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Thursday, July 8, 2010

One Year

"Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, but Faith looks upwards."
(Thanks, Maz!)

I was day dreaming and letting my thoughts wonder off. I was thinking about the movie Titanic and how at the end of the movie, Rose dies and goes to heaven. In heaven she is young again and starts to approach the staircase on the Titanic and all of her friends, including the love of her life, Jack, are waiting for her. As my thoughts were in the movie I picture myself and the afterlife, approaching a staircase with all my loved ones and someone handing me 11 month old baby Christian, before the accident.

I was struck by a sudden feeling I couldn't put my finger on. It was completely unfiltered and it hit me out of nowhere. The feeling was of sadness and longing for the Christian I had now. I thought, "Where was the Christian I have now?"

This all may sound weird, this day dream. And it may very well seem like I might have too much time on my hands to be day dreaming such stories.

But I was struck by the feeling of longing for the Christian I've grown to love again. I mean I loved him before. But I am deeply, head over heels in love with this boy just the way he is and in all that he'll become.

Today was the first anniversary of Christian's accident.

I think the hardest part of this day was encountering everyone who knew today was the day. Everyone was a little eggshelly with me, wondering if I was going to break down, wondering if I was okay.

I was okay. I woke up thankful that there was a little boy laying in the crib waiting for me to give him his breakfast through a g-tube. I'd much rather be doing g-tube feedings than visiting a grave site today. It's all about perspective.
I was more emotionally struck by the outpouring of support I received today. It was simply a showing of love, no eggshells attached. My favorites were a text from a loved one offering to bring me my favorite McDonalds Coffee drink if I wanted.

Another favorite...

A book arrived today with heartfelt letters from my August Mamas, Cici's Mom, and Marissa's Mom. I read every single word of every single letter. I was reminded of how the human spirit is so great and of how much of an impact Christian left on the hearts of so many. I just can't really put into words just how blessed I feel to know these women. On top of that, they made sure I received the book today. It's really those little things that get me all warm and fuzzy.

I also got a barrage of emails and facebook messages and comments letting me know everyone was thinking of us. I really don't know how people do it alone. I felt so much support and love today.

We had plans to go to dinner tonight to celebrate Christian's life. As the day closed in, the time of day when Christian's accident took place was upon us. It was around five in the evening. And conditions were the same, ironically enough. I say ironically because I remember being in the ambulance with Christian on the way to the ER. It was a rainy, monsoon evening, just like the one that brought him into this world. It hasn't rained in months and the monsoon is kind of late this year. But today, as if on cue, it rained. It started raining around the exact time of Christian's accident.

I don't know how to explain the feelings I was having. I felt almost as if a force was trying to show me - See? Remember? Don't you want to cry? It's just like that day.-
But I didn't. We were, after all, on our way to celebrate life. I looked up to the sky and said a little thank you prayer through the sprinkles. I opened my eyes just in time to see two birds flying. Blackbirds maybe? It was profound and somehow I felt God's presence all over the place. If it seemed like I was looking too hard for signs and meaning in this day, I didn't have too look too far.

We drove to dinner through more sprinkles, reminding me of the ambulance ride to the second hospital that evening. Instead we were on our way to toast with family to Christian's life over dinner.

Once the time of the accident passed I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I played the this time last year game all week and all day. But once that moment passed it was, this time last year my son was in the PICU fighting for his life, this time last year we didn't know if he'd live, this time last year we were holding his swollen little hand and praying our hearts out.

Where we are now is 100 times better, maybe even 1000 times better. And with all of the challenges and setbacks, there have been triumphs and celebrations. This journey has brought out the best in people and their ability to love someone they've never even met. Christian has taught us what deep unconditional love, hope, and faith are.

Although this life is hard and painful, there is beauty. And out of tragedy comes growth. Christian will prevail in his own way and just like that day I dropped to my knees and begged God to give Christian back to us, no matter how he gave him back, I still stand behind it. God has plans for that boy, I'm sure of it. God gave us Christian not once, but twice.

Now can I get a high five for that?


(Sorry if your neck hurts.)

And in the words of my dear friend, Jenny...

And now, we go forward!


Mel said...

