The Gift of Purpose

Our daughter Amanda was always very positive about her future … and what I mean is that she knew what was happening to her, and where she was going. Very rarely did she cry and complain about her situation. She knew she was dying, and she knew where she was going. I got so much strength from her, I only hope I gave her some comfort.

Soon after she died our family was together for a time of support and memories. Our son-in-law was asking me if I had ever considered the possibility that Mandy had completed her purpose on earth, and that is why she died. Before I could think, and answer, our daughter—his wife—asked him who would choose to live the life their severely Autistic son lived. For years I would rethink that conversation. About three years ago I shared the episode with an author who thought for a while and looked at me and said, “Yes, he came here to teach people love.”

Three years later I realize that “yes” Mandy’s life gave me a purpose. When she left I felt everything we all feel at varying times: anger, sadness, devastation, fatigue, guilt, and many more. But now after that ah-ha moment, I realize our beautiful grandson does teach people love … and he doesn’t say one thing, but you can feel it. And I know Mandy’s death has shown a purpose I would have never dreamed of, and I am thankful.

If Mandy had stayed here I never would have known any of you, but now I know you and your beautiful children. When somebody walks through the meeting door for the first time I can comfort them and offer them hope. Yes, there was and is a purpose in something that has seemed so horrible.

Does this mean I don’t miss my precious daughter? NO. I miss her every minute of every day, and forever will. However, it does mean, to me, that the journey that was Mandy’s has given my life a purpose I never could have imagined.