As I snuggled a sick baby girl last night, her cough keeping her up, her little forehead warm and her cheeks pouty and red, I didn't mind being awake. One hour, two hours...time ticked by and I wasn't able to fall back asleep, but it was one of those nights that you just don't care. When your child is sick or hurting, all you can focus on is them, and hoping and praying that soon they will feel better.
I watched her breath in and out, and smile once in awhile in her sleep. The absolute cutest sight in the world! I also thought about how, across the country, Layla Grace's mom was watching her sleep as well - although, unlike my little girl, her's wasn't going to get better.
I knew how badly my heart hurt this morning knowing that even just for a few days, my baby was going to be sick. I couldn't fathom how it would feel - nor do I want to - to have a baby who won't be here much longer.
I think it's Layla's mom and dad's faith that amazes me so much. They have faith that this is all part of the plan, even though they don't understand it. I think that takes tremendous courage. When mom was sick, I went in the opposite direction - I got angry with God, walked away. Figured if He "let" this happen, then I didn't have time for Him. I don't think He lets this happen though; I do think it's part of a greater plan, to help people around the world remember the importance of love and what it means to really care about other people. Unfortunately, situations like this bring out the best in people, as loved ones to virtual strangers gather around a family to offer support.
I received a message from my friend Amy this weekend. She also has a blog about her mom's journey through brain cancer (I'll post a link when she has it up). She wants to move it from one spot to another, but wonders if anyone would even read it. I thought the same thing when I posted mine. My friends all now the journey we took. Most are probably uncomfortable talking about it - and rightfully so; it's not a pleasant thing to talk about. But the blog, it isn't for everyone else -- it is for me. I put it out there in the hopes that maybe, one person might stumble across it and maybe their journey will be made easier by it. And, it might sound stupid or silly or unproductive, but I do read what I had written sometimes. And here's the reason why:
Mom lost her ability to really speak about three months into her journey. After that, her voice just wasn't her voice - it was fragile, searching, raspy. She lost her hair a few months in, too; and the steriods made her swell up so much that she looked completely different.
So it has been almost six years since I've seen my mom before she was sick; since I've heard her real voice. I can't even remember what it sounds like. I find myself watching old videos once in awhile, when no one else is home, just so for a moment, I can remember what it sounded like.
Yes, I said when no one else is around. While I miss my mom so incredibly much, I also understand that others (although they miss her) are not still feeling it to the extent that I may be. Sometimes I feel guilty bringing her up, because it might make people uncomfortable. Or maybe I talk about her too much. Or maybe I'll say something that will make someone feel guilty or something. I'm not even sure. But I find myself not talking about her, because it might make the conversation uncomfortable. I feel like I can't bring her up in my conversations, because people don't know what to say, and that's okay - sometimes there isn't anything to say.
I keep it to myself, and think, I've dealt with this for six years, I can keep it up. Let me explain this better; I am going to live my life, and live it the best I can, because that's how I can thank her - in my opinion. I can do my best and take care of my children my best and that is what I can do to thank her for all she has done for me. But, at the same time, my heart will always have a broken spot because she isn't here, and while I can deal with that - I can work on mending it, I can try and cover it as I have done for years - but the truth is that at the very least, the scar will be there, and I'm not sure at this point if time heals all wounds.
All I can do is cope. And I talk to Amy and say whatever I want because I know she understands, and she's not going to think it's silly to feel how I do. I'll read my stories and remember our last year together. I'll think about all the good times before that. And then I'll wake up, smile, and be grateful for all that I have and for my two beautiful kiddos, and I'll keep moving with the day. Maybe someday it will get easier ... that's the faith I hang onto.