Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I've tried. Really I have.



I think I was on a roll there for awhile.Posting about everyday,mundane,dare I say,normal stuff.Sharing the little miracles that really equate to some truly large,awesome looking miracles.My girl,knocking out the signs like they were nothing.Building her "vocabulary" daily.This week alone she added "happy","sorry","shower" and few others that escape me at the moment,as well as tonight,blowing us away with name signs for two of her therapists,that we didn't even see coming.I have tried to tell cute,quirky stories about my other little wonders and update on the goings on of the older crew and still try,try as I might,I just can't dance around the elephant in the room.You know that 6 letter bad word.That, "everyone's worst nightmare".... it's still here,suffocating me.You know the word I'm talking about.Some of you are actually probably sick of hearing about it but I'll utter it anyhow,much to my and possibly others, dismay,once again we circle back to .... cancer.

That word and the journey with it and through it,defines such a large portion of who I have become.I am immensely proud of that badge I wear:a mom to a child with cancer,truly I am.I walk into the store,a coffee shop ,a restaurant,a classroom and I want to tell everyone and anyone who will listen, about my fighter girl.I want to share the blessings and the beauty and dispel the fear that is instilled upon hearing that 6 letter word.I want to speak of my daughters fellow warriors and their families.I WANT to spread HOPE.I truly do.But the last few days have tested my resolve.The past few days have tested my determination to not allow this disease to rob me of another piece of myself that I have worked so desperately to reclaim.

Thursday night was a date night with sweet Madison.Friday night we went to a nearby parks grand opening with Madison and her mom Julie.Monday we had our beautiful former roommate Jayden and her family over for dinner.Monday night I learned of Christopher's relapse.Monday night I sent a text telling my good friend Laura, I was thinking about her.That day had marked the year anniversary of the passing of her beautiful boy Luke.Tuesday,I spent 4 amazing hours with my dear friend Tish.Mom to Angel Thomas.Do you see a pattern here?This is my life and honestly,I wouldn't change it.Only if it meant bringing back these precious kids and lightening the load of these children still fighting.Then,and only then,would I change it.My life is richer,fuller and more beautiful because of the presence of these people in my life.But on some days it is heartbreaking.No other word for it.

My struggle continues to be balancing the sadness and grief with the faith and the understanding of that which I cannot control.Balancing reentry to the world outside my front door.All this,coupled in some brief moments,with real honest to goodness fear of the uncertainty for my very own child.I say however,unequivocally,that I spend very little time pondering the what if's of Zoey and her future against this disease.I do cherish each day and look to each moment with her, as a gift.But this morning I awoke and wanted to cancel all therapies.I wanted to say no to sharing our precious time with feeding therapy,OT,vision and speech. 3 hours of our day spent working the girl.I sometimes think she has worked hard enough in her little life.No offence to Zoey's amazing therapists.Who I love.Who are like family.But on days like this morning,I asked myself, what does it really matter?Zoey will find her way.She has already proven she is a master at that.Why can't we fill her days,our days,with long walks,days at the zoo,store outings,snuggling ... all the fun, no pressure stuff?Hasn't she earned a pass?Can't I just let my girl live and watch Sesame Street to her hearts delight?

For the record,I did not cancel one therapy session.My little love worked and worked hard and my heart knows,in the end, that canceling would have been a great disservice to her.I am an ever evolving work in progress.Constantly trying to find the middle ground.Continually working to get to a place that resembles a combination of the person I use to be and the person I am today.

I am trying.Really I am.I will continue to take baby steps forward but the last two days have pushed me back a few.Knocked me for a loop.I have some ground to recover.Some of those pieces are irretrievable however.No way around it.Just a casualty of this process.But bear with me please.Please see,that woven between the posts filled with great despair and profound sadness are threads of HOPE and FAITH.After all, those two words mean so much to me that I chose to have them inked,permanently, upon me....reminders of what our journey in this life ultimately is about.

