Live for the moments that you can say “Hooray!”

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By Nancy Kennedy

Cleaning out my email this morning I found one I had written to a friend.
It started out: “So it was a nice, calm day at work yesterday. By the afternoon I was sitting at my desk thinking, ‘Hooray!’
“It just felt like a good day to say, ‘Hooray!’ I even posted it as my Facebook status. Hooray!”
I went on to write about how my phone rang and it was my husband: “I didn’t do it. It’s not my fault,” he said, which is never a good sign.
Something was wrong with the computer, he said. I needed to call Dell as soon as I got home.
Calls to Dell usually last a minimum of an hour. My record is four hours.
“So, I left work early, which I planned to do anyway, but I wanted to go to the gym,” I wrote in my email. “Instead, I chatted with Chetan from somewhere in Southern India for two and a half hours. It only cost me $39.95 for some software and I could totally understand his accent without popping a blood vessel in my frontal lobe or anywhere else.
I was thinking about “Hooray!” days a few weeks ago as I visited a little girl I’ve been following ever since she was a baby. Now 8, Kinsey was having a “Hooray!’ day of her own.
She was born with Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which destroyed her kidneys. She also has severe cardiomyopathy, an enlargement of her heart’s left ventricle.
I had written about her when she was a baby and then when she was five and again a few weeks ago.
The day I met up with her and her family at a local park Kinsey greeted me saying “Hooray!” She had recently been placed on the kidney and heart transplant list.
When I asked her what will happen after her transplant she giggled and covered her face. “Then I can pee,” she said.
Because of her kidney damage, she doesn’t produce urine. When she gets a new kidney, she will. Can you imagine her joy when she can pee like any other normal little girl?
The day I met with Kinsey, her mom, dad, grandma and cousins were with her. They all say “Hooray!” for Kinsey. They said she lights up their lives.
I talked to her grandma about some hard stuff. She said of course they ask why Kinsey? Why their family? She said she had lost a daughter in a car accident 10 years ago, her only daughter. Their family has seen some sad times.
She said when Kinsey was born and she had so many things wrong with her. At one point she spent more days in the hospital than home. She said she knew that if any parents were the right ones to care for this tiny, fragile child, it was her son and his wife.
She had worked with physically handicapped children herself years before and her son, Kinsey’s dad, had shown a genuine and profound tenderness toward her students. Kinsey’s mom is a nurse.
She said God knew what he was doing in sending her youngest grandchild to them, that they’ve embraced the life God has given them and they all know that he holds them in his hands.
As she was talking to me and as I watched Kinsey’s cousins push her on the swing at the park I couldn’t help thinking that when God looks at all of them and how they all love and care for her with great perseverance despite being bone tired, he surely says, “Hooray!”
Sometimes I’m cynical and pessimistic and see glasses half-empty, but mostly I believe in “Hooray!” I believe that God knows when life is about to hand someone a curve ball or a lemon or whatever metaphor you want to use for a situation that brings us to our knees.
I believe that he gives us sweet moments of grace on either side and throughout our hard times, that we have lots of opportunities to say “Hooray!”
I believe that life is hard, but God is good and that nothing is impossible with him and that with him all things are possible.
I believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God, that he cheers us on and never lets us go through dark days alone.
To that, let all God’s people say, “Hooray!”
Nancy Kennedy is the author of “Move Over, Victoria - I Know the Real Secret,” “Girl on a Swing,” and her latest book, “Lipstick Grace.” She can be reached at( 352) 564-2927, Monday through Thursday, or via email at nkennedy@chronicleonline.com.