It’s not often that one line in a news article can change your entire perspective on what you’re reading. But there’s a story on Fox Sports that made me do just that.
The article concerns a British former professional free skating champion. She recently gave birth to her first daughter. The heartbreaking part of the story is that, due to a brain hemorrhage, she was brain dead. Doctors had kept her alive for a short time so they could do an emergency C-section. The baby was delivered at 25 weeks and is doing fine. She was transferred out of intensive care on the day of her mother’s funeral.
I found that story both triumphant and heart-breaking. I especially felt sorry for the father, who every year gets to celebrate his new daughter’s birthday and mourn the loss of his wife on almost the same day. But the part I found especially tragic is this part:
“Mrs. Soliman, 41, was best known as the British professional free skating champion in 1989. She also appeared in several international competitions in the 1980’s.
When she left competitive skating, Mrs. Soliman went on to teach, including time in Dubai where she met her husband. Aya was their first — and now only — child.”
(Please note, for the next few paragraphs, I’m speaking only about my values and life. I’m not trying to recommend a way of life for others.)
For some reason, that statement hit me. My family makes me happier than anything else I have/do. To think I might never have spent time with son is crushing. The thought of never seeing our other son (who is on the way) is equally devastating. To top that off with the idea that I had traded 20 years of life with my family for other pursuits would be too much to bear. Again, I’m speaking only for myself and my set of values.
I don’t feel like I’ve sacrificed anything to have my family, in terms of career, education or anything else. But if there is something I’m missing or have lost in order to have a family, I can say without a doubt that it was worth it.