• 88°

STATON: Celebrating Simon, a 13-year-old miracle

We are right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. and in Kentucky as I write this column.

When things such as this happen in our lives, we often wonder why. We want to know the answers, but sometimes, we are left never knowing why bad things happen to us in our lives.

Tennessee Williams once said, “Life is an unanswered question, but let’s still believe in the dignity and the importance of the question.”

After reading this quote, it hit me that during our whole lives we are in an unanswered question, even though I realize we will never know the answers to why everything happens.

Usually, we have some idea as to how our days will go because of being in routines from day to day. With this pandemic we are out of kilter so to speak, because our routines are messed up and out of our control.

I tell you this, and want you to imagine, what would you do if your life had been like this for 13 years now and the coronavirus has added to the mix of uncertainty.

Thirteen years ago, my daughter and her husband became the parents of a son who was born with so many problems that for months on end it was a give and take whether or not he would survive on any given day.

He was born two months premature, which in itself would create problems for any child, but with all the other anomalies he was facing, life for him sounded even more a challenge for him to reach a first birthday.

I, along with many others who know Shanda and Andy Cecil, know they are strong people who love their little angel, Simon Andrew Cecil, to pieces.

I am reminded of these two quotes, the first by Ellen Glasgow, “No life is so hard that you can’t make it easier by the way you take it.”

The second quote reminded me of Shanda so much. It says, “I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered, and life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.” This was spoken by Grandma Moses.

Few people could take what my grandson’s parents have been dealt with and do as well as they have. It has not been easy for them.

Simon’s situation was unusual and rare for doctors.

Since Simon has a rare form of dwarfism, almost no information was available for anyone to know what to expect for his life. The piece of information they did know was that his life expectancy would probably be short.

Shanda would study everything she could get her hands on, and I as a parent, could not be prouder of her and Andy in their care of Simon.

I firmly believe if they had not given Simon the love and care they did, he would not be about to celebrate his 13th birthday April 18.

That fact alone puts a big smile on my face.

It is nearly incredulous to me that Simon will turn 13 Saturday.

No, he does not look like a 13 year old; he is only about 36 inches long.

He still does not have a big vocabulary, but he can say his favorite word, and that is, “Eat! Eat!”

As I often say, I know that trait has to come from my side of the family.

He says, “Uh. Uh.” to say, “No!” That usually comes with a swipe of his hands to push it away. I swear he has said, “Nan,” more than once.

He has the sweetest smile ever, and he really is a beautiful child.

However, I can not give Shanda and Andy all the praise of Simon reaching age 13.

Simon has endured far more than anyone in these past 13 years.

He is totally at the mercy of others. He is patient beyond words — for the most part. It takes very little to make him happy. Elmo can do it, but even when he is not watching Elmo, he is content most all day every day unless he is not feeling well.

He still is on whatever sleep schedule he chooses, but who knows if he has awakened because he hurts, is thirsty or hungry? He gets sleepy during the day if he has awakened Mom and Dad at 3 a.m. and is not allowed to go take a nap because Mom and Dad are hoping for rest that night.

If he gets sleep during the day he may want to keep them up all night.

I promise you he will not let you sleep if he awakens in the night. He keeps smacking you on the face to get you up. Imagine that in the middle of a deep sleep after a long day.

Simon, you may be small in stature but you have captured the hearts of your nurses, your teachers, your Mom, Dad, brother Hayden, your Mimi and Pops, and especially your Nana and Papaw.

You are our “angel on Earth.”

Happy 13th birthday, little man!

Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.