Friday, January 30, 2015

Morgan's Breath

Sometimes when I'm holding Morgan, I can feel her soft breath on my face. I'm holding her in such a way that she is laying down in my arms and I have her snuggled close. There is something miraculous in something so simple as feeling her breath on my face. In the middle of the night the whole world is asleep and she and I are the only ones awake. And the only thing I focus on is her steady breath. I love it. It makes me smile and I feel, for the moment at least, content.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Something Left Behind And Something New - The Phoenix

"Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled, made nothing?
Are you willing to be made nothing?
Dipped into oblivion?

If not, you will never really change.

The phoenix renews her youth
only when she is burnt, burnt alive, burnt down to hot and flocculent ash.
Then the small stirring of a new small bub in the nest with strands of down like floating ash
shows that she is renewing her youth like an eagle,
immortal bird."

- D.H. Lawrence

I feel the need to explain why I thought quoting D.H. Lawrence was so apt. My family has been through so much this last year; I've been through so much, that I feel it has changed me completely. I feel as though I've been emotionally "burnt, burnt alive, burnt down to hot and flocculent ash." Watching my child suffer and struggle to stay in this world has done some very strange things to my internal world. Everything is colored differently. Everything for me holds a different meaning. I've lost some thing. I know that I've gained as well but I have yet to truly realize what those gains are. While Morgan was in the hospital for two months I was lost. I went through the motions of daily life. But that's all it was. I was always waiting. Waiting for her to get better so that I could take her home. I was waiting for my family to be complete.

Now, months later. I know that I've come out of this a little stronger. We are still battling health problems with Morgan regarding her diagnosis and will be for the foreseeable future. But we've also seen her smile and laugh, and seeing that gives me fuel for the rough patches ahead.

Still, I've lost something... I feel as though I've left a piece of myself back at the hospital where I spent so many hours of my time. I imagine that part of myself as some kind of ghost. Wondering the halls between the NICU and the elevators, at the sink scrubbing up for the 200th time to see my daughter, staring at monitors and medical devices. That part of me is simply lost. That part of me stayed at the hospital when the rest of me finally took my daughter and son, together, home.

It's taken me some time to figure out what it was that I lost. It's hard to describe. I lost a kind of confidence. When I was young I was pretty oblivious to most dangers. The "what ifs" of adulthood didn't exist yet. When my oldest was born, I never for a moment doubted his vitality, his strength or his ability to grow into a man. Everything is different with Morgan. Those confidences don't exist with her. With her, I'm grateful for every moment, for every small achievement. Because with her, we just don't know what will happen. I'm hopeful that she will do well. That we can navigate anything that may come up. But I've lost the ability to assume that everything will be alright.

I will never loose hope. I still consider myself very much an optimist. But I also have been woken up to some hard truths. I don't know if the ghost part of me I left behind at the hospital will ever return, but I do know that there are some things that I've gained. There are strong parts of myself that have surprised me. Parts I didn't know existed before. So my hope is that I can rise up again after being burnt down to nothing.