We're back on a crying spree. It's been 3 days and rather than let it persist, I have given in to the medications and allowed my girl to rest through what could have been really terrible moments. She wakes with a smile every morning but shortly after her first bottle I can see the agitation on her face. And then the scream.
But yesterday was different. I walked into her room and immediately knew that she was having seizures-a type that I haven't seen in a very long time. My heart literally felt like it could break. Her body jerks all day, every day and subconsciously I know that her brain is seizing almost constantly as well. But to have to see it is just as traumatizing for me as it was the first time-almost 3 years ago.
Speaking of 3 years ago, our girl is about to celebrate another year of life! Mabel turns 3 on July 16th, and although it's been hard for me in the past to feel celebratory-this year there is such a different feeling surrounding her special day. My girl is brave, courageous, beautiful and resilient. She lives life in a way that reflects beauty and fullness. She is an example of the kind of life that I desire to live and hope that I can do so with a smile as bright as hers and a gentleness about me, reflective of her. It's sometimes haunting to think about the days that she is living and knowing that they are essentially numbered here on this earth. It often feels like the moments I have with her are all part of very special 'borrowed time.' But this year I feel like we have hit a milestone that is definitive of our journey and I plan on embracing it with her to the very fullest on her big day.
Our summer has already been filled with special adventures and I cannot wait to continue adding to the list of things that I want to accomplish with the redheads before it's all said and done. We have made a lemonade stand, welcomed one single baby kitten and a precious baby Finley into the world, spent days at the beach, taken sunset walks almost every night, had breakfast for dinner, played ball and spent countless days with friends in our big front yard. Still to come?
Fireworks, sparklers, amusement park, water park, horse shows, rain dances, several cookouts, hot air balloon festival, and so much more.
I've been reflecting alot lately-quietly, on the past several months and even years of my life and this journey with Mabel. I am finding it beautifully ironic that the people who surround me are full of the qualities and traits that are essential not only for my growth, but my sanity and my ability to cope and grow through times of trial and change. I love looking back and seeing how God meticulously placed people in my life and plucked people out of it. At this time, right now, I can confidently say that I have never felt more like myself, more alive or more joyful. I can look around and vividly see the meaning in my relationships. The depth, the value, the structure, the necessity. I can feel the peculiar pull of moments that are so deep with people that love me just the same and it is incredible knowing that they are here for a purpose far greater than any of us could possibly understand.
I learned early on that there were going to be people around me that could not stay in my life for the duration of Mabel's journey. It was made painfully clear to me that there wasn't enough time, there were too many excuses and sometimes it was just far too difficult. I also learned most recently that people will use the name of God to help validate their decisions in situations that are unlikely to resolve themselves in a 'Godly' way. I remember saying to myself a couple of years ago that I refused to use the name of Jesus to validate stupidity, or as a crutch to stand by ridiculous choices.
Was this statement a result of a hardened heart inside of me? Quite the contrary. It's a statement of intellect rather than one of blind and obnoxious religion. Loving God does not give us free reign to sit back and be ignorant or weak. It isn't a shield that covers us when things get tough and we don't feel like sticking it out.
When I look around this big front yard in the middle of these hot days with my baby draped across the shoulders of people surrounding me, I see people who speak less the love of God and yet show it more. I see people who have questioned Him and yet are in the thick of this mess with me anyway. I see people who have been hurt, experienced death, and faced some of the ugliest challenges that life offers and yet-they are here. Holding my girl and holding my hand. Rocking Mabel wildly while sometimes I sit in the corner and rock myself the same way, sobbing. They have not waivered, they have not left, they are strong, they are determined to be here, they cry with me and for me and love me so deeply that I can feel it to the bottom of my very own soul.
They will never know how their laughter frees me or how their quiet calms me. They will never know how their presence puts me at ease or reassures my spirit. They will never know that their continued persistence to love us has made me stronger than I ever knew I was capable of being.
But if you are one of them, please know.
I hope you know.
These days can be so wicked. There are these beautiful eyes, this beautiful skin, these beautiful fingers and toes of this beautiful baby looking up at me and yet she screams, writhes, chokes and jerks in ways that I can't possibly explain. But in it all I have found this unspoken calm that has surpassed every single dream I had of living this life. I have the richest, most full, most amazing peace inside of me that not only stays but grows with each passing day.
I have never felt more thankful for this life, this journey.
I have been given a gift of second chances, a gift of depth and growing. I have been given so many beautiful things-none of which I will ever take for granted.
I'm so grateful.