Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"We never know how high we are, till we are called to rise, and then, if we are true to plan, our statures touch the skies."~Emily Dickinson

Last Monday I packed up the girl wonder and off to school she went.The day went less than perfect,to say the least and I could easily spend this entire post recounting the events,big and small,that went wrong and trust me,a whole lot went wrong but if I chose that route, then the true magic of the day would be lost.The magic that lie in the fact that:THE GIRL WONDER WENT TO SCHOOL.ZOEY WENT TO SCHOOL.

The other day I popped in the first of 2 CD's made by one of Zoey's primary nurses in the NICU.Each of the 30 plus songs,were hand picked by Momma Lindsay,a nickname that was dubbed early on,and still holds true to this very day.Song number one,My Wish,by Rascal Flatts.In one instant I was transported back,3 years,to CHLA'S NICU.In that moment my minds eye saw, with such crystal clarity, my tiny daughter,lines and tubes flowing from all over her precious and new body,and there was the angel sent Lindsay,singing each word of that song to my fragile little love,all the while, ever so gently rocking her,cradled so lovingly in her arms.Tears came without warning as I listened and drove.Chest heaving.And the reality of the road traveled in the last 36 months,became more then my heart could handle but not for the reasons one might think.

I could easily spend this entire post speaking of the unfair hand dealt my daughter.I could dwell and obsess on not only her initial in-utero diagnosis of a complicated heart defect but also the subsequent diagnosis' of Down syndrome,transient leukemia,stroke in-utero,Infantile Spasms and the ultimate chaser:leukemia.I could go on and on about what it is like to watch your child,your flesh and blood,that piece of your heart that lives outside your body, struggle each and everyday to do every, single,solitary thing she does.I could wallow in the uncertainties of the road ahead.Will she walk independently,ever?Will she be able to use both hands and arms purposefully,simultaneously and in unison to perform a task such as dress herself,wash herself,feed herself?Will she talk and be able to communicate her needs and wants and desires?Will she ever eat by mouth again?Will she remain seizure free and cancer free?I could do all this and more.And who would and who could possibly,blame me?

Instead, as I drove,song blaring,I thought of none of that.I seldom actually ever do.On that day my heart was overflowing with pure joy.Joy in the beauty of my tiny survivor.Joy in the gift of sight,not by eye but in perspective,that was bestowed upon me when Someone thought I was capable of being entrusted with this child.That perspective has enabled me to push past the seemingly unfair and flip it to the unworthy.Not in what I may have done wrong but what could I have possibly done right,to be chosen to be the mother of Miss Zoey.

Zoey Grace goes to school now.Three days a week.She has circle time and sits with her classmates during snack time.She finger paints.She plays with her friends.She knows when we pull in the parking lot and her legs begin to wiggle as we sign school and she gentle tugs at her car seat straps letting me know she wants out.We enter her classroom and she wants immediately down from my arms so she can get to her buddies who,by the way, are running circles around her,literally, but she could care less and you know what?Either could I.For my girl,my teacher,my hero, continues to rise ...








*Rained like crazy that first day.Not many pictures.Poor unsuspecting classmate of Zoey's,a darling little guy,didn't know what hit him as Zoey moved like lightning to get at him.Cornered the little guy straight into the bookcase!
*Love the little train they bring the kids out to us in.Zoey thinks it's a kick.
*And .. don't you love her little backpack?Caitlin and Danny gave that to her for her birthday.Perfect for our butterfly.

Lots to catch you up on.Tons of pictures to post of our last week's visit with Mark's mom and his Aunt Bluebelle ... if you are a regular here and read comments, you'll know who I am talking about!One of our biggest supporters and pray senders and we just loved having them here.

As for me ... I am at a crossroads so to speak.Will share more as time goes on.Christopher's death has hit me extremely hard.Trying to process it all and figure out what lies ahead.More to follow ....

34 comments:

Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

I could write you a book. When I pulled up your post - Just another oridinary miracle came on - imagine. You write my heart. Ivey started school last fall and it is a tidal wave of emotions. So many of our girls' struggles are so similar, wish you were closer. All I am going to say is 'ditto'. You said it all so well I don't want to mess it up.
I think I'll let you borrow my pillow for a while - to get you through whatever is going on. All I can say is that I am so glad that YOU are my friend and no matter what's goin' on - you are loved and surrounded!
Imagine the similarities..right down to the butterflies.
G.

Angi said...

Tears of happiness for your little love!!!School!!YAY!! Can't wait for more pics of your week - love to you guys!!! (still prayin for you and the loss of your dear friend...I am so sorry)

The VW's said...

YAY ZOEY! School will be so fun and so good for you! Glad to hear that you love it! You are such a precious blessing! Love and Hugs!!!

Claudia said...

Dear friend,

so happy to read from you. Well, it looks like we both are heading forward to a crossroad.

I would love to talk to you about all that. All your words have special meaning, especially this post. Can´t be by coincidence. Sigh.

xo
Claudia

stephanie said...

