Tonight we went to church(who would have thought 2 years ago I'd be going to any sort of church service ever in my life!). The subject was hope and joy. I got up and briefly talked a bit about my experience with hope and joy. It went something like this(and I'm putting in in purple for Kendall).
Hope And Joy
Kendall was born and my life went dark really really dark. I cried for a year, every.single.day for an entire year. That’s a lot of tears. I couldn’t breathe, I didn’t want to move but I forced myself to. Forced myself to take a shower, to take a walk, to just breathe, to get dressed…it all felt like a HUGE chore to say the least. 2 weeks after Kendall was born Dan went back to work. I still couldn’t breathe, I wanted to run away and never have to experience the pain I felt. This was not how my life was suppose to be. I was not suppose to have a child with special needs. Why me? I was mad at life and at God. I couldn’t understand why this happened to me. I had no hope, no light, no joy just pure sadness. I also had postpartum depression that went undiagnosed because people expected me to be sad about everything. I had horrible visions of bad things happening to Kendall and I was just so so so so so very sad.
Then when Kendall was somewhere between 8-12 weeks old she smiled at me. Hope creeped in and a second of joy and happiness came over me while I snapped 8 million pictures of her(it’s what you do with your first child).
More days passed and I cried and cried, I would call Dan in a panic at 7am saying I couldn’t do this, I didn’t want to do this, I didn’t know how to do this, I was terrified. The type of terrified that makes you just freeze up and again be unable to move. Hardly any of my friends had kids so I couldn’t call them and even if I did what would I say? Please help me get out of here, this is not the life I hoped for? What kind of mom would say that?
Kendall turned 7 months old and Kendall sat up. Hope creeped in through the darkness, more pictures ensued.
She turned a year and the day before surgery on her head we threw a HUGE 1st birthday party for her and probably 50+ people showed up. People had hope and they were joyful. I looked hopeful but was scared out of my mind for the surgery. I went through the motions of the party and felt hope and joy from others but didn’t feel it myself. Surgery came and went and Kendall recovered. I felt relief and a touch of hope and joy.
She turns 15 months and crawls. Hope sneaks in again and I feel JOY. For many many days and likely for the first time in 15 months I felt joy.
I no longer cried every day but I still worried all.the.time about what she would do in life. Would she ever walk or talk or live a happy life? 2.5 years pass and she wears braces on her little ankles and she starts walking…more hope leads to more joy and HUGE RELIEF.
Then one day we are in line for Starbucks, just her and I, and she says what sounds like “Mommy look at that big truck”. I think I’m losing my mind in hearing what she said and I slowly look over and sure enough there is a huge Mac truck and I say to myself “holy crap, no one is here to witness this but she just said a 5 word sentence and I understood it”. Hope prevails and JOY PURE JOY enters.
Fast forward many more years and she’s opinionated, adorable and at times quite difficult. She yells at me, she spits at me and she laughs at me when I don’t want her to and I hold on to hope, HOPING that I make it through her pre-teen and teenage years without completely losing my mind. Then today, on a day when I want to just get away from it all, I leave the house and she yells “MOMMY” and I turn around and she blows me kisses and tells me she loves me and JOY WINS.