Friday, October 21, 2016

This Week

5 years ago this week I woke up to hear that my 9 month old baby had salmonella poisoning.
This week I woke up to get her ready for Kindergarten.

5 years ago this week I was riding in a life flight helicopter while my daughter barely clung to life beside me.
This week I was braiding her hair.

5 years ago this week I was being told there was a possibility the salmonella had spread to her brain.
This week she read me a book.

5 years ago this week I was told she needed surgery, yet she might not be strong enough to survive it.
This week I watched her leap off our couches and tackle her brothers.

5 years ago this week I kissed her for what I thought could possibly be the last time this side of Heaven.
This week her teacher told me she loved her bouncy pig tails because they matched her personality so well. 

5 years ago this week I sat in the surgery waiting room clutching her pink checkered blanket the hospital gave us tight to my stomach, fearing the worst.
This week I kissed her forehead and tucked her into her big girl bed with that same tattered pink blanket.

5 years ago this week she was on a ventilator and I couldn't hold her for weeks.
This week she sneaked into my bed in the middle of the night and I snuggled her close.

5 years ago this week I was imagining what songs we would play at her funeral.
This week I was listening to her sing Ring-Around-The-Rosie and dance around with her dolls.

5 years ago this week a priest was performing the Last Rites on my little girl.
This week she couldn't wait to go to the front of church to sit with her Papa and cousin.

5 years ago this week I wondered if it would be better if Ella didn't make it.
This week... I am so thankful.

Thankful I was wrong. That I was given the opportunity to swallow my pride and share CdLS with others.
Thankful for our doctors. Who made life saving decisions our entire stay.
Thankful for our nurses. They took such good care of us.
Thankful for our special nurse Maggie. I don't want to think about what would have been the outcome if she wasn't on duty that day to be able to get the IO in to save Ella's life.
Thankful for the support of our family and friends. We couldn't have gotten through without you all.
Thankful for life. We know it can change in the blink of an eye.
Thankful that this is this week and not 5 years ago.

As I write this I can't help but think of all of Ella's CdLS sisters and brothers who are no longer with us. They are always in my heart and never far from my thoughts. I don't know why we were so lucky 5 years ago, and I'm trying not to feel guilty about it. Yet I know that we are not immune and nothing in this life is guaranteed for long. So this week we're celebrating life. The life we have today. My 3 year old asked me the other day whose birthday it was, convinced it had to be someone in our family's. It's not even closes to anyone's, but it kindof does feel like a birthday this week. As my Facebook Timehop takes me down memory lane of everything we went through this week 5 years ago, and how close we came to losing our little girl, I am reminded to never take life for granted. So even though it's technically not anyone's birthday this week, we will celebrate the gift of life. I happen to know a certain spunky little pig-tailed girl who would probably love some ice cream for supper tonight.