Like many second graders this spring, Fulton Ambrose received his First Holy Communion at a morning Mass surrounded by a packed sanctuary of friends and family.
And although he is my fourth child, this occasion was extra special, I’d argue even momentous, for many reasons. Like several other moms, I shed tears as I watched my child drive up and receive our Lord, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity for the very first time. However, shortly after receiving myself, I knelt in my pew and sank into deep, heartfelt sobs that shook my body and soaked the tissues clasped in my hands. I couldn’t forget that a little less that seven years ago, we didn’t know if this day would ever arrive.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy takes so much. It steals so many milestones and dreams. It makes so much inaccessible and off limits. Sometimes you wonder if there’s anything left to hope for.
But damnit, SMA couldn’t take this day away from Fulton, our family and our parish. SMA couldn’t keep Fulton from receiving the most important thing in the whole world, the Holy Eucharist. And I was so happy, so grateful and so relieved, I couldn’t stop crying. It almost seemed like I’d just witnessed the impossible. I think up until he made his first Confession the Thursday prior, I really expected his cold to come back with a vengeance or for some catastrophe to strike. I couldn’t imagine he was going to actually reach this milestone just like his peers. But thank God, his physical limitations do not limit his spiritual progress.
Receiving the Brown Scapular.
And now, with First Holy Communion under his belt, and having just seen his older sister get confirmed, Fulton’s already asking how much longer until his Confirmation. And I dare say, I’m not afraid to look forward to the occasion.