Five years ago I was leading a very different life. Five years ago has so much to do with who I am now. There is so much beauty in the little things. There is so much love to be had.
Five years ago I learned that there is physical pain when your heart breaks. I learned that strength can be found where you didn't know it existed. I learned that babies aren't always brought to their Momma's arms to be held and loved when they first come into the world.
Five years ago I learned that health is a gift. I learned that love can create miracles. I learned that many people will do much for a stranger. And that even more will do all for a friend. I learned that when you have been sleeping in a chair for a couple of nights post labor, you may want to write down that you took a sleeping pill so you don't forget and take another. I learned that two sleeping pills can seem like bells palsy.
Five years ago I learned that with love, I could will a little person to live. I learned about priorities, balance, touch therapy, anatomy, and how to read a ventilator. I learned about cardiologists, pulmonologists, cardio-thoracic surgeons, ENTs, infectious disease doctors, fellowships, residencies, nurses, nurse practitioners, interventional radiologists, gastroenterologists, nuerologists, and respiritory therapists. I learned that no one would watch my baby as closely as I would, no matter how much they cared. But I also learned who I could trust to watch almost as closely.
Five years ago I learned that even though my life had changed, even though taking my third daughter home wasn't what I had planned, even though, while my world had stopped, others lives were still moving along, and that what I had been given was every bit as wonderful as what they had been given. Even though I might mourn the loss of what might have been, I still love what is.
I'm okay with questions about feeding tubes or tracheostomy. I love to share some stories of the miracles we saw. I don't mind the stares, just don't frown when you do stare, because my life makes me smile.
Five years ago I was taken away from the life I had. I moved four hours from my husband and two children. I had a small dormitory room and then a little apartment, along with a house I couldn't visit. I sat in a hospital room watching a baby too small to understand look at me with total understanding. I held a hand that should have held a rattle and stroked a foot that should have been kicking off socks. Where I wanted to see bows I saw IVs. And through it I learned to love the life I had been given. To appreciate the wonderful gift of the simple things.
And now, even though I am clapping for a five-year-old because she ate a whole container of yogurt. I love it. My back may hurt at the end of the day, but I am so blessed to be able to get through the day and carry my thirty-plus pound girl where she needs to go. And I don't think I would smile at the antics of a three-year-old if I didn't know how lucky I am that he can do that. Or appreciate the screams of delight if I hadn't known the silence. So, five year ago I learned a lot of new things, but mostly I learned how much I love being a mom.