To say that I have been struggling lately is probably an understatement. I have felt like there has been a story on my heart for awhile, but I don't know how to get it out. So many things that have run through my head, so many thoughts, so many emotions I have felt. However, there is one word that keeps coming to my mind. Trauma. I looked it up and it said 1. any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture etc. 2. an emotional wound or shock often having long-lasting effects. I guess that seems to sum up some of what I have been feeling.
I am struggling with the birthdays of my daughters, Allison and Lydia. I wrote a letter to Allison yesterday and it felt good. I feel as though I have not been present in life for the past three years. And then, how could it be that Lydia will be three? Part of me is so excited because I never thought, due to all of her medical issues, that we would ever be celebrating three years with her. The other part of me, due to her medical issues, is just exhausted.
When I go through the memories in my mind, the last image of Allison is her holding her new sister. She was in a flowery dress and she looked beautiful. When Lydia put that dress on for the very first time, I could not believe it. I could not believe that we have come this far. I was sad because, in my mind, I have very limited memories of Allison for the past three years. There has been so much trauma that we all have over come, that I believe that I have allowed myself to not remember some stuff on purpose.
Besides the big birthdays that I have been struggling with, I am unsettled. I feel like God has big plans for me, but I feel as though I just need to be for awhile. Sometimes I forget why I write. I write for the soul purpose of healing, of releasing emotions. However, sometimes I feel jealous that my writing is not shared, that I don't impact people like other people do. I hate that I feel that way. I hate feeling jealous, especially over something simple.
I long to make an impact in the world. I have great ideas of helping, of raising money, of doing something that will really make an impact. However, I get lost. I don't know where to start or what to do. God has me right where He wants me to be, and I need to be comfortable with that. I need to be present right where I am at. I need to live my life according to Him and in a manner that will bring honor and glory to Him. Sometimes I get confused and I get caught up in what I want and not His Will for my life. It makes me feel very unsettled.
Sometimes I just cry because I can't quite comprehend everything that we have been through. I read stories of others who are in the hospital and going through hell and back. They are riding that roller coaster of emotions and feelings, of highs and lows. My heart breaks for them because I remember those days. They are etched in my mind and they will never go away. I remember seeing my baby blue and hearing the flat line and being so helpless as I watched everyone in slow motion try to save my baby. I remember making phone calls to my husband telling him to come home, they were unsure if Lydia would make it through the night. I remember having specialist upon specialist in our room, scratching their heads, unsure of what the next step would be. I remember waiting, praying, pleading, that she would survive the next moments. I remember the extreme stress and pressure. I remember our divided family. I also remember just going through the motions because you had to. You had no choice, sometimes there wasn't even enough time to cry. You just did because that is what you had to do. One foot in front of the other was all you could handle.
Coming home and adjusting again to a new life. Getting settled in your home that was now sprinkled with medical machines and medicine instead of pictures and toys. Finding your way in a world that seemed so familiar, yet so unfamiliar. Watching people who use to be your friends living their life just as they had planned, and you no longer had a place in their life. I remember that life seemed to stop for us, our path had abruptly come to a fork in the road, and we took the path that had been less traveled.
I think one of the hardest things I have to come to accept is how I have changed. My life does not resemble anything like our "pre-hospital" days. I am a much stronger believer. My faith has increased and that is who I am. I am nothing without my relationship with God. He was the One who saved me, who changed me, who carried me, who got me through this trauma.
The images that we lived through are etched in my mind and always will be; it's not something you forget. The trauma that we endured is close to my heart and still continues to have lasting effects.
I am starting to come to grips with this. It seems like some of the dust has settled, but I have recognized that it will never completely settle. As we thought things with Lydia were finally "good" she gets sick, the oxygen supplies sprinkle our home, the ugly comments when we are out in public are heard, the added stress of a sick child are felt, the house arrest (not going outside to play), and the constant worrying about your child; Are you doing the very best for them? These emotions and feelings are felt over and over, and this is just the way it will be on our path. This is our new path, it is our life, and as much as I fight it; it is good. This is our story, our path, our life and I would not trade it for anything.
We no longer live life on a whim, but we plan everything around Lydia and her needs. And that is OK. This life is OK. The trauma that we all experienced has changed us, challenged us, affected us, and will continue doing so; and that is OK. The people we have become is by God's design. We have not lived this path for nothing. God has given us a story, one to share because is it is ours. This is the life we live, these are the stories we live and that makes it beautiful because it is ours.
To put these words down on paper and breathe makes me feel so much better. To release these emotions that have been eating me up inside is so freeing. This is my story, this is what I have to tell today. Trauma is living out those injuries life has given to us. Our baby was created perfectly in God's image, He provided the medical resources to allow her to live this life, He empowered the perfect family to have her live with. In doing so, we all faced trauma of some sort and we live that out. We are changed by it, we have been affected by it and in the end, we have become better people by it.