Yep,those photos belong to me or rather are of me or rather that is my tattoo.On my wrist.For the last 8 months I have been waiting for what felt like the best time to share it.Not because I am ashamed,embarrassed or afraid of judgment,I have long since cared about any of that.Okay, that's a tiny lie.Recently,I was going to a wedding and I was going to be sitting at a table with a couple who are very refined and I did end up wearing a big honking bracelet that covered it a bit.Anyway,tonight, as I wrote FAITH and HOPE in the last paragraph,it dawned on me,now is the time.That tattoo might shock some,others who know me,not so much.To clarify,it is one tattoo but is an ambigram.Meaning, it says one thing when viewed in one direction and another thing when viewed in the opposite direction.I had toyed with having it done,for awhile.Months probably.Waiting,like I do on most things,for some divine sign.On Zoey's very last night inpatient, of her very last round of chemo,I was driving home and took a turn off the 101 North and did the deed.I have not regretted the decision for one moment since.Sure,I get looks.Even some of my closest friends aren't big fans of tattoos but they know it fits me and more importantly, they know it means something TO me.So there it is.A little known fact about me... hoping you love me all the same.

34 comments:

Krissy said...

We could never love you any less. On to that monster six letter word, it set's out to destroy, to destroy faith hope, life and love. Though it seems to make all of those stronger. Faith and love get tested, hope is often the last thing left to hold on to and in the process some lives are lost. But through all that it never wins. Faith, love and hope come out stronger. And life? The meaning of life and living brings a whole new meaning.
I hope to in my life see a world without cancer. Until then? I will never walk away angry and continue to live each day to the fullest, appreciating the little things.

Tina said...

Love you all the same without doubt...infact I think the tatoo is really beautiful, so significant and meaningful...what a wonderful idea about making it into an ambigram.
I don't know you personally Heather although I wish I did but reading your posts has given me a little insight into you and your life and I can see why so many love you so much.
Your strength, faith and hope is an inspiration to so many, I hope you know that.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Heather - it IS INDEED so you. and of course we all love you just the same with or without your tattos. Life is a journey and we all choose our own way to get through it.

Take care

Bluebelle

stephanie said...

Can't add to that post. It just sums you all up, it's not pretty but it's special. The people God has placed in your life and you in return have placed in ours, have changed us too. I dare say for the better.

And I love the tatoo, it's beautiful! Wish I had the "Ka-knockers" to get on myself

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I can so see myself doing the exact same thing...Yes, you are still very much loved. Be blessed today...

Anonymous said...

Heather,
I have seen your tattoo many times and it is so much a part of you, of your skin, that you now would look different without it. It leads you through life and when needed, you focus on the words as a reminder. You should be proud to wear it, it looks good on you.

kathleen

The VW's said...

Of course we love you! And, we love your sweet girl who continues to fight and amaze us all! Sorry that life can be so daunting and painful!

I struggle every day trying to cope with the "Why's???", and yet, still trying to keep my thoughts on the positives and my knowledge that there is a purpose in all of our suffering! Some days my little brain does good with it all and then other days I just want to crawl back in bed and pretend that none of the pain of this world exists!

Hang in there sweet friend! Love, Hugs and Prayers!!!

Anonymous said...

Very cool tattoo, but ouch it must've hurt. Just keep pressing on Heather. You may not know it but you, Zoey, and really your entire family have so many. And don't worry if you talk about the awful C-word. It is now part of who you are and always will be. It is because of this struggle that you are a better person. It is a nasty, debilitating, heartbreaking part of life, but it is still part of life. Hang in there your courage, faith and determination inspire so many others.

c

Allison said...

I think it's beautiful!

Reagan Leigh said...

You're one tough mama! Seriously, tatoos and all! Don't worry...I still love you (and my sister too, for that matter). I don't think you give yourself enough credit for the strength and resilience you've shown through everything. And you DO keep the faith and you DO continue to hope! You are an amazing woman and you inspire so many. Love from Texas!

Mo said...

Love it! Did Mervyn (Melvyn?) do it?!

I'm thinking of getting one in the same location.

Shannon said...

I LOVE that tattoo!!!

Proud Grandma said...

I love your tattoo - I really like tattoos that have special meanings as your does - wear it proudly!

Hope said...

I came across this birth story and had to share it with you, if you haven't already read it, It's a beautiful story which brings tears.

Denise said...

Tattoo or now, you are an amazing woman. The way you can put your feelings into words just continues to blow me away!! But even moreso is the way you care about others. You aren't required to feel so badly about each little kid and their family that crosses your path. But you do!! And that is what makes you so wonderful. A friend I am so grateful to have.

Mama Mason-Mann said...

Love the tatoo and as always thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Claudia said...

