Wednesday, July 4, 2012

19 days of living: days three and four

I can't help thinking about where I was one year ago. I've been reading through my Caring Bridge journal, which was lovingly maintained by my sister while I was in the ICU, fighting for my life. One year ago today, this is what my amazing sister and best friend wrote:

As the weekend has passed and I see the big Ooh Aah outside our window at North, I am thinking of so many things. I started this weekend in sadness and fear, mourning the loss of my niece, my sweet angel Mila Louise and fear for the outcome of my best friend and sister, Laura. I have watched her for 4 days now, sad that she couldn't hold her sweet baby like I could, worried for what is to come. I have held a cool cloth on her head to help the fever, held her hand, and sang her songs we were listening to on the radio. If I could take this pain from her and bare the burden for her, I would take this from her in a moment.
But now, I have hope. I hope for the moment she awakes and sees those who love her, I hope for the moment she can hold her special gifts Charlie and Sofie, and I hope for the days when her heart breaks a little bit less. So I will keep singing her songs and holding her hand until this nightmare becomes a memory, and her broken heart gets pieced together.
I love you Laura, more than words will ever know, forever.

One of the biggest challenges for me in the last year has been to accept help from others. Like my sister wrote in other journal entries, I am an independent, stubborn gal. I like to be the one helping and caring for others. Amy is my little sister. I always expected to be the one helping her, until the tables turned. I have gained humility, gratitude, and a huge amount of admiration for my sister. We are no longer big sister and little sister. We are equals, best friends, mommies. Thank you again, Amy, for dedicating your time and for sharing your heart last year. You shared my story with the world, invited love and prayers, and, ultimately, saved my life. I love YOU more than words will ever know, forever.

On to living. Yesterday, day three, was just a day like any other. We took the kids to the splash pad to get some relief from the heat. I went to the chiropractor for a chair massage and adjustment. Then, Charlie and I snuggled on the couch and watched Star Wars. It's his latest love and obsession. Thanks to my dad's (Charlie's Grampa) influence, I am now a fan as well. I almost never take the time to sit and watch a movie, especially in the middle of the afternoon. This was an especially nice treat.

Today is day four, the fourth of July. We don't have any big plans. It's so stinkin' hot outside that we might skip fireworks tonight and just do some sparklers in the yard. I'm loving the laid back pace of this week. I can't do it forever, but it's great for a few days. Yesterday my chiropractor said that I was more flexible than most of her patients. Really? A year ago I was dying. Today I am strong, fit, and flexible. I am very grateful to be a walking miracle!

I'm surprised how I can still find new ways to heal and connect with Mila. For her party on Sunday, I framed and placed on the table her footprints from the hospital. I've kept them there all week. They are cute and precious, like any baby's footprints are, and they make me feel like she is right here in the kitchen with us. It's like she also has a place at the table.

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