The smile in his eye and the miracle of life…

When my son Zac was fighting for his life in intensive care, his neurologist broke the news to us that his face was paralysed.

At that stage, she didn’t think he would ever feed orally, speak or smile.

I remember feeling absolutely devastated.

The only way in which he communicated during the first few months of his life was through crying – no smiles, no babbling, no words.

Then one day, when he was nearly a year old, I had him propped up between my legs whilst I was building a tower of play-bricks.

I knocked the tower over and a new noise rippled out of him.

I called out to his father “listen, listen” and knocked the bricks over once more.

An unmistakable roaring belly laugh erupted from deep within our son.

It was the first time we had experienced any emotion from him other than crying.

It felt like the most special miracle as we cried and laughed together with joy.

As the weeks passed, I began to notice that whenever my son laughed, his right eye would close slightly.

Then I noticed that his right eye was half-closing even when he wasn’t laughing.

And finally, I realised that he was smiling.

This photo captures his smile so beautifully. Although his left eye is paralysed, his right eye half closes in delight at having had his face painted at a party.

I have come to believe not only in miracles, but in the power of looking beyond the frozen, superficial surface.

To really seek the light of someone’s Soul deep within any masks or defences they may be hiding behind.

To release assumptions and stereotypes, to be open to being surprised and inspired.

To embrace difference and find the magic in the smallest thing, such as a half-closed eye.

Because it’s often the smallest of gestures that carries the most profound meaning.

When we stop and come fully into the awareness of the moment and notice these small miracles of life, then we are truly living.

And truly able to be present for others.

Blessed Be xxx

Annabel Du Boulay Signature

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