Life as a challenge
"The doctor who practices the ultrasonography, a woman, seems to be worried:
- There is a problem. Immediately I understand and as instinctively that it is serious, and I heard:
- Is she going to die? (Why did I speak first about death?)
- Yes." The doctor explains delicately that the child has a cerebral malformation which jeopardizes his life.
With emotion Sophie, mother of a heavily handicapped young girl who should not live and today is seven years old, makes us penetrate into the closed world of a medical practice where there are so many human mysteries. The questions from Sophie and Damien, her husband, followed on. Then the sonographer understood they wanted to “keep” the child. Disconcerted by this decision, she started a strange dialog with the parents, with state of shock. "No", first it is not by religious conviction but by simple humanity reaction, "this is parents’ reaction", Sophie answered. "No", by saying that they do not judge the others, how could they do it, they are not in the mood to philosophize in this moment of shock? Sophie’s mind navigates other waters, between one thousand questions about the child, her pain, her life, her death, their anxiety of parents.
This way the injured maternity of Sophie began. To live her maternity starting by mourning... "It is a really strange feeling to live constantly with this threat of death, whereas I feel my baby alive." "To love in emergency." "I know I have to live all this without rejecting anything, the pain, the softness, the love. I am at my place." Then the birth erased the darkness previsions on delivery. "Now I am full of joy to have given birth and not death." After this joy, she, her husband, and the medical team had to learn to welcome the handicap, and then the hopeless return to home, with Philippine in their arms, alive.
Life calls life
The parents are projected to the limits of life and its meaning. As if Philippine pressed the heart of her parents to extract blood and water. "With Philippine we are at the limits of life. (...) I wonder about the meaning of her life but also about the meaning of my life." "Remaining exterior to Philippine means to send her to death and nothingness. Being in contact with her, on the contrary means to integrate her into her life and into mine."
Everything that is not true does not resist, even the most intimate convictions. "What is the meaning of her life? She serves for nothing. But, finally, do I serve for something?" "Do discount lives exist?" "Why did I not want to interrupt pregnancy?" "What were my reasons?"
The author deals with the questions she has for seven years.
- First intellectual and philosophical questioning: on what do Philippine’s humanity and dignity rely?
- Then psychological questioning: how to tend parents’, couple’s, brothers’ and sisters’ wounds?
- Finally spiritual questioning: What meaning may have pain? Philippine’s life is a mystery. "During the pregnancy and this so painful waiting time, my faith concentrates on Jesus crucified." "I cannot pry another way, I simply look at the Crucified who says "why?"" Sophie goes ahead: trying to cut the suffering from the pain, in order not to be left in a destroying spiral.
Without catastrophism or angelism, Sophie looks at the passed seven years with moments of joy and pain, the experience of solidarity and lack of understanding, the daily fights and political fights (Perruche judgement). Delicately she reminds her souvenirs and emotions, to find out the meaning. More than a testimony, this is the modestly story of her inner experience, where the deep force prevails over the threat. The reader will not be insensitive to this experience of truth in which an exceptional unit of intelligence, heart and soul reveals with talent.