As I said on all amaze and inspire me. I hope you know you are loved and thought of often by so many, even those (like Jaxon and I) who have never met you or Christian in person. I think it is with great hope and spirit that you are able to see the big picture as you always do. Celebrating his life is such a great way to go. Here's to you, Shauna, and your little Superman, Christian.

Lots of love and hugs,
Melissa and Jaxon
August Mommy and Toddler

Brooke said...

I am just in awe of you Shauna. You and Christian are such amazing people!! Fighters for sure!! There is honestly not a single day that I don't think about you guys!! I am honored that I have been able to follow you through your journey and look forward to all the steps you guys still have to make....because I know you both will make them!! Big hugs and YAY for the celebration of Christians LIFE!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO

Caroline said...

I'm so happy you get to celebrate LIFE! Don't they say God never gives you more than you can handle? You are amazing!

Peg said...

Oh my gosh Shauna - the best video ever! And well said as always.

Alicia said...

What a wonderful video! Awwww, Christian loves Lola and Lola loves Christian!

I am so glad you were able to have a good day yesterday, amongst the remembering and twinges of sadness. I thought of you all day and I just knew you would be going through the day with that wonderful perspective you always have. Every cloud really does have a silver lining. He's not the same Christian, but he's here, he's thriving, he's getting better all the time. Thanks, in large part, to his tenacious and loving Mama Bear.

Thank you for sharing your heart.

Cara said...

I love that video. Those 2 are going to be so close, you can just tell!

Jendioguardi said...

This video is amazing. It shows the honest and truest form of unconditional love. I say it all of the time, and I'll say it again because I've never meant anything more in my are ALL amazing! God has blessed you all in so many ways and you have given us all an incredible gift. You have shown us that ANYthing is possible! This might mark a year of Christian's accident but it also marks a year that my life changed. On this day, one year ago, you opened my eyes to how I should/could live my life. You helped me to become a better mother, wife, and friend. You have made me realize that there is SO much more to life than the material things most of us yearn for. Life is about love. Unconditional love. Thank you for showing this to me. I love you all!!! And now, moving forward!! I'll be with you every step of the way.

Louise said...

That video is PRECIOUS!!!!

Eliisa said...

Wow, that video. Gave me chills. We love you so much....and our little Superman, too.

Beth said...

That video is absolutely amazing Shauna - it was beautiful to watch them together! Like I have said many times, you are so inspiring to me! I'm so glad the anniversary of Christian's accident wasn't a sad day - thank you for sharing Christian and your family's journey with us.

ferfischer said...

I love how Cici interacts with her twin and big brother as well - they get such a rise out of her! :)

Maria Hopfgarten said...

Beautiful post!

Karen said...

Love, love, love the video!!! It too gave me chills:) It was amazing to see Christian give his little sis a high five! He is such a fighter and an inspiration, as is his momma:)

Annie said...

"celebrate Christian's life"-means so much. Keep doing it. I was so saddened this week. Boston area-2 year old twins drowned in their backyard swimming pool with fence AND retractable cover...You have a miracle on your hands and I'm so glad we all know it. Keep on keepin' on Shauna! xoxo

Anonymous said...

I met Christian and Shauna and the kids at Pam's pool. I spent evenings that week reading a year's worth of blogs and waking up in the morning with very puffy eyes. What an amazing family. I specifically want to comment on what you said about the anonymous poster. You are so right, coulda, woulda, shoulda. When our babies are born we immediately start to feel guilt. I remember having the nurse bring my baby to me (even though I wanted and needed sleep) because I felt guilty and wondered what she thought. My oldest is about to get his license and I know that every time he walks out the door, I'll be waiting for that terrible phone call. What if it comes? What if? We can't live that way. What happened to Christian, and to the rest of the family, I guess is part of God's plan. I really hate saying that because it sounds so crappy. Was it really God's plan for Christian to nearly drown? I don't know. I just know that we are human, we need God's love and His grace. Shauna, you are a wonderful, amazing woman and mother. Don't ever beat yourself up about what could have been different. I know that's easier said than done. No mother wakes up in the morning and says, "I wonder how I could harm my child today." I believe that. I believe even "bad" mothers don't intend to hurt their children. And you are one of the good ones. You are so strong. I truly admire you. Hang in there, and know that people who don't even know you love you, think about you and pray for you and your family every single day. Keep on posting!

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