Sunday, September 19, 2010

Woman in the Mirror

I saw an unfamiliar face in the mirror today. She caught my eye as I rushed to start the day. I hardly recognized this woman. What had changed in her eyes? She was no longer young, naive, and seeing the world through rose colored glasses. What has caused the worry lines and thought brow? How could she look so fragile and weary, yet so determined and strong? Around some corner on the road of life.....she had been shaken to the core of her very being.

There was a time when only tears and fears were reflected in those eyes. A doctor's unexpected words, the future suddenly so uncertain....gray, shadowy images of the scary concept of her child coming into the world as "disabled". An incredible journey began that caught her by surprise and would take her places she never thought she would go. The journey had been long at times and she had shed tears of pain and tears of joy. She had hopes and dreams dashed in the blink of an eye. She had questioned WHY? She had friends fail her and not know what to say or how to help. She'd seen her child suffer. She'd cried silent tears into her pillow at night. Tears of exhaustion and fear. Tears of helplessness and longing. Tears of thankfulness and relief. Tears that are choked back during the day, but are unleashed like flood waters into the safety of the night to wash away any walls being built up to protect her heart. Nights of worry into endless days of responsibility. Then slowly but surely her broken heart begins to heal.

The same pity she had once felt as she watched a mother hold her "special child" close was now looking back at her in the eyes of strangers. But a smile tugs at her lips as she realizes she now knew the secret. The hard fought, carefully guarded secret, that was slowly reviled in the depths of her heart....but only after the tears and anguish of the first few days and weeks of this new life. The illusive truth that mothers of special children discover as they take their first faltering steps down this new was ok. She and her child could survive... even thrive. It was not a grueling and unforgiving road as she had imagined. The fog, confusion, despair, and fear were being slowly replaced by peace, acceptance, continent, joy, and gratitude. A mother's unique unconditional love changes the equation that may look hopeless and tough from those outside. looking in. She will fight for, live for, and die for her child. These special children transform those around them into different people. Stronger people dare I say it.. deeper people. Long gone are the days where they had to worry about where to vacation and what color mini-van to buy. They now struggle with life and death medical issues. They must answers their child's question about life's unfairness and pain. What remaining strength and energy they have is spent making their "family life" as normal and happy as possible.

A twinkle returns to the woman in the mirrors eyes and she takes a deep breath and remembers what she has been fighting for. How worthwhile this journey has been. This child is an incredible gift and what a privilege it is to be given this task of raising him. Her child is beautiful and perfect in her eyes. She longs for her child to be seen by the world with this filter of love, acceptance, and potential. Could others take the time to see past this little boys slower steps to see the life and love reflected in his eyes? Would her child be able to see himself through the filter of contentment that the woman has journeyed so long to discover?

Hope was rekindled as the woman's eyes grew brighter. The future remained uncertain, but the incredible protective love she felt for her child threw a warm blanket over the cold dark storm clouds that used to threaten her very soul. As she threw open the doors of her heart, she felt the warm sun on her face and she beheld a beautiful rainbow of intense beauty and unmistakable peace. Hope still comforts this woman in the middle of the night. Love gets her through each day. Faith takes her hand and leads her around each corner and through each deep dark valley. Peace soothes her heart as she relinquishes control of their own destiny to One wiser and all knowing. joy brings laughter and control to those once tired eyes once again. Each day is recognized for the gift it is.

I gave that woman a smile as I left her at the mirror today. I'll see her again soon and I am curious to see how she will change and grow. She's not the same young, carefree woman she used to be, but that's ok. I like who she is becoming and I feel comfortable in her life. The sun is shining, the day is brand new, my child is humming and God is so good!

I found this on someone else's blog and felt like this sums up everything I don't have words for.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Time is moving on!

I know I said I would try harder to update, but I guess I haven't tried hard enough!! A lot has happened over the past couple weeks. All good for the most part! Olivia had a special visitor at our house two weeks ago....the TOOTH FAIRY!! She was so excited, she even let me pull the tooth without a flinch. Apparently the Tooth Fairy is very wealthy she gives 10 dollars for the first the tooth now a days (according to Scott anyway). She is loving kindergarten! I am so blessed to have such an outgoing child that can make new friends anywhere she goes. She started riding the bus home on Monday, she really thinks she is hot stuff! She is only on the thing for maybe 2 minutes :). She thinks it is so cool.....for now anyway!

Raef is doing really well. We went today for his 4 month vaccinations, which is not fun at all. He doesn't do that bad, he actually hates the car seat more than the shots. He had a horrible week last week, he cried all the time was spitting everything up and was very gassy. We took him to a gastrologist on Monday and she raised his dose of Nexium and said keep using Mylicon drops (which I think they should be worth more than gold). It has seemed to help. He is smiling a lot more and yesterday found his arm! Although he is still pretty irritable, I can see the light and the end of the tunnel. We go next week to the cardiologist to have an echo, Dr. Madhok is going to send that one over to Vandy and get there take on it. It is looking like surgery will be the first week of November...NERVOUS!!!

On October 31 the American Heart Association is having a walk at ETSU mini dome. They got in contact with us through our cardiologist and asked if we would be the "spokes family" for children this year! I was so excited!! So many times everyone focuses on adults with heart disease, not children. It will be a great opportunity to spread some awareness.

We are going to have our family pictures on the 25th, I can't wait! I will at some point figure out how to put more pictures on here so I can let everyone see them!