Monday, October 12, 2009

"We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey."~Kenji Miyazawa




I am going on a mini sabbatical.Short hiatus.In other words,a blogging break.The first two descriptions sound more intriguing though, so I couldn't resist.Call it what you want.I'm doing it.Brief.A week or so maybe.Why?A few reasons.One not any more important then another.Just different.I will still be checking in on all our friends though.Commenting when I am able.October is a strange month for me.Mentally,October will mark a year since Zoey's diagnosis,so that in turn stirs up a wide range of emotions and instant replays in my mind.Physically, October has found me getting ready for the marathon.Or at least trying.This coming Sunday is the day.We leave Friday.Ready or not,at 7 am the 18th,it's go time.I am actually really,truly excited.I am not nearly as in shape as I had hoped.I started off so strong.Flew into August with an "I can do anything"attitude and then did a huge nose dive.I hit a wall.My body was sending me some serious messages and my mind was doing the same.So much so,I spent some time with a "mental health professional",aka, a psychiatrist.Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.Not much of a shock there.That has been a long time coming.Really diagnosed myself ages ago.Not sure why I needed confirmation.The last 2 1/2 years has been,how should I say it ... well, hell fits the bill I suppose.Probably even a bit of an understatement.But I continued to get out of bed,clean the house, make dinner(sometimes),my children were all accounted for,my marriage was intact and I would say,all things considered,I was doing fairly well.Or so I thought.See,sprinkled in there was a whole lot of going through the motions,push down the emotions,ignore the wreckage of broken relationships and just kept moving.I decided I didn't want to "just keep moving".I wanted to truly live while moving.So thus,"the mental health professional." consult.And did I forget to mention,my genetics and pedigree just screams "mental health professional" should be on retainer.So I go and I find,you know,in the end,I'm not so bad after all.What would one figure should be a "normal" response to a child born with Down syndrome,major heart defect,rare blood disorder,stroke in-utero,catastrophic form of epilepsy and leukemia,all the while trying care and nurture 6 other human beings AND squeeze the care of myself in there someplace?I think a mini breakdown was in order.It was certainly mini and brief and in order and for me, in the end,I realized,all that I was feeling was appropriate for all that had been dealt out.I feel much better then I did a month ago.I opted out of medication and today I feel renewed and finally feel as if I am finding my way.

As for the Marathon ... I can't believe it's finally here.As I said,I had hoped to be better prepared physically but as I was running the other day,something struck me and struck me hard.And it was this:Those that I am running for,never had training or preparation for what was before them.These precious kids were plucked from playgrounds and soccer fields,high school hallways and mother's breasts.They were innocently and unwittingly and quite frankly, cruelly placed on the front lines of a battle.And anyone, who doubts for one minute, that it is anything other then a battlefield,has only to spent a short time watching these children fight for their lives and in some heartbreaking cases,lose that fight,to know why we as parents call it war.So my strength to complete this marathon comes solely from the courage,resiliency and determination of ALL the children I have witnessed do battle over this past year.This marathon is a piece of cake compared to what was asked of these beautiful children.Today, I have the honor and privilege of watching some make their way on the other side of treatment.My own daughter for one,is a daily reminder.One look at her and I see the face of a survivor.As I have run over the last few days I have also brought to the forefront of my minds eye,the faces of all the other children we have met and fallen in love with over the last almost 12 months.I remember roommates and friends and most importantly,I remember the angels who have been taken far too soon from this world.I see the faces of Angel Luke,Lauren,Collin,Freida,Madison,Angel Sunuda,Christopher,Alex,Emily,Christian,Ricca,Jayden,Angel Thomas,Kai,Angel Sol Merie,Klein,Angel Pablo, and Justine.Too many children.Too many.And so I run.I run with the hope and prayer that a cure is around the corner.Our little Team in Training team raised nearly $100,000 dollars.$100,00.That is almost enough for an entire research grant.A grant that quite possibly could hold that cure and that miracle that innumerable families are waiting on.For some it is too late but because we know all too well that more will come after our children,it is our call and our responsibility to do all we humanly can to ensure the future of others.

When I begin my race on Sunday I will be wearing three things.One is a hospital bracelet from one of Zoey's admissions.6 admissions.6 months.6 go arounds with the hope of cure that came with a skull and crossbones on the bottle.Poison with a touch of promise.Next is a ring that was sent to me a while back.I will thread it through my laces come Sunday.It came from a faraway friend who has being an amazing source of support and prayer over the last year.The ring says"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step".The really cool thing about this ring is that it also has this little twist in it.Just like my necklace from Band of Angels.A twist that represents the unique beauty of our children that have come to us with a little something extra.Thank you Stephanie.I love you dearly.The last is a necklace that was sent to both Jess and I.A gift from an incredible mommy who was and still is in the midst of a fight of her own with her feisty one but took the time to think of us and and write THE most amazing words to inspire us and propel us forward on our run.Thank you Jeana.I am so blessed to call you friend.Although, I am so much older then you,you can call me mom if you want!Seriously though,I continue to be touched by the love,generosity and selflessness showered upon me and my family.We are humbled and we promise to do you all proud.So until next week,many blessings to you all.Hug those children just a bit tighter.Tiptoe back into their rooms after they have fallen asleep and gaze upon the beauty of the gift of their lives and when you do, could you please say a prayer for all those parents who's hearts are aching at this very moment, for just one more chance to do the same.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

A "mini" breakdown is all you had?!? I would've been institutionalized by now. Will pray for you to have great strength on Sunday.

