On July 5th, day five, we went to the Mall of America to play. That's pretty much all we did. For the last two years I have been either pregnant or recovering from my tragedy. I haven't had the energy or ability to really have fun with my children; to run, jump, and play. Part of my mission this summer is to make up for the time I couldn't be the mommy I wanted to be.
On July 6th, day six, we went to the beach. I am ashamed to say this, but in the land of 10,000 plus lakes, our children had never been to a beach. I had been invited by friends when Charlie and Sofie were younger, and thought, "Are you kidding? You want me to take two toddlers to the beach by myself. No thanks." With Chris's help, we had a wonderful morning. I sat in the shade, relaxing, reading, and writing, while Chris swam with the kids. Then, I joined them in the water. It was refreshing and lots of fun. We will definitely be back!
(Actually, I was just trying to take a decent picture of myself since Chris doesn't like taking pictures. Not too bad, thanks to Instagram.)
Mila was there, too, of course.
Charlie, our little beach bum.
Sofie enjoyed her ice cream treat with Daddy the most!
On July 7th, day seven, we rested. It was an exhausting week, and I needed a nap. I took two.
Today is day eight of living. We didn't make it to church because I wanted to keep sick Charlie home to rest. Of course, like most kiddos do, Charlie bounced back immediately, proudly declaring all day, "I threw up in my bed! I puked! But now I'm better."
I'm trying to remember that "living" also means caring for myself, being kind and gentle rather than pushing myself back to what I think is normal or back to the old me. The old me, the mommy I was before Mila, is gone. I was thinking tonight, on the way home from my OA meeting, that I feel God's love so strongly since finding recovery and especially since losing Mila. I wonder if I can somehow feel Mila just as strongly. I'm trying. My faith is growing and while it is exciting, it is also surprising. I never imagined myself to be openly spiritual, or someone who praises God without hesitation. The truth is, however, that He is the only real source of strength and comfort for me right now. Chris, Charlie, and Sofie give me the love and affection I so need after not being able to hold my baby girl. My OA fellowship gives me space to share without judgement or feedback, and my beloved therapist helps me heal and look at my feelings from a new angle. But it is God and his son, Jesus Christ, that comfort me, that rock me to sleep, and give me reason to look up and forward each day. Think what you will, but at a time when I would rather die than face another day without my baby, this was the one thing that worked. Like my dad always says, it's a whole lot easier to believe than not. What have we got to lose? For me, the answer was, "not much".
So tomorrow is day nine. I can't believe I'm almost half way through those nineteen days I spent fighting for my life. I wonder if the time went by as fast last year as my family waited, paced, texted updates, ate, prayed and slept. I hope so. By now there was hope. There was a pretty real chance that I would make it, despite the heartbreak I would soon wake to. It's strange that, when I did wake from sedation, although confused at first, I knew what happened and that I was somehow going to survive. My sister wrote on the Caring Bridge one year ago today:
Laura coming out of sedation might be one of the hardest parts of this ordeal. I pray that we find the right words to help her cope and understand what has happened. I hope she finds peace somehow and realizes all of the love and support that has been here with her through this tragedy.
Because of the physical trauma I had endured, I wasn't mentally or emotionally capable of dealing with Mila's loss. Somehow, I knew she was okay, and that I was okay. The prayers for peace and understanding worked, and again, I say thank you.
getting ready to light some 4th of July sparklers!
Hooray for freedom, and a second chance!