was an exciting trip to Disney World.
The lesson from our little angel is to find peace in what others may see as pain. Enjoy the life you have and show others your strength in every storm.
Dance Like No One Is Watching
Anyone who followed Brooky knows she obviously had music playing inside her head at all times. She would dance to any music at any time of the day or night. She enjoyed classical, rock, hiphop, gospel, rap and any other genre that comes to mind, because she never met a song she didn't like. She danced when she was awake, she danced to go to sleep, she danced when you were trying to change her diaper, and she even tried dancing in some dangerous scenarios like while getting her trach and lines changed. There was no stopping Lil Ms. Brooklyn from moving to the beat of her own drummer.
This being the case, I implore you to take a lesson and dance like no one is watching. Live life to the fullest and do your thing despite what others may say or think. Be uniquely you and enjoy the very short time God has granted you here on Earth.
Live with Passion and Purpose
Finally, and along those same lines, we often struggle to know God's plan for our lives. One, because he rarely reveals it to us with an Easy Button, and two because with the hustle and bustle of life we often neglect to spend intimate time with God so we can discern His voice clearly. Brooky seemed to have a different story. This Lil angel seemed to know her purpose from Day 1. She rarely cried, even in the worst of pain, she drew people in with her eyes and drew them to God with her peace in the storm. It's as if God whispered in her ear "Be strong and courageous for I am with you," and, " I know the plans I have for you," every day. She rarely looked afraid and her eyes sent strength to all who looked into them. When that camera came on, she locked eyes and sent love, hope, and healing to the masses. When people came to visit her, they were often overcome with emotion, not out of pity, but from the sincere encounter they had with the Holy Spirit when they came in contact with her.
God knew she would touch the lives of more people then we ever could, so he made her extra special (and not to mention Super Cute). The lesson from our little angel here is to tap into the power of God by spending intimate time with Him every single day. Learn to hear His voice clearly and live out your purpose with passion to continue Brooky's mission of drawing others to Him.
Brooklyn earned her wings April 11, 2018 and the loss still devastates many of us. Our request is:
Now we charge you to do something kind for someone else in Brooky's honor remembering Brooky's little broken heart lives on by healing others.