Lacey said...

While I'm sitting in the hospital with Jax this weekend, I'll be thinking of you and sending good running vibes to you and Jess! Run for these kidos that fight so hard, your their voice. We love you.

just jean said...

Heather,
You've certainly earned a break, whatever the length might be. Replenish yourself. Run with your heart. We are all still here as your support when you need us, whether we hear from you or not. We are a constant, as you are for so many.

Peace, (and running energy)
Jean

Cammie Heflin said...

You take a break and take care of yourself!!! We will still keep precious Zoey in our hearts and prayers!

Tish said...

You're a true CHAMPION, Heather!! We love you and we'll be cheering alongside you and Jess in spirit. And while you're running, I'm sure those heroic patients at CHLA are snuggling up this weekend in their new blankets they received from you....

Amazing... All of the above is happening because of one special little blessing named Zoey. God is good.

Hope said...

You deserve a break! I'm always praying for all our little warriors. Always.

Michelle said...

May you find strength in the band of angels that run with you. I will keep you in my prayers.
Michelle

Reagan Leigh said...

I was just thinking of you (and wondering why you never answer your phone). LOVE those pics of Zoey! She's such a big girl! Good luck with your run. You are a trouper for going through with this and obviously more in shape than you let on! Have a great time and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

stephanie said...

You do use proud everyday Heather!
I love you, my friend! So much!
Run safe, run strong, run with the sweetest angels around you.I am honored to have you wear the ring.

To Jess, may God bless you on your run,keep you safe and strong from the starting line to that blessed finish line.

Dawson said...

Hopes and prayers that you have a wonderful break. You are an extrodinary woman. Tons of love from your Bama friends

My name is Sarah said...

Zoey you look like such a big girl sitting there. I love your smile:)

Stephanie said...

"Peace"..

Is not to be in the absence of fear, pain, or hard work..

It is to be in the midst of all these things and still be calm in your heart.

Steph.

sheree said...

you are SUCH an inspiration! I know you'll do great! :)

Dana Janowicz said...

Simple amazing. You really are a special and unique person on this earth. You're voice is heard by so many, especially by those families that have been through so much. You go get them girl!!! You WILL have the strength to do it. Happy running:)!

Googsmom said...

{{{{HUGS HEATHER}}}}

Best wishes for your run. I'll keep you in my thoughts and Prayers until you come back :)

Ian Marrey said...

They say running is good for you. I don't believe whoever they are but good luck and enjoy yourself. Kisses to you little (but getting bigger) Zoe. xx

Carey said...

Can I just say - you need a warning posted before that blog entry: WARNING, GRAB A TISSUE.

Wooee, too close to home maybe. PTSD? Well yeah! I just got health insurance Oct. 1 and went to do the same thing - yep PTSD on the dot. Not like we didn't already know that though. I got another dx as well (I can tell you about that another day;)

I wish you strength for your run this weekend. I wish I could be there in person cheering you on. Someday I will be. I promise. I just tear up all over again thinking about you wearing her little admission bracelet. I've collected way too many of those. Think you'll make it the whole way without crying? If not, oh well - maybe a few tears will help push you through.

Love you hon, Carey

Angi said...

God Bless...and run.run.run:) I will be thinking of you on Sunday...you are amazing.

julie said...

How exciting! I wish i was in enough shape and had the time to something so great! November 8 will be a year for us and I can't believe we are still fighting through this thing. At least she is not in pain anymore! Zoey is going to be so proud of you not just for running this marathon but for being the best mother there is!
Best of luck to you and Jessica you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hope you have a wonderful run Heather & Jess. Will be thinking of you. We'll all miss you in blog land but a little rest is understandable. See you in blog land soon!

Love & Hugs to everyone

Bluebelle

PS Can't believe how Zoey has grown these past few months. now.

scrappy quilter said...

Heather you are truly an inspiration. Enjoy your blogging break. All the best as you run for these precious kids. Hugs

Peter Olson said...

I still have not removed my "Zoey" bracelet since I put it on. I think and pray for you all everyday. I will miss reading your updates but only for a short time, hopefully.
May God bless you all, may you be comforted and guided by His loving hands.
Kick butt on that Marathon too!

cheekyradish said...

Take a break- do what you need for you. You are amazingly strong- I'd have been in a padded room quite sometime ago, had I gone through what you have.

Good luck on your marathon.

Jamie said...

Yup..still she is still adorable....just checkin ;)
Good for you for running! gee Id get a mile up the rd and collapse! keep doing what your doing. AWESOME!
:) hugs.

sturpin said...

oh hon - you are amazing. I am glad you went to talk to someone. It takes great courage and strength to seek help.

Hope the race is great!