Last year, on this Saturday night, I put a very cranky Kendall to bed. I had an extremely uneasy feeling about her attitude – just completely out of sorts after a very long day out in the hot sun – but we were headed to my favorite restaurant with some of my favorite people. So I put those fears aside, tried to enjoy dinner, and turned a blind eye to the storm on it’s way over the horizon.
The next morning she woke up screaming and that screaming continued until that night, when it abruptly stopped.
One year ago tomorrow (monday is the actual DATE, but it was a sunday when she crashed, I will remember it forever.) – our lives changed. This date, this anniversary of awfulness, it still holds some power over me. I never allowed myself to grieve this loss of innocence I had over Kendall’s “disease process”, and I never let the tears flow and I never let myself really process that terrible night/week. I shoved it down and i buried it and I never let it come up for air.
As this date has approached, I have felt those un-dealt-with feelings coming closer and closer to the surface. i have felt myself get inexplicably bitter at “cinco de mayo” commercials or references, I have felt anxiety-laden “panic attack” type chest pains, I have had those thoughts interrupting my normal every day functioning, demanding to be dealt with, and I have pushed them down time and again.
But I think it is time to deal with them. To let them come up to the surface, and to take their power of negativity away. It is time to let the bad feelings go, and replace them instead with feelings of celebration and pride for all that Kendall DID successfully fight through last May. Turn them into a celebration instead of something to dread.
Because the truth of the matter is – she IS here this cinco de mayo. What happened last year is in the past – and we can only focus on and look forward to the future. And right now, that future is so bright and amazing. She has fought through so many battles…
she is a warrior princess.
She is my inspiration.
She is alive, and fighting, and amazing and beautiful and i love her with my whole being. I am so honored and blessed to be her momma.
to be all of my babies’ momma.
Life is good.
So here’s to celebrations, and triumphs, and good memories that make you smile.
Here’s to letting go of the power that fear can hold over you, letting go of the weight of carrying around buried feelings, letting go of the bad, and choosing instead to focus on the good.
It does not come easily. It is a nearly palpable feeling I have of literally picking up and setting aside a heavy jar of bad feelings, and turning instead to a beautiful jar full of good feelings and memories. It requires action, movement, motion, energy. It requires me to move from a place of comfort to a place of newness.
but I will choose joy, life, hope.
I will choose these any day over the heaviness of carrying around the buried bad feelings.
I am learning to choose the right choice, even if it’s not the easy choice.
So this cinco de mayo – we will celebrate life. we will celebrate an amazing warrior who has captured the hearts of so many with her sheer determination and bravery in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. We will laugh at her crazy antics and will cherish even the challenging moments. I will tuck her into bed in her own bed and I will memorize the feel of the softness of her cheeks and i will place my hand upon her chest rising and falling on it’s own and i will marvel at the wonder of such a simple miracle. I will crawl under her bed to rescue her stupid nee-nee’s and I will turn on her Ariel music box without her having to ask and i will choose to spend the hour prepping her meds and tpn and feeds in JOY that I get to do all that work because it means she is here and alive and well. I will hug all my babies tighter and longer and be grateful that their little spirits are as resilient as the thickest rubber band, allowing them to bounce back from all life has thrown at them in their young ages.
I will CHOOSE to live life with the awe that this amazing journey demands.
Life is awesome.
Don’t ever forget that.
“It’s a cruel, crazy beautiful world
Every day you wake up I hope it’s to blue blue skies.”
– Johnny Clegg