Children are flowers for mothers to tend. My sweet garden grows astringent yarrow, cheerful fuschia, ubiquitous dandelion, delicate baby’s breath, thorny rose ~ and fireweed. A tall, strong wildflower with multiple neon blooms, it is the first to appear after fire (or any earthen upheaval, natural or man-made). Its roots are deep and its growth begins anew the circle of life in the devastated area. We have two “fireweed children” that were born with Cystic Fibrosis– a genetic upheaval due to two mutated proteins on the seventh chromosomes.
Does fireweed look gorgeous because it grows upon troubled spots, or is fireweed so gorgeous that the trouble is less noticeable? Either way, the world is blessed by its beauty and use, for it can be also be eaten and used medicinally.
We choose not to avoid more babies, even with a 1:4 chance of cystic fibrosis (CF) every time. During this National NFP Awareness Week we are grateful to know that our Holy Mother Church points us to a method we may use if we deem a serious reason (it is also used to achieve babies!). Why? Because there are hundreds of genetic issues that children can be born with; there are hundreds more conditions that children can develop or catch once born. A 1:4 chance pales in comparison. Knowing God, making Him known, and getting to heaven are not dependent on physical perfection; after all, plenty of people with high IQs and great health are criminals.
We are all called to live a vocational, considered life based on sacraments and living Love; not an entitled, fast-food life based on my feelings, my way.
According to the Baltimore Catechism, God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven. Fireweed can do this just as well as the lovely rose. Those of us with fireweed children might even say better than the rose. Although there is painful sorrow and difficult work and the “everlasting happiness” part comes in heaven, there is certainly love, wisdom, and peace. So we live with this:
Marriage is ordained,
Sex is good,
Children are blessings,
Heaven is real.
We’ll take our flowers as they come and tend them well, for we never know when one may wilt and return to the Creator. Don’t be frightened of caring for fireweed. Its brightness brings smiles; its beauty shines in trouble; it may become the favorite flower in your garden.
Notice how the flowers grow…not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them (Luke 12:27)
Allison is a 40-something mother of seven, living in Alaska, accepted into the Church (together with her husband, thank God) in 2004. She spends her days homeschooling and packaging meat that her menfolk hunt and bring home. She cannot garden to save her life but picks wild blueberries like a champ. She has been published in an edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul and keeps a blog at www.northerncffamily.blogspot.com, writing about living out the Faith with children with cystic fibrosis.