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Facing My Future Without Fear

Eddie Mowrer with his wife, Emily, and sons Oliver (left) and Hiro in Denver. Based on his vow for kosen-rufu, Eddie learns to lead a victorious life with his family. Photo by RAYNA M. TEDFORD.

By Eddie Mower

In 2015, my wife, Emily, went in for a routine prenatal checkup, when doctors diagnosed our unborn son with hydrocephalus. The overaccumulation of cerebral fluid causes pressure on the brain and leads to developmental issues. Without a cure or a way to treat it before birth, the doctor told us we had to decide whether to end the pregnancy or prepare to raise a severely mentally disabled child.

These words turned our world upside down. In a matter of moments, the excitement and anticipation of welcoming our new son turned into fear and doubt.

Emily and I chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo intensely, as we experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. In the end, we determined that, no matter what lay in store for him, we would use our faith and practice to protect him and ensure that he had a happy life.

Even though I was confident that we had made the right decision, as the date of his birth approached, I doubted my ability to be the pillar of my family. I began to feel like a victim, and that something terribly unfair was happening to me. Fundamentally, I felt I wouldn’t be able to give my son what he needed.

I was chanting and doing SGI activities consistently, but instead of gaining confidence and courage, I felt like I was losing control over my life.

When I sought guidance from a senior in faith, he reminded me that countless members have overcome impossible circumstances through faith in the Gohonzon. He made it clear to me that, to be the pillar of my family meant to stand up firmly in faith and make up my mind to fight for kosen-rufu. He stressed that vows cannot be halfhearted, and that I had to decide to transform my karma.

Before, I felt like a victim. I now know that I decide, in front of the Gohonzon, what the outcome will be.

To be honest, I got a little upset. I thought I was standing up in faith. As a chapter young men’s leader at the time, I was chanting and doing SGI activities almost nightly. But the more I reflected on what he had shared, the more I realized I was going through the motions. I had not made a genuine vow to win.

This became my new determination—to stop making excuses and take control of my future. After I made this decision, my determination and vow grew stronger. And in March 2016, my wife, my eldest son, Oliver, now 5, and I welcomed Hiro to our family with genuine joy and appreciation.

After Hiro was born, in addition to hydrocephalus, the doctors discovered several other neurological conditions. The first year of his life was full of doctor’s appointments and surgeries. While it was not easy, we steadily overcame every obstacle by going back to the Gohonzon and determining to persevere.

Hiro is now 3 years old. Not only has he progressed wonderfully, he has joyfully hit every single milestone in his development. The actual proof that Hiro has shown has completely erased every worry that I had for him. He is extremely happy and healthy—so vigorous, in fact, that he fights constantly with his big brother. He is truly the light of our family.

Growing up with SGI President Ikeda as my mentor, I was told that my future had no limits, and that I could lead a happy life beyond my imagination. I never could have imagined the difficulties I have faced, but I also never could have imagined the strength, happiness and fortune that I now have. Hiro’s condition has no cure, and we do not know what challenges he may experience in the future. However, I do know that he will continue to be victorious together with our entire family.

Before, I felt like a victim. I now know that I decide, in front of the Gohonzon, what the outcome will be. My son Hiro taught me to solidify my vow and my resolve to win. Now I can face my future without fear.

Together, We Will Transform the Darkness of the Times

“You Must Simply Make Up Your Mind”