When you take a moment to look at the above photo, what thoughts come to mind?
Health and happiness? Paradise? Holidays?
I would like to uncover a small secret with you.
There are a few hidden details you cannot see.
It's a happy scene indeed. Smiling faces. Family. Picturesque background. It's my family. That's me, second from the left.
Truth be told, this image barely captures the Domorev family mess of this particular trip.
The days before, my eldest son (middle), was in the fight of his life out at sea, winds of 35 knots, with no relief in sight. A horrible, sleepless night had kept me up, sensing the battle, but unaware of the details, forced into prayer for his safety. The next day, a helicopter was called to take him to hospital.
This picture was taken after a seven-hour drive to collect him from Mackay Hospital and a good night's sleep in an Airlie Beach Airbnb.
Ironically, in the minutes following this perfect family moment, while driving down the winding, bending road, our youngest son (far right), was compelled to revisit his lunch and share it all over himself, his brothers, and the back seat.
We were poorly prepared for this mess.
We laugh about it now. This salvation trip had some fun moments, but it was hardly picturesque.
Our family picture, now laminated and perched on our bookcase, serves two very important purposes:
1. to teach our youngest son, who has Down syndrome, important basic language, and learn words and concepts like "mama", "papa", "brother", and "family".
2. to remind us that when everyone else appears smiling and perfectly functional, there are a thousand untold details quietly reminding us that every life is a little bit messed up, and at the end of the day, the only thing left is to have a good laugh and get back to living.
As you progress through 2024, may every perfectly glossy smiling photo remind you to keep on laughing.
Have a wonderful, laughter-filled 2024!
Indulge in life.