Wood's Homes Blog

To me, you are perfect

December 07, 2020
By Stacey Murphy-Gerlach, Wood’s Homes Youth and Family Counsellor
To me, you are perfect

My name is Stacey Murphy-Gerlach and I have been with Wood's Homes for seven years. I want to start by saying that I firmly believe the key to healing is connection. After all: 

When "I" becomes "WE", ILLNESS becomes WELLNESS.
Heal the heart, change the behaviour.

It was Oct. 4, 1996. I was four days overdue and after being sent for a routine ultrasound, they found massive fluid in my baby's brain. Everyone and everything went into panic mode. I had no idea at the time that this was to be the death of my pre-conceived notion of what our lives would be like and the beginning of a journey most can never even imagine. She came into the world in the early hours of Oct. 17, code blue (not breathing).

My sweet Brooklyn Saige had her first brain surgery at two-and-a-half days old, and two more before I got her home at two-and-a-half weeks old.  She's had seven brain surgeries and eight other surgeries (I think… I’ve actually lost count), and is now 24-years-old. She is a quadriplegic, G-Tube fed, still in diapers, non-verbal and has a seizure disorder. Our life is so very different from what I had imagined it would be. 

But she is so much more than what she is not, and what she can or cannot do for herself. To me, she is perfect – and that’s because I can love that which is not perfect and those who are not perfect.

I often share parts of our story with my ‘work-kids’ – not to burden them with our trials, but to inspire them with our triumphs. They often ask questions about our experience and I share small details with them. Most of all though, I let them know that everyone deserves love, respect, to be listened to, a good quality of life and happiness. I explain that things happen to your brain, and although these things often make you struggle, they don't have to define you. They make you, YOU – and that's OK because ‘perfect’ doesn't exist and 'normal' is boring.   

Brooklyn is loving and happy, and she has a great life despite her obstacles. Yes, I tell them, she would probably love to walk, run, go to the bathroom, give herself a shower, eat real food and scratch her own nose. I tell them that if I had a magic wand, perhaps for her, I would change the way things are… but to me she is absolutely perfect the way she is and so are they. The things that have happened to them in their lives have caused changes to their brains and resulted in struggles. But they are so much more than that. They are perfect, because: 

You don't have a soul – you are a soul. You have a body.
And your soul is perfect.