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Archive for June, 2011

We are enjoying a lovely beach vacation at my mother-in-laws’ beach house  in Ocean City, MD. Coming to the beach has, in the past, been difficult for me. It’s work to get Ella on the beach and to make her comfortable while we hang out. I’ve always felt very isolated and sad that Ella couldn’t run or play in the sand like the other kids all around us. I was also uncomfortable, hurt and annoyed with the stares of other people while we were on the beach.  However, after being here for a week I’ve noticed that I haven’t had any of those feelings. In fact, as Dave, Ella and I were playing in the waves today I looked back and saw nothing but smiles from those watching us.  And yes, there were lots of people watching us and smiling and laughing right along with us. In fact as I was snapping photos of Dave and Ella, a man approached us and asked if we wanted him to take a photo of the three of us together. Not sure if this is a shift in my perspective of the situation or feeling so happy and comfortable in our situation that we make those around us comfortable and happy as well. Regardless, it has been smiles all around!

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A year ago I started keeping a gratitude journal. Each night before I go to sleep I take a few minutes to reflect on my day and write down one thing from the day that makes me grateful to be alive. Last night I read the journal for the first time.

Here are a few of my grateful moments of the past year.

  1. Giving Ella kisses this morning.
  2. Staying warm inside and snuggling with Ella.
  3. Walking in the door from yoga class to Ella and Dave’s Welcome Home Mom song.
  4. Drinking warm tea in the sunshine while Ella and Dave take naps.
  5. Ella’s beautiful profile.
  6. Ella’s seizure cycle is over! YEA!
  7. Ella’s wild hair.
  8. Watching Ella push a bowling ball down the ramp and getting a strike!
  9. Watching Ella swim and laugh with the dolphins.
  10. Looking at Ella’s baby pictures.
  11. Teaching the adaptive dance class at Ella’s school–watching the kids dance to Beyonce’s Halo.
  12. Watching Ella use her communication switches at school–She was so proud of herself.
  13. My nephew Toy pushing Ella down Church Street—he is so wonderful with her.
  14. Dancing with Ella.
  15. Watching the sunset with Ella.

Notice a trend? 98 % of what I wrote down was about or related to Ella. 8 years ago when she was born and we were told that there had been a horrible mistake and Ella suffered severe brain damage and would never walk or talk, I was devastated. I thought my life, Dave’s life and Ella’s life was ruined. I recall telling a friend that I didn’t want this life, I wasn’t strong enough to handle it, while sinking to her kitchen floor in tears. I thought I would never find joy again. It seems I was very wrong—I thank my beautiful, incredibly sweet, amazing daughter for making me happy and grateful each and every day.

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