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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Celebrating Super Christian

Celebrating Super Christian

Two years.

It's seems like more than that and it seems like less than that in the same breath.

This Christian that we know and love is our Christian. And, man, do we love that kid.

The two year anniversary of his drowning wasn't sad. We were visiting family in upstate New York for the week so there was a lot going on to distract us. But, honestly, it feels like another life. When I tell the story, because it seems that lately more people are asking, I feel like I'm telling someone else's story. And the truth is that Christian has been this Christian - our Christian - for longer than prior to the accident. Two years longer, in fact. So telling our story, what happened to Christian, is becoming less and less a part of our life as it is today. Of course, the repercutions are with us forever. But we think about the actual event less and less.

In comparison, the second year has been about fine tuning. The first year we were throwing what we could to the wall to see what would stick. The second year was more about coming up for air, throwing one thing at the wall at a time. And sometimes slowly and painfully watching it fall to the ground.

The second year has been a lesson in patience. Not the kind where you say, "I just have to have patience." And the word and action of patience sits there like it's the period to the end of a sentence. End of discussion. The kind of patience I'm talking about is a hard one. It's one I don't willingly choose. It's forced upon us because there is no other choice but to have it. And instead of a period at the end of the sentence, it represents an exclamation point, a, a curse word (or two), and a to be continued.

I, personally, learned a lot about grief. I'm not sure I knew it well the first year as I was just struggling to adjust. But when the dust settled, grief was there waiting. And the funny (and evil) thing about grief is that you think you get through the worst of it, and it finds its way back to you in different forms and with different triggers. Maybe not as strong as it once was, but always there lingering.

And we've all learned more about Christian. We've learned what works. We've learned what doesn't. We've learned that we'd rather have a child who has a few spasms and jerks but who is alert and active than a zombie child who still has jerks and spasms. We've learned there are battles we'd like to fight and battles we're too tired to attend to. And we were blessed with a crooked little smile.

This second year has been harder, in a sense. But we're more solidified as a family. The future is still bright and we always have something new on the horizon. A lot of hope on that horizon, too.

We look at these anniversaries as a celebration of Christian's life. Where gratefulness, thankfulness, hope, grace, and family meet. I often feel a need to make a resolution. My resolution is to celebrate more and whine less.

Speaking of celebrations, those August Moms are never far from us. One of our August mommy friends helped us celebrate this second anniversary of the day Christian was given to us for the second time. Talk about a full circle moment! An August mommy and and an August baby celebrating with us in New York? Did that really happen? Yes it happened.

And celebrate we did...

Can you hear my nephew, James, screaming "Cake! Cake! Cake!" in the background?

It was the best cake. And I know because I ate a lot of it. And so did Christian, by the way. We blended it up with a little milk and put it through his tube. The portion of his little cake shake left over that I didn't give Christian, I gave to my nephews, who promptly slurped it down with a Twizzler straw. What?! They loved it!

We love you always, Christian.


Caroline said...

Shauna, you know I know about that patience... the dot dot dot... that's my life as well. I know how hard it is... and when I read that, I thought of the strength that people keep telling me I have. I know they tell you too...because I think you are strong, but I know you have to be. You just HAVE to be... We think of Christian often. I'm so glad you got to visit with one of "us" for his anniversary!

Meredith said...

That was so sweet seeing Christian taste his cake, surrounded by family and friends. He is loved by so many!! You are an amazing mom. I hope the coming year brings joy, cuddles, smiles, and maybe even a little time by the ocean. Thinking of you guys!

ferfischer said...

I so wish I could have been there too - and met Mel as well - it's awesome you had a proper celebration complete with cake! I totally know what you mean about the second year being about patience, and finding out what works for your kid, and fine tuning. I owe you an email, but love these pics. Also, that Lola is getting so big!!!!

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