Today she turned 6.
Every year, I picture how Ill react next year around her birthday. I imagine myself a bit older, wiser and emotionally unshakable. Surely with another 365 days behind me, Ill be able to put it all behind me too and commemorate a birthday with no unsettling memories shrouding the celebration.
Every year….Im wrong.
|birthday date with daddy
January stirs it all back up for me every year.
I can remember every day leading up to her 2 week post-date delivery. I can recall in vivid detail the week and a half we had her home and thought she was “normal”. My mind wanders often to the “what if’s”. The phantom “could-have-been” moments that looking back we know may have been her last. We were oblivious to the storm that was brewing.
Today we celebrate 6 years of answered prayers and miracles but are still haunted at times by the trauma of those first weeks and years. Im fighting off the feelings that could send me spiraling into an emotional tizzy. Sometimes, the memories are still so raw and vivid.
But today, as we celebrated another birthday for our little miracle-girl, all I can breathe through the welling bitter-sweet tears is “thank you!”
Thank you falls so inadequately short for all of you who shouldered our unbearable burden with us and held us up in prayer! You were Aaron and Hur for us!
Wendy, I still wonder if you’d not raised questions about her breathing, what would have happened! You were impetus to get her checked – so glad we did!
Judy, your presence in those first frightening utterly “blue” moments and friendship that followed was a gift!
Allison, Jeff and James who showed up at the hospital only a few hours after our frenzied drive following the LifeFlight chopper – thank you. Thank you for crying with us, footing our hotel bill and praying for peace for our hurting hearts.
Precious Katherine, for dropping your life and coming to hold ours together, we are so grateful. Thank you for “mothering” our other 4 children and offering them stability in such an unsettling time!
My mother was our constant by our side…advocating for us, making sure we were eating, had beds to sleep in and were supported in every way. She wept with us over Evie’s bedside and prayed us through some dark nights. Daddy too who did everything he could even while caring for his own daughter also in a medical crisis – thank you!
Aunt Anya, you took moms place so she could come to our side. Bless you!
Joy and Bryna, our precious nurses. You cared for our Evie with such tenderness and compassion. Thank you the reassurance and comfort you offered. Joy, when you told me “everything will be ok and someday she will come running back through these doors when she’s 3 or 4 to visit us”, I dont know if you really believed it. She was at her very worst then, but it was exactly what this momma needed to hear!
Amanda, thank you for sharing your husband. Yours is a thankless job at times I know as he spends long hours caring for these babies and you have to shoulder all the responsibility at home. We are so thankful for Dr. Forbus and Dr. Bradley!!
God knows some of the sweetest relationships have been birthed out of the most brokenness. For my precious Rebecca and those early weeks our daughters spent together, I will forever cherish. Thank you friend for teaching me to celebrate. To celebrate every moment knowing it could be the last. Thank you for introducing me to hairbows! And thank you for the hope your example has offered that come what may, God is enough!
We had meals catered in, a vehicle offered to us and a gorgeous Charleston home at our disposal. God lavished on blessings and loved us through so many who generously gave and served us. You all know who you are, too numerous to name. Thank you for giving, serving, praying and loving! Tabitha, I will never forget the gorgeous gift basket you delivered celebrating our new baby – something that is easily forgotten in the midst of a medical crisis.
Janalee, your simple gesture to sit with me and paint my toe nails and just genuinely be a friend to me is not forgotten!
Our church family rallied. Laura, you and Emma were so precious to come and pick us up when it was finally time to go home.
My inlaws Dwight and Patti were there for the long-haul. They watched the kids for countless tests, proceedures and hospitalizations in the months that followed. So grateful to have in-laws like you!
Faith, you have been the one friend who “gets it”. So glad we’ve had eachother for those PTSD moments. Thank you for constantly talking it down with me when I need it most and for loving my girl as your own.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Never would I want to go through it all again, but never have I felt so loved and cared for.
Glancing back 6 years later. Loving each of you who have walked this road with us and loved our girl through the storms.
God has and continues to teach us so much through her life.