There have been so many times on this journey that I've wished I was an actual neighbor to one of you. Not a virtual neighbor--supporting through comments, prayers, and worry. But an ACTUAL neighbor. So I could bring you some chicken soup or a pie. So I could sit with your other kids while you tended to the one who needs critical care. So I could hold and spoil and sing to your adorable babies. So I could attend the fundraiser for Shea. Or share a cup of hot chocolate. Or just laugh and cry and hug.
I am so grateful for all of you.
I'm not sure I could have made it through some of the stuff we've been through this year without you. If you weren't on the other end of a computer screen sharing my fear and my tears. If you weren't sending me emails and leaving comments and just praying.
What comfort I had in knowing that you were there... understanding that it isn't just hair when you don't have a choice. Understanding that letting go is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Understanding that sometimes loving your child doesn't protect them from what is necessary for their survival. Knowing that some of you have been there-done that. And seeing that you are alright. Knowing that some of you read here for help and hope and inspiration. And seeing that what I say can make a difference--that you will be alright.
I don't know my actual neighbors very well. A couple of them--sure. But we live in a fairly transient neighborhood. We've been here 10 years. We've been here the longest.
But friends, let me tell you, my virtual neighbors are so vital to my life. Knowing that even though I can't actually feed you (because it is what I do), I can virtually feed you (which I'm getting better at). I am so glad to be your neighbor. So glad to call you friend. So glad to be wandering this Spina Bifida pathway with you.
Thanksgiving was tough for us. My dad--who left his home on Easter and hasn't been back yet--couldn't be with us. And my Tim with his broken foot. It was stressful. I didn't have a spare moment to think about what I am most thankful for. I was going through the motions.
But today, as I read about Shea. And as I looked at Cassie's SB party photos. As I made some new friends on facebook. Reading a piece by a mom who has SB, trying to determine if she is having a shunt malfunction. Reading about some of your own pain. And saying a prayer for you. Celebrating that Kingsley will be home for Christmas! Doing an actual dance in my kitchen when I read that Carson is going to be a big brother! And hundreds more... (check out the sidebar to read some AMAZING stories)
So, as I'm finding my way back from this year, thank you. For being my neighbors. And my friends.
|Esther-Faith endures some allergy testing.|
I had to keep her still.
While she screamed. And screamed.
|Helping Esther-Faith add a leaf to the Jesse Tree.|
|Esther-Faith and my niece, Aurora, at Auri's birthday party.|
I had a moment when Esther-Faith asked to wear this dress.
She hadn't worn it since her party in January.
Just days before she was hospitalized.