Thursday, September 13, 2012

The BIG 4!!!

Throughout our story, called life, most of us have detailed visions in our mind of exactly what we want- desires, ambitions, and the things we think would make us most happy. However, how often do the things we want really coincide with the things we need?! Occasionally some of us stop fighting our destiny, fighting the things that get handed to us every day for our greater good, embrace them, learn from them and even love them – realizing the thing we wanted least, is often times the things we need most. We view the difficult, scary, unknown things in our life as dark moments, moments of despair and we fight it with everything we’ve got, not realizing that those things are sometimes the love and mercy of God, leading us from the good things we had, to the BEST things we deserve.

Not in a million years had I played out the frightening, numbing moments that occurred in the early morning hours of September 8th, only a few hours after a frightening unknown was placed in my life, placed into my arms – with the face of an angel that we named Preslie.  Never did I ask to be given  her, given a child that  would  have special needs and require me to change, to be brave and strong, to fight and pray daily, never did I ask for a challenge that would require me to rise to, above anything I thought I was even capable of. But that day, that day 4 years ago – I certainly wasn’t handed something I thought I wanted, or thought I could handle, instead I was blessed with something  I had needed all my life. Little did I know that I needed to rise, to become better, to become whole in ways I never thought possible. Little did I know how much this one little girl with blue eyes and the sweetest smile would change me and the world around her.

There have been many moments since that day 4 years ago that I have questioned my abilities, questioned my strength, questioned my courage .There have been many moments of quiet tears, utter despair, overwhelming fear, and complete exhaustion, - I have watched this little girl sleep many nights, hoping that as the morning sun lit her sweet face, that she would once again open her eyes and have enough strength to pull through one more day. I have rocked her tired, sick body back and forth hoping God knew how much we need her. I have watched her overcome, fight, strive and triumph. I have willed my tired mind and heart to just make it through one more day, hoping I was enough for this sweet spirit, enough for this special circumstance. Preslie has always been ‘enough’…she is perfect in the many ways I often fall short. She has led me to the edge of fear and given me the wings to take that leap of faith, full of hope, willing to believe – believe in something grander, and greater than us all. She has lifted me when I felt I couldn’t rise any higher, she has brightened the darkest of days and loneliest of moments. She has calmed my troubled heart and filled my frightened soul with joy and peace. She is the embodiment of all that is good and pure in this world. She is the definition of love, real, unconditional, pure love. She is what we all should strive to be – perfect and beautiful inside – out. She has changed the way I view the world, she has made it more beautiful. She has changed the things I pray for, made those things the things that matter. She has changed the way I love, pure and unconditional. She has changed me over the last 4 years in ways I could have never imagined. She was and is what I need and I thank God every day He loved me enough to trust me with what I needed exactly when I needed it.  

Happy Happy Birthday my beautiful sweet angel.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Miss P turns 3!

3 years ago today my life changed in more ways imaginable – ways I never considered possible. Who would have thought that such changes, such inspiration and transformation could come bundled in a tiny 7 lb package with beautiful blue eyes, a small button nose, and such silky flawless skin? It wasn’t a news worthy event that took place, there wasn’t a huge announcement beyond the quiet walls around us, it wouldn’t be talked about by a nation, or a city or even beyond the people in my own life. But this night, will forever be a night burned in my memory, written on the blank and sacred pages of my soul as a night I changed forever. This revolution happened in a quiet hospital room as the silent anticipation to hold my new baby girl was quickly transformed into a fear I had never known before. Our little girl came with something extra –an extra chromosome - Down Syndrome. I felt so inadequate, so alone, so afraid of everything that lay ahead. At that time I felt as though I was suddenly thrust into a life I wasn’t prepared for, wasn’t capable of, a life I simply didn’t want. I would soon come to realize that often times, we may know what we WANT or don’t WANT, but rarely do we truly know what we NEED. 

I never would have asked to be a mom educated in the medical field because of the needs of her child; a mom that knows first-hand what a PICC line is or how to work an oximeter. I never would have pictured life as a mom spending countless hours rocking my baby to sleep, keeping beat to the deafening sounds of monitors and machines in a dark and dismal hospital room- praying silently that my fragile little girl be given the strength to fight whatever is ailing her imperfect body,  I never would have asked to become versed in the ‘special needs’ world – or know what it feels like to worry so much about every little and big milestone – will she ever eat on her own, will she ever make it out of this hospital, will she ever walk, will she talk, will she be accepted by her peers even though she is different? I would never have asked to fight all the battles that come with a special needs child – a battle for all the little things that I took for granted before I knew this world. I would never have asked to find out how truly strong I am fore the fear of the fight and test was always too overwhelming. I never would have asked for these things that now are a normal part of my everyday life. We are not the sum of these things – we are not defined by our struggles, our problems, our fears, our dark and dreary moments, or even our mistakes. But it is these things that at the end of each day can either separate you, or hold you together. If I was never handed these complex and often difficult things, I wouldn’t know hope, like I do now; that greets me each morning with a smile sweetly reminding me to pick myself up one more time and carry on …I wouldn’t know faith, as it stares me in the face every day, smiles warmly and wraps it’s gentle arms around me every time I feel like giving up. I wouldn’t know gratitude as I have continually thank God for this little girl, these challenges, and these pure joys. I wouldn’t know love, in its purest form, an amazing little girl with big blue eyes, honey colored hair, unconditional love and the spirit of a warrior. I wouldn’t know the sweetest and most valued things in this world, because I wouldn’t know anything beyond myself.

It is true that we never know how strong we really are, until being strong is the only choice we have. This day, the day I met my little girl, it was the only choice to make – to fight the battles, to pick myself up time and time again, even when all hope seemed loss and every road around me seemed dark and long, when my legs were heavy and my spirit broken…when determination was cloaked in fear and exhaustion had set in. The only thing I could do was to dive deep within myself to the parts I never knew existed – simply because I never trusted myself enough to look for them.  It was a choice, inspired by the perfect eyes of a little angel to find the courage to walk on, to look for that small light of hope and hold on tight; to celebrate the small, simple, blissful moments I took for granted once before; to watch her in complete awe and adoration every day and realize she doesn’t have a thing to learn on this earth – it is the rest of us that have so much to learn from her. 

This day three years ago, and every day since, I have been inspired, moved to be a better version of myself. There are times, many times, that I fall short; times I forget the things she has taught me. However, with every sweet smile, or simple little glance…with every struggle I watch her overcome and every determination I see radiate from her sweet little stature, I am graciously reminded who I should be, what I need to strive for and why. I am a better person because of her, I am stronger because of her, I am blessed because of her – my little princess, my perfect angel, my little girl – Preslie…who today we celebrate…everything about her, we celebrate! Happy 3rd Birthday Princess P!
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