My commute to work is usually about 35 minutes. I’ve found this time to be at times peaceful because I can just listen to music and either mentally prepare or unwind from the day. But at other times, it’s downright torturous because I have 35 minutes to just think, and that can be a dangerous thing for me. I can be thinking about something completely innocent and then all of a sudden my thoughts have snowballed into something that brings me to the verge of tears. It wasn’t quite that dramatic this morning, but it wasn’t really a peaceful drive. With Tera’s impending birthday, I’ve found my thoughts frequently drifting back to this time last year when I was blissfully unaware of how our lives were about to change and pretty much just focused on finding new, safe ways to try and induce labor thanks to an overactive kid continuously kicking me. I remember everything about the days leading up to her delivery and I remember all the moments following that first contraction. I also remember being in the hospital with her and the smell of the NICU and trying to patiently count the days until she could come home. And I remember thinking I had 6 months where she was my only job.
This morning, the particular thoughts that kept invading my mind were about the things I thought about in the hours and days after her diagnosis. There weren’t many positive things that went through my mind at that time. I didn’t consider myself lucky, I didn’t know how her health issues would turn out, I didn’t think about how she could still be “normal”. I worried about things like, would she get married, what kind of school she would be in, would she live with us forever, and a whole host of other fears that raced through my mind constantly.
I don’t like to admit these thoughts still waste any time in my consciousness, but if I could figure out how to control my thoughts, I’d probably be a lot calmer. These things do still go through my head and I still have to come to grips with them. I have bad days every once in a while and they are much farther apart than they used to be. At only 11 months, we still have a very long journey ahead of us. But when we have a therapy session like we did tonight and I am reassured that she will get to all of her milestones, in her own time, it makes those days easier. I see how hard she works and how determined she is to do things and I know she will not stop fighting to reach every goal set for her. And we will not stop fighting to increase those goals at every step, to keep our expectations high, and to support her in her fight.