Tuesday, June 01, 2010
words have forsaken me, in my desperation to express the magnitude of these emotions. to her, or myself, or anyone else. she is everything my daughter and i never dreamed we would have in a family. and we are a family. in every sense of the word, through every cell in my body: the three of us have found our home in one another.
i am so moved by her thoughtfulness; her genuine concern for my well-being and for my child's sense of security. even my music isn't big enough to hold this.
knowing and loving her is life affirming, mind altering, and purposeful. weeks pass in the blink of an eye, while i am drinking in each passing minute with her and little a. my daughter has told me repeatedly how much she loves her, and that she is her best friend. i adore the way that she communicates with ashley. so thoughtfully, with such concern. she actually listens to what ashley has to say, and thinks about her response before speaking. she holds her hand when she speaks seriously to her, and gets down to her eye level. it melts my heart, while cradling hers.
this weekend she offered to bathe ash so i could finish ironing our clothes and preparing for my best friend's wedding. 15 minutes later, they both emerged from the bathroom, ash in a towel and christy with soaked clothes. when i raised my eyebrows she responded, "she wanted me to get in with her. she was scared." and i fought back tears, because it made sense to her. she didn't think twice. and in that one act, she undid the past 2 years of hurtful, neglectful actions. like it never happened, we are now a family of 3. a loving, supportive family who treasure every minute together.
i couldn't have imagined how good this would feel. she is everything beautiful in my world, and i am so moved to begin our life together. here, we start over, and build the lives we've always wanted, full of love and happiness. right now.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
when i began this blog, i didn't consider how often i'd write. i just made an account, and when i had something to say, i said it. it was that simple. but in the simplicity, i became enveloped in the arms of a loving blogging community. just seeing the usernames in the comments below brought back memories of each person's journey...the way we let one another in, to share in our ups and downs. and the thing that was so warm and familial about it all was how dedicated we were to each other. how we, as a group, supported others when they fell, and were genuinely happy for one another's triumphs.
not long before i was to graduate from college, i came across an unexpected love. she was a blogger, too. here is where we connected, across 3,000 miles. and i took you all on that ride with me. you, my stranger friends, became our cheerleaders and championed our efforts to make the distance work until we could work out a long term plan. and when it fell apart, i didn't know how to fix it. i couldn't repair it for myself, or for her, or for you. so i left. without explanation. and i wish that i hadn't, because none of you quit on me.
many of you have deleted your blogs. you may have new homes that i don't know about, as i am the deserter. others of you have kept in touch in other, more distant ways, and i appreciate knowing you're still there.
i have frequently hoped to publish this blog, as it was the documentation of my life...my play by play. that is exactly why i never deleted it, even after years of not returning. maybe i will still do that someday. in the meantime, i will continue to write here, not because of what i hope to find in attention from others, but because of the wonder and mystery of releasing your feelings outside of your own body... the magic journey that writing is for most who truly appreciate it.
Friday, February 19, 2010
immediately, i cancelled our cable (among many other money-saving attempts). this is the first time in my entire life i've been without TV. and it was the best decision. although i didn't regularly watch sit down to watch shows before, it was always on. a distraction, running in the background. taking my attention away from the things that matter. we've now been 4 months with no TV in the house. yesterday ashley and i had to stay at the hospital for 6 hours due to complications with her port. while waiting for 2 hrs while an anticoagulant was left to infuse in her port, we cuddled up on a stretcher and the nurse turned on the TV. wife swap came on and at first, i was excited to watch anything...and i also used to enjoy this show, so i was content to watch. but one commercial into it, i picked up the remote and turned it off. i listened to my daughter's slow breathing (she fell asleep spooned up against me) and smoothed her hair back and thought about how lucky i am. i do not, for one second, regret cancelling the cable. it has reminded me to focus my energy where it matters: on my family.
i have begun cooking, which is new for me. i won't say it's anything to jump up and down about at this point, but it's a start. my daughter has begun gaining weight, which is something we've been struggling with for over a year. she is still getting supplemental g-tube feedings (the same as previously), and for a long time i thought, "i'll order her chili cheese dogs and blizzards and fatten her up." and i couldn't figure out why she wasn't gaining weight. calories don't equal weight. sugar doesn't equal weight. and neither alone are good for her. i have become a parent who cares about what goes into her child's body and i like that.
i have considered the likelihood of losing my home, in the past 6 months. i researched, and phoned, and spoke with friends, colleagues, associates...i attended a naca workshop dedicated to advocating for restructuring people's mortgages so that they could afford to keep their homes. you are supposed to be eligible if your mortgage is at least 30% of your net income. mine was 47%. so i showed up, willing to ask for and ready to accept help. they tried. after 40 days of negotiation, it was denied based on the fact that i was still current on my payments. i'll be the first to say, i have immaculate credit. i am anal about paying on time. i have never bounced a check in my life, and never will. but if it came down to whether to provide for my child or pay my mortgage, my child will come first. always.
new expenses have come up, as they always will. i prided myself on my ability to manage my finances pre-single parenthood. today i could probably burst with pride for myself. i have managed to not only keep our home and maintain our utilities, but also save $3,000 in ashley's savings account and begin a savings account of my own, in addition to investing some money privately. and i also finally began contributing to my 403(b), right before all this happened. those are big steps for me in adulthood, and i am not ashamed to say: i am proud.
when it comes to changes in the past 6 months, what i am most pleased with is this: i do not take my daughter for granted. i don't allow anxiety to overshadow the joy that is motherhood for me. i said this to ashley the other day, and i will say it here, because it is true: i wanted a daughter my whole life, as long as i can remember. and then she came along and we were a perfect fit, the two of us. i jumped in with eyes closed and am amazed each day that i can love her more than the last. she is everything in my world. my greatest gift.
things aren't perfect. i don't think they ever could be, but what was wrong in my life has been righted. the attention and focus in our lives is where it should be: on enjoying each other and experiencing the great things that life has to offer. even if it's as simple as tomorrow's mommy-n-me gymnastics class. it might be a 45 minute pain in the ass to another parent, but to me: it's a class ashley might never have been able to enjoy, if not for dialysis and her kidney transplant and all the blessings that came afterward. her renal rickets was so bad, her doctors told me they didn't know if she would ever walk. so tomorrow, when she jumps on the trampoline and walks across the beam and stands on the spring board with her arms above her head...i will grin from ear to ear and know what a gift this is. every minute, every day, every moment.
Friday, January 29, 2010
i am blessed beyond compare. i have the most wonderful daughter ever made. i have my health. i have a job that provides what i need to sustain myself and my daughter. i have magnificently capable coworkers who provide care for my child she might not receive elsewhere. i have every morning with my miracle thanks to the selfless decision to donate organs made by a family who lost their own child. make no mistake: i have gratitude for miles.
i do have a wishlist, though: a life i envision for myself, and for my munchkin. it includes:
- a house with wide open spaces, and lots and lots of natural light
- a clothesline in the backyard
- a sibling for ashley, to grow with, and play with, and fight with, and love
- a cast iron bathtub, in a bathroom with a large window
- time to enjoy these things with my family
- time to photograph all the moments we share in our space to grow, love, and be.
i am still unsure how we will get from point A to point B, with the many lowercase letter additives in between that may pose problems (like the housing market, and a person to share these things with). but it won't ever come to fruition if i don't make it a goal.
the one thing i know for sure is: i love my daughter with all of my being; and i will savor every last moment with her, wherever we are. and when we find our way to a life that allows the time and gentle pace that we need in order to flourish, it will be even sweeter because we will have made our own way there.