Zoe is loud. She comes by it naturally. Her mom is loud, her brother and cousin Brynna are loud. Some might even say her Aunt Gigi is loud. (me? noooo!) Zoe is a different kind of loud. She laughs loud like AJ and talks loud like Brynna. She snorts loud when she laughs like her mama and dresses loud (which could not please her Aunt Gigi more!). But Zoe also loves loud. She has this ability to love you even if you don’t love her back (which you will do eventually because you can’t help it). She loves no matter what you look like. She loves no matter where she is. She loves with all of her little self.
When Zoe was admitted to the hospital a couple weeks ago, she immediately set about making the space hers. No way could she lay in a quiet, colorless room for a month! She hung streamers from her bed rails and decorated with art work and balloons and more streamers. The bed she’s been in for traction has a canopy-like frame over it that looks like a birthday party had too much to drink. And it’s awesome. It’s exactly who she is. She also entered the intensive care ward like she and her mama enter any space – they immediately knew everyone’s names, why they are there and how they could make them laugh. And that’s what she’s done for the past 10 days. She’s loudly loved the patients, doctors, nurses and visitors of that hospital. She’s had bubble fights so messy they had to mop the floor. She’s done every art project they could think up for someone flat on her back. She’s made silly faces with Brynna across an ocean, and we’ve laughed so loud we’ve been asked to keep it down. She’s watched television by changing channels with her toes, much to the amusement of everyone in sight. She’s learned to roll and climb while keeping her head stationary in the halo and is not shy to put on a show. Zoe has laughed and loved loud.
Our loud little monkey has surgery again today. Her progress while in traction has been even more than doctors predicted, and they are hopeful today’s fusion will be her last surgery for awhile. That’s our hope, too. Zoe is understandably scared. Just like a couple weeks ago, we all are. This surgery will fuse part of her spine by inserting a rod and screws in several vertebrate. That part of her spine will never grow further. Surgery is several hours long, and again, I’m sitting on the opposite side of the world rather than in the waiting room by my sister. There are risks that come with any operation, but especially spinal surgery, that I can’t bear to think about.
But here is where my heart will sit today – God is loud. He likes to display His glory in big ways because He’s big. The sky that goes on forever, the sunset with more colors than I can name, the newborn baby who miraculously goes from breathing liquid to air in seconds…He’s loud in ways we can’t comprehend. He’s loud, and He made Zoe beautifully loud.
So today, I’m praying loud. And I’m dressing loud and I’m laughing loud. I’m going to play with Brynna loud, and I’m going to love loud. If you aren’t already dressed for the day, go add something pink (the brighter the better) and think of Zoe for me. If the pink doesn’t match or makes your outfit a little more loud than usual…all the better!
No matter where you are. No matter what it looks like. Just like Zoe, with all your little self…Be loud.
If you dress loud, post a pic on Twitter or Instagram with hashtag #ZoeLife so I can show her!