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Thursday, November 26, 2009


Christian in his Thanksgiving attire.

Thankful doesn't even begin to cover it.

I am so thankful that my beautiful Christian is here to celebrate Thanksgiving. I did most of the celebrating (sans alcohol) but it was such a sweet Thanksgiving. I feel overwhelmed by gratitude. It was a very real possibility that Christian wouldn't have been with us. I thought about that day. It still weighs heavy on my heart. But I have this day and every day following the accident to be thankful. And this was THE BEST Thanksgiving I've ever had. Christian survived and he's still surviving. Our family is surviving right along with him.

I spent the first part of the day just hanging out with my boys - Manny, Gabe, and Christian. There were smells of blueberry muffins, sounds of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the background followed by NFL football noise later in the afternoon. And as if to make this day even sweeter, Christian was on it! He was fully moving his head slowly back and forth from left to right. He was focusing on us when we spoke to him. He looked good! It was like a new Christian - just proof that God is still working His miracles on Christian.

And later in the afternoon we ate Thanksgiving dinner with family and it just didn't seem right that Christian had to be laying on the couch while we enjoyed dinner. So I picked him up and sat him on my lap. All day he seemed really active with his mouth and tongue and that's a queue to look for when Christian's ready to taste by mouth (although, we've already given him tastes - bad mommy). But at the dinner table, while Christian was on my lap I put a little mashed potato on my finger and brought it to his lips. He moved his tongue forward and tasted the mashed potato. He then started moving his mouth and tongue in a sucking motion to move the mashed potato back through his mouth to his throat. And then he swallowed. We tried a little more and then we tried some yams. I can't say he was as enthusiastic about the yams but he continued to be consistent with the mashed potatoes.

Now I'm not saying that I fed him a bunch. I just fed him a little bit (maybe a pea size amount) and I'm saying he ate it. He ate some mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving dinner. He participated, he responded to eating queues and that was just one more thing to be thankful for. I know in my heart he will eat by mouth again. And I know it will be soon. But today, I'm thankful that my baby son ate some Thanksgiving dinner.

I could write a book about why I'm thankful on this day and for what. But I'm sure nobody wants to read about every teardrop and every kind word I'm thankful for.

So here are just a few random things that need special thanks...

I am thankful for the joy we've experienced in this last year, both before and after the accident. I am thankful for all of the experiences we got to have with Christian before the accident and just about every teeny tiny bit of progress after the accident. I have learned to find happiness and joy in the smallest of things. And even though we had a tough year, I'm thankful we have still been able to find laughter and happiness wherever we can get it.

I am thankful for all of the internet moms I've "met" simply because our kids' paths were similar. I wish I didn't have a reason to know them. But I do have a reason and things would be so much different if I didn't have them for advice, a sounding board, a check in, a shared experience, or a celebration of a milestone. It's about feeling understood, like we're not alone, and like there are some answers out there where we were told there were none.

I am thankful for Christian's trach. Yes, I said it. I still have a bitter taste in my mouth about how it was brought into our lives - that probably won't change. But I'm thankful for his trach because it gives him opportunity to breath. If he gets sick, there's just one extra way to keep him clear. He has remained relatively healthy with ZERO colds, sicknesses, or lung and breathing issues. Things like breathing do not get in the way of his progress because the trach allows him to breath clearly. This does not mean we won't be getting it removed as soon as he's ready. But I do have appreciation for this little tube that helps Christian breath just that much easier so he can work on other things.

I'm thankful that I've been exposed to true and genuine human kindness that I didn't know existed. The generosity of strangers has opened my eyes to what I really have to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for my faith because it is my faith in God, sometimes just that alone, that has gotten me through this last year.

There are no guarantees or promises in this life. But there is possibility. And for that I am thankful.
What it's really all about.
My beautiful, handsome boys!

Daddy and Christian


Brooke said...

Shauna this is my favorite blog to date!! It is so beautifully written- I can just feel your emotions through your words! I am SO happy you guys had such a great Thanksgiving and YAY for mashed potatoes!!! Christian looks SO handsome in his pictures!!!! I love it!! And you look awesome!!!! :-)

Lovebugs said...

This is my "favorite" too!! You made me cry!!!

Happy Thanksgiving, here's to another year to be so thankful for everything we have, and everyone we have too! You guys all look beautiful in your photos. Just think next year all the progress Christian will make, and he will be a big brother too!!

ferfischer said...

Thanksgiving sure does take on a different perspective when you experience something like we experience. And, it's not just one day a year, is it? Glad you had a great one!

Eliisa said...

I've said it once, I'll say it again: you are an inspiration. Your positive attitude, optimism, and unending, unwavering love for your family astounds me. But I suppose it shouldn't, because, knowing you, it's just part of who you are. And I love you for it.

Anonymous said...

I'm thankful I've found your blog to remind me of all the things there are to be thankful for! And for a reminder of the wonderfulness of Faith and all the things that are possible with God.

Anonymous said...

I follow this blog too! And I am thankful for many things - Christian is a beautiful little boy and I am so thankful that you have shared him with us!

On a side note, could someone who personally knows your family please email me. I have something that I'd like to share with them - no I'm not a stalker!!! Co-owner of Stitches of Love and Kindness

Mary Richmond

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