This is a repost from December 16 at the HennHouse. We've had a long week. It started with some severe problems with the teenager and ended with Esther-Faith's short stay in the hospital.
Five years ago today, we received the diagnosis that would confound and change our lives. For the better.
But I did not have time to contemplate how far I've come from the fear and shock of that day, because we found ourselves back at the hospital--just 11 months to the day after the illness that would rock my world and kick start 2010. And five years to the day from when her Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus were diagnosed.
As it turns out, Esther-Faith's ventricles look good. Her shunt does not seem to be malfunctioning or failing. She is simply sick.
What joy I had to discover that she had a typical illness.
What ache I felt knowing that today could have gone so differently.
What blessing I felt to have my family and friends and even other SB moms and their families lifting my daughter in prayer and thinking about us throughout the day.
What pain I had remembering the day we found out that days like today would be our life.
What happiness I had walking into Esther-Faith's hospital room to see her eyes light at the sight of me.
What joy I find in the relationship my kids have with each other.
How hot the tears that came quickly and easily--and stayed all day--today.
What frustration with my own emotions.
What comfort in sitting around with each other reading the same books over and over again.
What tenacity in being able to make any room our living room.
What peace in the snow that falls on our cheeks even as we make our way to the emergency room.
What comfort in sharing our fear and knowing that you all stand with us and hold us in your hearts.
What surprise in discovering how strong we really are.
What bravery in a tiny, red-headed package.
What spirit in her cries.
What maturity in the way she talks to the doctors.
What simplicity in her hug.
What pain to walk away from the hospital where she is sleeping.
What delight it will be tomorrow when I see her again.
I am so blessed to have been given Esther-Faith. For whatever time and whatever reason, I am happy that she is my daughter. Do I wish away the Spina Bifida? Only if it will make her life easier. But I wouldn't change a thing about her. She is exactly who she is--and I love everything about her. Even the Spina Bifida and all of its complications. Even the ADHD and all of its extra energy. Even the fear and all of its side effects. Even the sassiness and all of its challenges.
What happened today changed my life.
What happened 11 months ago today changed my life.
What happened five years ago today changed my life.
All of it--for the better.
from the HennHouse.