What a beautiful one! I`ll send you a picture of the one I got for my sweet little Mia. Together with my ideas for the book! I swear, this weekend!!!!! (There are so many things going on here, I have to tell you. Please be patient with me, my friend!)

xo

MoonDog said...

well I tried and tried and I can see faith but I just cant make hope out of the tattoo. but it is very pretty.

Dawson said...

Love the tattoo!! It speaks volumes about who you are and what you stand for.

There are those who talk about faith and hope... and then there are those that do it.

You are a do it kind of person which is what makes you special

tish said...

I remember, distinctly, when you showed me your tattoo for the first time, while I was visiting at your house a few months ago.

You were listening to a story I was sharing with you about Thomas, and when I said, "I believe that faith and hope are one in the same".... well, you got up and "presented" your tattoo - as if right on cue - at that very moment. Do you remember that? :)

I will never forget our embrace once you showed it to me. I love it... because it is so YOU! :)

scrappy quilter said...

Why would we love you any less. I think they are great and at my age that is saying something. Good for you For doing something you've wanted to for some time. It's call courage and that's what your sweet little one shows you every day along with all the others that have touched your life. Never give up hope or faith...it's what makes you who you are. Hugs

Peter Olson said...

Cool.
You are much braver than me. I couldn't get a tattoo because I really, really hate needles! Ha! Ha!
Keep up the great work with Zoey.

Lacey said...

I remember us talking about that tatoo when we were there. Its beautiful!

Mary said...

Love the tattoo!

I love that you are so honest and open. Not afraid to say anything to anyone! Wish I had a little more of that in me.

cheekyradish said...

You amaze me! Dealing with what you've dealt with, and doing it so graciously... how dare ANYONE question your need for this to be forever on your arm. And frankly what business is it of anyone's anyway? I t's fab.

Once again, I salute you.

Bethany said...

Haha! I have two tattoos too. Funny because one is on my lower back, which I recently found out (during a Buddy Walk meeting, no less) that it is referred to as a tramp stamp when it is in that location. LOL! It was pretty funny, actually, but I have always wanted to expand that tat that I have and get rid of the other (which is around my belly button, stretched and faded -- LOL).

Emma said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn3RGizvyjg

I came across this video and thought of Zoey. so, enjoy!

Monica said...

Girl you become more awesome to me every time I read your heart...I say "read your heart" because that is exactly what you do...you write from the heart. That is truly a gift my friend...because many people have a very hard time sharing the up's, the downs, the joys and sorrows, hopes and most especially... the fear. I totally understand just wanting to stop every thing...and let Zoey "BE"...but some beings are put on this earth to fight and inspire. They bring hope to others and probably would not be content just to sit and watch Sesame Street. Zoey is a fighter and so is her mother. When that 6 letter word disappears from your lives...I wholeheartedly believe that you and little Miss Zoey will continue to fight and inspire.

I absolutely got chills when I saw your tattoo! I love it!

Googsmom said...

That is the most awesome tat i've ever seen. As a bearer of 17 tat's myself, I say I LOVE YOURS!!! Give Zoey {{{{HUGS}}}}

Reagan's Grandma said...

Well, Well, Well!!! You go girl! The year Tera was pregnant,(I was 58)I went and got a tattoo of a heart on each of my heels. A pink one on my left heel(for Amber) and a red one on my right heel (for Tera). I had always said that I was like Achilles and was invulnerable to love except for my 2 girls! Now.... I am about to go and get another tat on my right heel....this will be for my sweet Reagan who has really taught me that I am really VERY, very, vulnerable to LOVE!!!! Love ya....Janet

Kelly said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!

rae said...

OMG... I LOVE the tattoo. I have been itching to get another one... I just might have to borrow your idea. It is such a beautiful design... love it sista!

Bri said...

It was so good to see you for a quick second at Trader Joe's. You and your family are such an amazing testament to long-suffering and the fruit it produces. I am blessed to see it.

Rhea said...

Wow - not that I love tattoos, but I do understand them. Faith is the perfect word that you could put on your wrist. I honesty was shocked, but since reading your blog, and I do think that we are friends - right? I think that it is so you. How could anyone not love you!!!!!! You speak from your heart, love your kids, husband and more importantly love God so much. You fight for who you love, what you love and watch out anyone who gets in your way! LOL!!! Thanks for sharing it!