Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's The Little Things...

A few days ago my hubby and I took Trinity to the bird park in our little town. The plan was to walk the trails and observe the animals and plants we came across (she's working on habitats in science). There are benches along the way and I assumed we'd need small breaks along the way. Typically she gets tired quickly when walking.

Before we hit the trails, she asked if she could swing for a moment. As she climbed up into the swing that sat the highest off the ground, I found myself watching her with awe. Her dad gave her one great big push and walked away. Again I watched as she leaned back as the swing came forward, then leaned forward as the swing went back. She's no stranger to the swing, but normally I end up settling myself in behind her so that I can give her a constant, gentle push to keep her going.

But not today!

Funny thing is, after a while I told her she could swing until it slowed down. It NEVER did! It was so great to see her smiling with confidence (and a little cockiness) as she propelled the swing forward even harder. After a she swung a little longer, I ended up having to stop her so that we could continue with our plans.

She's not a very outdoorsy type of girl so the walk didn't go quite as I had planned, but I was amazed to see how easy the walk ended up being for her. We did sit on the benches some, but only to be quiet and watch (hope) for some animal to come out. By the end of the trip, she was asking to go on another walk, a longer one.

Dad and I were burning up from the heat and convinced her to go to the park for a while instead. Normally I don't take her to the city park. Kids make me nervous. But we took her to the biggest park in town and turned her loose.

She had a blast!

One little incident did arise, but I was so proud of the way she handled it. A little boy followed her around forEVER just staring at her prosthetic. After a while of doing this, he came up to her and said, "I can run faster than you."

These are the types of situations that make me cringe at the thought of other kids.

But she handled better than I expected. She turned to him and said, "Wanna bet? Let's race!"

She didn't win, but she was very close and had a blast! She was proud of herself! And I was so proud of her I thought my heart might burst out of my chest.

Every day she teaches me to be a better, stronger person. I couldn't imagine not having her in  my life. She's a blessing and she's the strongest person I know. She also shows me that it's okay for me to step back and let her take control. It's not always easy, but I'm getting there.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Welcome To Holland...

I've never seen or heard anyone describe my world as well as I've seen today, and I wanted to share.

Welcome to Holland
By Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.

I Am Not Alone...

Sometimes it's easy for me to forget that I'm not alone.

I just discovered "Google Blog Search" and decided to plunder through a couple blogs relating to Trinity's condition...

I'm constantly looking for ways to educate myself on what's coming. I know that we have a big journey ahead of us and I'm not going to lie, I'm terrified.

The first blog I found is about a boy named Daniel. He's going through the exact same surgery that is coming up for Trinity. Finding real life stories such as this are valuable to me, but not always easy to read. I had to stop reading due to the sick feeling in my stomach.

I'm terrified I'm not going to be able to do all the things I will need to do for her when the time comes. My days will be cram packed with doctors, therapist, exercises and Trinity. It's not that there is too much to do. I'm just afraid I'm going to screw something up. The last thing I want to do is cause her more pain than she is going to and has already endured.

I'm not a doctor.

I've already encountered situations that have been more than a little intimidating, but to me, this surgery coming up is the giant one-eyed cyclopse. I'm not sure that I'm completely ready to face it yet.

I know that I will have my husband with me for 18 days during and after surgery. He's also planning on coming up as many weekends as possible after he has to go back home. I also know that I have many friends and family members that are willing to and planning to come up, but...

I'm still scared.

I'm scared of the pain Trinity will go through. I'm scared of the infections she will be at risk of. I'm scared of her joints locking up or fusing together. I'm scared of not being strong enough. I'm scared I'll forget something that will hurt her. I'm scared I'll oversleep and miss something I shouldn't. I'm scared of making the wrong choice. I'm scared I won't know what to do.

I'm scared of all the things that could go wrong.

I'm scared of failing her...

Yard Sale Success!

I don't have any pictures from the yard sale as I had planned, yet. We will be having at least one more, possibly more. Every morning when I get up to go I seem to forget my camera...

I wanted to thank everyone that helped us get this together. So many of our family and friends have made this a success! I also want to thank the kindness of complete strangers! I'm amazed at how caring and concerned everyone has been. This could not have worked without every single person that has contributed! Whether you donated stuff to sell, money, prayers, your time, or even if you just spread the word for us, every bit of it has gotten us this far! We couldn't have done this without EVERYONE!

When the idea of a fundraising yard sale was born, I never expected it to work out so well. Our goal was $1000 for the co-pay we have to pay on the day of surgery. Over the course of two days, we raised $1500!! This amount was a mix between sales and donations.

We plan to do another yard sale soon. We are very hopeful that we can raise enough to cover the majority of the trip. We're estimating our cost to be between $3000 to $4000. We've already raised a large chunk of that.

We are blessed to have the support and help that we have been given. It has been a very humbling experience and one that I will never forget.

The past couple of weeks have been different for our family. Both my husband and I have tried to keep our burdens just that, our burdens, but there are times when issues popped up that were too great for us to handle alone. We've always had help along the way, but for the most part we've tried to carry the weight of our situation alone.

Because of this...

I cannot express the appreciation we feel for everyone! I love each of you!