Close To Home And Far Away

by Lance Ekum on · 84 comments

“My piece of bread only belongs to me when I know that everyone else has a share, and that no one starves while I eat.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

Today, I would like to take you on a little journey…one that began nearly fourteen years ago.

It was a cold winter day that welcomed the birth of our daughter.  Rebekah.  Our second child (of what would be three).  Our only daughter.

While I speak from my (very male) perspective – the whole birthing process that day was one of much ease.  A baby girl…a tiny baby girl.  While my memory fades me as to the exact details of this moment, I very much remember the joy of a healthy, happy baby.

Our first moments alone with this new life, a few short hours after birth…cuddling a small, precious, new life.

(just each of us were at our birth…precious and new life)

And in a moment…

In a moment…it all changed.  From a little baby wiggling her toes, cooing, crying…to blue.  Blue, the color.  Blue, her skin.

Panic.  An urgent search for a nurse, someone, anyone, to help.

She was whisked away.  Gone from our arms.  And for what seemed like an eternity (although it was mere minutes), we didn't know.  We didn't know where she was, what was going on, what had happened.

Alone.  Not knowing.  A sinking feeling.

(some of the most challenging moments as a parent)

A few minutes later, the nurse returned.  Although, she had stopped breathing for a brief period, Rebekah would be okay,.  Because of this experience, she would stay mostly in an incubator, with constant monitoring while at her hospital stay.

Within a few days, she came home. 


What a wonderful feeling, and one, perhaps, that we didn't even fully realize at the time. 

Life.  Is Precious.  Is so worth fighting for.  Is beautiful.  Is such an amazing experience we are given.

We Are The Lucky Ones

Rebekah is one of the lucky ones.  She has been lost – like that moment we felt at her birth.  Moments where life and all it's preciousness flash before your eyes. 

…one of the lucky ones…

She is loved, she is cared for…by many.

She has an education…one that continues for this thriving thirteen year old. 

She leads an active and healthy lifestyle.

She has a place of safety and comfort…home…always there for her.

She has opportunities that some cannot even imagine.

She has love and support that some cannot begin to even fathom.

And Those Not So Lucky

Not all girls are so lucky.  In fact, all too many girls have to face difficult moments alone, have to do or be things that no child should have to endure, have to bear too much of the harsh realities of their world at an age that is way too young for these things.


Lost in so much more than the physical sense.  Lost emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically. 

Life snatched away.

We can look around the corner in the neighborhoods we live in (it's there), we can look to the inner cities around our world, we can look to under developed countries, we can look to families that seemingly have it all. 

And this exists.  Girls…lost…at an age when they should still be celebrating the joy of their childhood.

The Girl Effect

What if…

Note:  If you having trouble viewing this, please click here.

What if every girl, across our global community, was loved for who she is. 

What if every girl, across our global community, was cared for in times of need.

What if every girl, across our global community, was treated with respect for the amazing soul that she is.

What if every girl, across our global community, was given the opportunity to become educated.

What if…

What if each of us, in some way, went out today, and made a difference.  To a girl. 

This piece today is part of an effort to bring greater awareness to the effect we can each have, by helping to give every girl, everywhere, a life filled with promise and hope.

To learn more, visit The Girl Effect.  We can all make a difference.

A special thank you to Tara Sophia Mohr, for creating a space for writers to share in spreading this message of hope and inspiration.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Jules - Big Girl Bombshell November 23, 2010 at 8:22 am

Jules – Big Girl Bombshell´s Last Fabulous Post ..In Search of Like-Minded PeopleMy Profile


Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:01 pm

YES, indeed!!


Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 23, 2010 at 8:39 am

Dearest Lance,
This piece this experience you shared with your little beautiful precious exactly word for word what I went through when My little girl was born. The sudden panic and then the ease when she came back into my arms.I don’t even know how to describe it. I cried inconsolably till she came back into my arms. She was lucky…we are lucky.
May each girl have the luck and the love we have. May each child be blessed beyond measure..and live happy healthy lives. Its their God Given birth right!
Lots of love to you & the Girl Effect for this very necessary light that is being shed on this topic.


Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm

And you know…probably even more fully – as a mother – how challenging these moments of not knowing are. Yes, we are lucky – both of us, and our daughters.

Not everyone is. And that’s the sad part, and what makes The Girl Effect such a wonderful project – helping to give those who don’t have…to have something more…hope…

Love to you too, sweet friend…


Tara Sophia Mohr November 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

Thank you so much for jumping into the Girl Effect blogging campaign with a post.
This is beautiful, and it’s so wonderful to hear from men about their commitment to this topic. It’s been interesting to see how many of the posts are inspired by some experience from the writer’s own experience as a parent…and makes me think a parent-army could really make change around this issue.
For other readers who would like to join with a post please visit here for all the details!
The campaign will continue running for the next couple weeks!


Lance November 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Thank you so much for creating this space for writers to become more involved, and thank you for encouraging me to write this piece. As I’ve written this, I’ve also been more drawn into what others have written – and all of that has moved me deeply.

A parent-army…you’re onto something here! And you are – because of the connection, as parents, that we have to our own kids – can be a real rallying force toward something even greater. Sign me up for thi