In the last couple of weeks the girls were sick, then I was sick, we enjoyed our the Thanksgiving holiday and now we all seem to be feeling well. I am very thankful for that! And, that I'm getting a chance to update this blog/journal again with some thoughts that have been swirling around in my mind.
Thanksgiving time the last few years has been quite a difficult time for me and my family. Three years ago we found out the day before Thanksgiving that Emma was deaf. We spent the Wednesday before and the Monday after Thanksgiving at the children's hospital with Emma between doctor appointments and hearing tests. The appointments, the news, explaining it all to our family, digesting our options.....it drained all the energy I had in me. Even today when I think of that Thanksgiving weekend I instantly connect with many of the feelings that were swirling around in my head that day.
Here is a great photo I have from that first Thanksgiving we celebrated as a family of four. It was the most gorgeous day! This photo is taken in my in-laws back yard after Chris, Julia and I spent a bit of time at the park without coats enjoying the playground and taking a walk through the trails. For some reason, I often think of this photo when I think of Thanksgiving - not just that Thanksgiving that year but Thanksgiving in general.
On New Year's Eve of 2007 we found out the reason Emma was deaf was due to a Congenital CMV exposure and the diagnosis, tests, specialist appointments, etc. that followed didn't rock me as much as the initial shock of knowing our perfect little girl had quite a challenge ahead of her.
Thanksgiving 2008 we had another long week of appointments at the hospital. This time it was because Emma received a cochlear implant in her right ear just before Thanksgiving. We were very thankful Emma came out of the surgery fine and were anticipating her CI activation in December.
Thanksgiving 2009 we had another long week of appointments at the hospital. Emma had multiple therapy sessions and also had follow-up appointments because she had received a cochlear implant in her left ear in early November. Again, we were thankful she came out of the surgery fine, that she was able to get the newest CI technology for the left ear and were anticipating her CI activation that would give her bilateral hearing in December.
This year we have a lot to be thankful for - and I think one of the things we have the most to be thankful for is evidenced in the fact that we didn't spend any time at the hospital outside of the one day Emma had her standing therapy appointments. This signals to me that we have settled into our life a lot more, we have moved to a new place in our lives that relies less on the medical community and more on our social community where we can fully enjoy our lives as a family of four. Gone is much (but not all) of the anxiousness and anxiety of the last few years and I'm honestly so Thankful to put that behind us.
This week we lost a dear family member and he is sorely missed. While I don't want to comment much on this sad loss, it did have me going through my photo library and looking for photos of him. Along the way I journeyed through photos of me and Chris while we were dating, grinning from ear to ear in our wedding photos, enjoying our honeymoon, overjoyed at the birth of Julia and our first 20 months as a family of three where I took LOADS of photos of all her milestones and the everyday way she brought so much joy into our lives, the birth of Emma when Julia was only 20 months old and the joy we felt when we were finally able to hold our little Emma and our family of four felt perfect. I also looked through the zillions of photos that I've compiled since then and I took a deep breath and said a prayer thanking God for all our blessings, thankful that our lives are filled with more smiles and laughter than tears (and, believe me, there were quite a few tears the last few years!).
Six years ago Chris and I had no idea what our life would be like today and we still have no idea what life will be like six years in the future. All we know is that we have today and that we are blessed.
I am a work in progress. I love drinking coffee, family time and documenting our life - not necessarily in that order. My hair is usually in a ponytail, house always looks lived in and a book is never far from my reach. I drive thousands of miles a year, mostly a little bit at a time - somehow that does and doesn't drive me crazy at the same time. My life is far from perfect but it works for me.