So as I write this, our miracle little warrior child is celebrating with his parents tonight. Today we have made it two years since our last hospital admission. We made hard choices to get here, but we made it. We don't get him out much. We don't take him out and even cancel therapy and doctor's appointments if it's below 50 degrees. We battle too many consequences to make it worth it. We must have had some extra prayer warriors working on our behalf when mommy got the flu and bronchitis, for Braden and daddy to miss the flu bug completely. WE MADE IT!!! For those new to our story, we really never went much more than 3 or 4 months in the past without an admission. Occasionally we would make 6 to 8 months without a visit. This two year anniversary is quite monumental.
I visited the hospital this week to bring some goodies and encouragement to another special needs momma who had to make some hard choices that included a feeding tube for her son, and a few other surgeries as well. It was AWESOME to walk by the residents and staff doing rounds, and not recognize a single soul! I was lucky to run into a few of our nurses from the PICU. I got some great big hugs and high-fives, and of course some sighs of relief that I was not there with Braden.
I often wonder about the meaning of our journey. One day I will ask God what it was all intended for, and I'll know our true purpose. But somedays I am blessed with little snippets of how our lives impact others.
Many people when they receive difficult news or a diagnosis can find it devastating, crushing, unbearable and completely overwhelming. They can find themselves drowning in a sea of information and uncertainty. I met one of these women several years ago when she came to our Bible study for moms of special needs children. At the time, we were studying Esther. By the end of the study, she was telling some of us how we had become the Esthers in her own life. At the time I'm not sure I really understood her full meaning.
In the hospital, as she introduced me to her son's nurse as "her Esther". She began to unfold the story of how overwhelmed and flooded with desperation she was when her son started receiving multiple diagnoses. She explained that in our Bible study, she just noticed how I seemed to handle much more complicated medical issues with my own child with a kind of grace, calm and peace that she was longing for. She said that is was simply my example of how I was living this life that encouraged her to make the decision to essentially pick herself up off the floor, and start handling her own life issues the same way.
She is living proof, like my own family, that it's not the circumstances that determine the life you live - it's how you handle and deal with those circumstances that determine the life you live. People are always watching, and I forget that. I'm grateful that God gives us these graces, because I certainly would never describe myself as calm or graceful... you know that's all the covering of Jesus!! Peaceful I'll take, because I rely on Him to get us through this difficult journey, and I feel like I have been given a peace about our life and the things we deal with. Negative things come at us constantly, it's the devil's way of trying to sneak in. Bad things in life never stop happening to us, but we can't let them drag us down. The same is true for everyone, it's simply LIFE. You just have to put your big girl panties on and deal with it. Every day. Every time. It's just going to keep coming anyway.
Choose positivity and hope my friends - life is so much sweeter. Thanks for keeping us all in your prayers, we so appreciate them!! Braden's birthday is next month... NINE!!!
(Pic of our little man - I found him like this one morning, legs crossed. What struck me as funny about this, is that his daddy used to wake up and sit in this position every morning until he would wake up.)
Kodi, Brad and Braden Wilson