Image

Thankful.

Today marks 9 months.  Right now at this exact moment in time 9 months have passed since we sat in that tiny conference room surrounded by the best doctors we could ever hope for, doctors who did everything they could for Zoe, doctors who were giving us our pitiful options.  9 months since we had to make the most impossible and devestating decision of our lives.  9 months since the moment our lives changed forever.  9 months since experiencing the most excruciating and indescribable pain.  9 months since being told we made the most selfless decision a parent could ever make and that it was the right decision.

For the most part we’re all doing okay.  Sometimes it’s hard to think about how things should be…to try to make sense of why it happened.  That’s something that I grapple with every day—why?  If everything happens for a reason I still can’t puzzle this one out.  And I have to come to terms with the fact that I’ll probably never know why.  But this post isn’t about how I’m doing; it’s about being thankful for every single thing that I do have. Without everything on this list, plus millions of other things that I’ve forgotten or never even realized, I never would’ve made it through these last 9 months.

I’m thankful…

  1. …for my family.  Jeff is the best husband and father, hands down.  The kids and I are so lucky to have him.  I have two amazing, wonderful children (who are complete shitheads.  Like the one who was up at 545 am, dancing and twirling in her room.  Or the one who is supposed to be taking a nap right now, but instead is in his crib belting out a hilarious rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle”) that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  I have a dog whose face just makes me want to smoosh him.  It’s not complete…it’s not perfect…but it’s mine.
  2. …for the Army.  Moving was one of the biggest factors in healing.  Being able to have a fresh start, especially so soon after everything, helped tremendously.
  3. …for my friends.  For the ones who have been through similar stuff and the ones that haven’t.  For the ones near and far.  For new ones and old ones.  My support system may be small, but it is powerful.
  4. …that I can hold a baby.  I held my first baby about two weeks ago and I honestly didn’t know how it was going to go.  I knew for weeks beforehand that it was going to happen and I didn’t know what to expect.  But I did it, and not only did I survive it, but it felt good.  There was sadness, sure, but there wasn’t any anger or jealousy.  It felt good to hold a teeny tiny baby.  It felt good to see him smile and coo.  To sing to him and cuddle him and kiss him.  But mostly it felt good to have that monumental hurdle over with.  To now know that I can hold a baby without falling apart.  To have that trepidation dissipate.  It just felt good.
  5. …for the gym.  In the beginning that was all that held me together.  To put on a pair of headphones, blast music and workout so hard that I couldn’t think about anything at all beyond taking my next breath.  Now the days that I need that are few and far between, but they still happen.  And every single day I end my workout with the same song, one that makes me think of Zoe.  It’s my favorite part of the day.
  6. …for my tattoos.  I love both of them.  I love their location.  I love their meaning.  I love being able to look at them and think of Zoe.  I love when people compliment me on them.  I love when people ask me about them because it gives me a chance to explain them without it seeming awkward.
  7. …for this blog.  I still don’t like talking about my feelings.  I’ll talk about Zoe, about the situation, about anything else except how I’m doing.  And that holds true for absolutely everyone in my life, in person and online.  I really need to go back to writing more often.
  8. …for my life.  Every single part of it–good and bad, big and little.  It’s our experiences that make us who we are.  Ever since Jordan’s health scare 6 years ago, I’ve appreciated the little things and have been grateful for what I have.  I try to see the good in everything and everyone.  I try to not complain or sweat the small stuff or dwell on things that can’t be helped.  I try to not judge.  I try to have a sense of humor.  Because at the end of the day we only get one life.  Bad shit is going to happen to everyone; it’s inevitable.  It’s how we handle it, what we take from it, that makes the difference.  The very first time I watched Friday Night Lights the voiceover from Coach Taylor at the end of the first episode gave me chills.  Who would’ve thought it would have such a large impact on my life 8 years later?  I know I post it all the time, but truer words have never been spoken:  “Give all of us gathered here tonight the strength to remember that life is so very fragile. We are all vulnerable, and we will all, at some point in our lives… fall. We will all fall. We must carry this in our hearts… that what we have is special. That it can be taken from us, and when it is taken from us, we will be tested. We will be tested to our very souls. We will now all be tested. It is these times, it is this pain, that allows us to look inside ourselves.”
  9. Mostly though I’m thankful that I’m still here.  That 9 months have passed and we did the impossible:  survived.