All yogis refer to their teachers--whether it is the woman whose class they have been taking at a local center for years or a master teacher based in India or a series of various teachers. Yoga is a tradition that is taught. Teacher to Student and Student to Teacher.
My teacher is Lily.
When I lost my job, Lily said to me, "Mommy, I'll help you find it."
When I was scared during my pregnancy with Chloe, Lily said to me, "It will be okay. I will hold your hand."
When I was upset with my father and left the room, Lily said to me, "Just go back there and listen. He loves you."
When I was scared to hold her--when she was so tiny at only 3 lbs, Lily nestled in and I watched her vital signs stabilize.
When she was recovering from her third brain surgery in one month and I was at my breaking point, Lily smiled and laughed and played.
When I get frustrated and can't figure out how do to something, Lily says, "Just try your best."
When anyone cries, Lily is the first responder--she rushes to the injured party's side with a baby doll and a hug.
Whenever someone is sick or sad, Lily can't make them a homemade card fast enough.
There is this saying that God shines through a cracked pot. In the darkest of times, when the damage seems catastrophic, God's light shines through. My Lily; she has faced difficult times--born 11 weeks too soon, 10 days on a ventilator, 7 weeks in the NICU and then a brain tumor and all the surgeries, radiation, therapy and follow up that goes with it. I used to fear that Lily would be permanently scarred--angry, frightened or depressed.
But Lily has always been the brightest light--she is brighter than a million stars. When I look at Lily I see God. I see purpose and love and hope. When Lily and I have our late night talks, cuddled up in my bed, when Mike is traveling or we are away on some adventure, she whispers to me. She tells me about her friends and her favorite books. She asks where we are going next--to the zoo? to Chicago? to Salt Lake City? She tells me that she loves my eye brows because even when I am mad, those eye brows stay still. Lily often whispers, "Guess what? I love you."
In those moments, I forget she is a little girl. Lily has taught me the meaning of God. God has no age. God loves us all-sick or well; sad or happy; beautiful or scarred. She showed me the light that I ignored for so long.
Happy 4th Birthday to my light, my teacher, my love. Dear Lily, the world is forever changed and forever brighter with you it.