Our little ‘lion of God’ rightfully earned her name. From the moment of late daughter's official diagnosis of Trisomy 13 on November 7, 2016, Ari overcame so many of the odds stacked against her. The biggest odd of them all, surviving.
On a train to Chicago, our son Chase unknowingly captured this photo of me. After scrolling through all of the photos taken that day I stumbled upon this one. I froze. I saw a lion.
What?!?! Yes, I saw a lion, but most likely not what you're thinking.
See the way the light blends with the edges of my hair? It creates a makeshift mane so on the surface, I immediately see a lion. But beyond the obvious, looking closer and going deeper... I see more.
I see the focus and clarity in my eyes, fixed on the thoughts of forward progress. A course that was intuitively set from the very beginning of my story. I see the patience and stillness in my body, a distinct understanding that there is reason and purpose in the waiting. A well thought out and planned approach.
I see courage.
I see determination.
I see a fighter.
I see a leader.
I see Ari, our “lion of God”.
I see Ari's spirit coming through in all of this.
I see Ari within the new me.
Our little lion may have only survived 9 hours and 51 minutes earth side, but her legacy, her purpose, her lion spirit is alive in me!
Ari proved her strength every second of her life. We were truly inspired by her determination and still are even after her passing. Though her heart was weak and her tiny body so frail, she constantly found ways to surpass the goals we set for her as a family. She survived labor and delivery, she made it to our home, we bathed her, we read to her, we cuddled with her until she took her final breath. She knew only love. And so she reminds us not to give up the fight, to not give up on life without wrestling and battling through, making every moment count. Regardless of the time frame, she will always, ALWAYS be our family... she is our daughter, she is a sister! Ari is our fierce lion of God!