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February 20th, 2007

Trial by Fire

Posted by natdavauer in Baby

Orion Cupid Davauer was born on February 9th. He lived for two hours and fourteen minutes. He lived his entire life in his parents’ loving arms. We all live longer lives complex with love, fear and sorrow. In the end trying to tip the scales in favor of love. I believe as we get older, we think back more and more to the time when our parents held us and all we knew was love. If only our whole lives could be so simple one might wish. If nothing else, Orion’s life was that pure and simple. He was held and loved every waking second of it.

As I drove away from the hospital I glanced in the rear view mirror and stopped. I pulled the car over for a minute just to figure out what I was looking at. There were eyes staring back at me that I had never seen before. They seemed old and deep with sorrow, but there was a strength in them.

What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.

This couldn’t have felt more true at that moment. There is a pain in life that you might think can strike you dead. As it turns out, we are capable of more than we think. You’ve heard of the person lifting a car when someone’s life is in danger? We all have this. There is a fortitude in us that is only available when we are most desperate for it. It waits just beneath the surface betraying our confidence, then when we finally succumb to self doubt and fear, we find ourselves still alive.

Our sadness had little time to breathe as we went straight from the hospital to one of our very best friend’s funeral. Rachel was white as a ghost due to lack of blood. She doesn’t have a lot to spare. She isn’t even allowed to donate blood due to her meager resources. But we needed as much as anything else in the world to be at this funeral for some reason. We needed to be in a place where death and despair were matter-of-course.

Sunday we sat by a hot fire preparing to embark down the road to recovery. We watched in horror as the smoke coming out of the wall at my parents’ house turned to fire. Everyone’s quick thinking and possibly the fact I was not wearing shoes left an outcome where everyone was safe except for the soldiers at Fort Union. You would think after having emotionally lifted our car, we would be incapable of being in a burning house. It turns out though, that this was our trial by fire. If we made it through this, we would make it through anything.

And we have. It seems we have been through an earthquake of suffering this year. Our baby was supposed to be the only thing that shone above it all. We have lived such a wonderful life recently either it’s time to pay the piper or we may have been cursed while traveling. We came across many people that looked like they could cast a pretty mean curse but I can’t remember doing anything to deserve it.

Within the last year: Three of my family’s horses died, two of my family’s dogs died, my cat died, my mom came very close to dying, my brother could have as well, two friends were diagnosed with cancer, my friend died and my son died.

This sounds like a curse, but I believe it is the nature of life on Earth. If I was to make a list of all the good things that have happened to me in recent years, it would be infinitely longer than that.

Orion CupidAfter the fire, my eyes had cried out all of their tears and were filled with nothing but soot and smoke. However, they could still see my wife. They could still see my family. The could still see my friend even as he burst through the door to rescue us. They could still see themselves and their own strength in the mirror. And they can see a near future where this is all a memory.

In the short time he was here, Orion gave Rachel and I a parting gift: A bond that goes deeper than what I previously thought possible. Something about being together for those two hours and fourteen minutes with him and Rachel was deeply spiritual and life-altering. Seeing life and death so close together while trying to love and grieve is heartbreakingly affecting.

We will always remember to look up through the smoking rubble that can sometimes be our lives to the winter sky and thank Orion for all he was. We’ll look to him to remember that strength, to feel it… even for just a couple minutes.