Tuesday, April 8, 2008


The word "miracle" has pretty much lost its power over the years from being too easily used. "Miracle seasons" in sports? Really? That kind of cheapens the Miracle at Cana to being just a parlor trick.

Today is Calvin's birthday. (Actually, since he's now in Taiwan, it was yesterday.) He's the youngest son of Sean & Gosia, two of my dearest friends. As they might say in "Elfquest", they are family in all but blood. (Their middle child, Rhiannon, is my god-daughter.)

Calvin is now two. And that he made it to this milestone really justifies the use of the word "miracle".
His grand-mother sent out an e-mail today that tells Calvin's story far better than I can. And with her permission, I present it here:

Today is a very special day. It was two years ago exactly that we got the kind of phone call you hope never to get from someone you love. It was from Sean in Taiwan, telling us that their just-born son, Calvin, was not expected to live, and that Gosia, after a three-hour emergency surgery during which she stopped breathing, and needed 9 units of blood, was in very critical condition.

Well, if you know even the slightest bit of the story since then, you rejoice with us that Gosia is alive and well; and both she and Sean have put in an all-out effort to bringing that little kid out of dialysis, off the respirator, through countless hyperbaric oxygen treatments and from feeding tube to successful breast-feeding [which "they" said could never be done.] His sight is improving and his motor skills - the brain area judged most damaged - are responding to continuous therapy - bit by bit, but unmistakably. He knows each parent's voice and responds excitedly. He loves the beach and wants to move toward the sound of the waves as soon as he hears them.

On the iffy side, since swallowing is still not entirely natural for him, some of what he eats does come back up, and weight gain is a very elusive goal, which makes him vulnerable in fighting off infections, colds, etc. Even teething seems to bring on the petit mal seizures to which he is prone, But on the plus side, he's been experimenting with chewing which is a monumental milestone.

Sean sends us the gift of a twice-weekly blog so we can be somewhat in on their lives. Last week, he wrote:

"We know it is very slow, and it's a lot of work (especially for him) but he's a happy boy.
His birthday is next Tuesday -- he'll be two.

If you have any extra prayers, please dedicate them to Calvin."

Two years ago, when I told Sean about the outpouring of your prayers and concern, he said "That's the ground we walk on."

For then and for now, from them and from us, THANK YOU.
The "Cur" family, near and far

What does all this have to do with TV? Nothing, really. But then again, "My So-Called Life" is part of Toobworld, thanks to certain TV shows of my youth. So Calvin is one of the supporting players in my large cast of characters.

And if he had to have an alter-ego, "Miracle Kid" is as good as any.....

Happy Birthday, Calvin.

Toby OB

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