What a stinkin' hoot! Look at her! OH Heather it's a new chapter. How amazing! Pictures of Zoey in a CLASSROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I'm waiting for pictures of Aunt Bluebell! Always read her comments! She sounds like a sweetie!

Kiss the Girl Wonder for me!

Tina said...

You have no idea what joy and happiness I felt seeing those pictures of Zoey in her school environment, sitting in that train with her beautiful school bag in front, I had real tears in my eyes... Zoey is going to blossom even more, all this stimulus is going to be so fantastic for her, all these new inputs are going to bring out unbelievable outputs from her and I am so happy to be able watch her on this new journey.

ABandCsMom said...

Enjoy those preschool years. Oh how I miss those years for Carly.

It's almost hard to process all these kids have had to endure. Almost leaves a person speechless. Certainly makes one's head spin. But in the end. They shine. Despite what anyone else thinks. They shine.

Zoey looks like she is having a blast with school. I too love that train. How fun for the kids. And, what a neat way to transport them.

I've been worried about you all. Kept checking for posts. Oops, I forgot you had company. Sounds like you all had a great visit.

Reagan Leigh said...

I miss you! I'm hoping to hear from you soon. Love, love, love that backpack! So glad to hear school has gotten better.

Dana Janowicz said...

YAY!!! She is stinkin' cute in that train. She looks like a pro already. Excited for this new adventure.
xxx,
Dana

blogzilly said...

I would give anything....ANYTHING...to have the strength and will you have, your positive attitude. It would be such a great thing, and yet it is still seemingly so far beyond my reach as to feel unattainable.

I admire you, a great deal, and have always believed that Zoey is so lucky to have you in her corner.

The pics are great, btw.

Anonymous said...

ok bloggers - Bluebelle is back - I am restraining my fingers to not go on & on with my and (Barbara/Mark's mom)'s trip. I give you all a warning - as pics arrive I will be commenting on them!

For starters, Great Grandma Barb & Bluebelle were actually at the school yard one day (not inside) to personally see Miss Z brought out in the "train" at the end of her school day. My eyes are tearing up just thinking about that one moment of our "over the moon" trip. She indeed loves her train ride!

I just have to mention one thing. Mark with the boys & Miss Z picked us up at the airport. I was in front seat with Mark, Grandma in row beside her great grandaughter and the boys in the back of van. I'm sure that was the last thing they wanted to do was be there after school! I made myself wait maybe 5 minutes and then turned around in my seat and said Hi Miss Zoey Grace. That amazing child looked me in the eyes and then a HUGE SMILE came on her little face. BOOM went my heart. It was non-stop smiling and signing from that point on!
The reason that Jack & Joe & Miss Z were there in the van was because you, Heather, were making the journey to Christopher's memorial as we arrived. It must have been doubly hard to arrive home after that to company for several days. kudos to you ....

TO ALL OF YOU IN BLOG LAND: I wish all of you could spend a day or two with this amazing family. all 11 of them. Yes, you too Matt & Danny and beautiful Charlotte. Was I ever blessed in so many ways....


Love & hugs to everyone

Aunt Bluebelle
(yahoo, Aunt Bluebelle is here)! The Needhams will know why I put that in...

Denise said...

Oh, I feel like a proud mama too!! I am so happy for Zoey...she seems beyond thrilled to be in school. I hope you are finding ways to take advantage of your free time. I have missed you and plan on giving you a call later!!

mandd3 said...

Only when you start out in the deepest part of the valley do you truly understand the majesty of the mountain top. What a blessing that you get to witness the perfection of His creation, and that your eyes are open to know that is what you are seeing. She does shine, so very, very bright.

libby @ ninesandquines said...

LOVE the train!!!!! oh i'm so happy for her!!!

Anna said...

Ive missed you dear friend.
I will keep lifting you in my prayers.
{hugs}

kecia said...

you are such an amazing and positive mother...how great that she is enjoying school. Bree loves hers too and that makes it much easier for me to let her go!

Jamie said...

THIS IS AMAZING!! Oh little Zoey. Your mommy and I have such simular worries..although Madie is so different she struggles with alot of the same delays..when Madie is up on her feet my blog will explode with pictures of her accomplishment!! we can only love you guys and watch you bloom!
:) :)!

scrappy quilter said...

I'm sitting here smiling and thinking what an amazing journey your little love is on, yet once again. The backpack says it all!! I can't wait to hear more of her accomplishments as each day brings her more joy. She is such a sweetie. Hugs

JUST A MOM said...

Why is that Zoey looks so old in the school pictures? Miss you sweet friend. Let's have a date this week.

MOm said...

Every child deserves the opportunity to attend a school that meets their needs, and I am so glad Zoey's jumping right in!

Anonymous said...

aunt bluebelle-
grandma barb is not zoey's great grandma! maybe because she is about the same size as charlotte you are getting it confused! haha :) miss you both already!
love, jess

Peter Olson said...

Heather,
Beautiful pictures, wonderful stories! We are all blessed by that wonder girl Zoey. ;-)
Crossroads ~ means point of decision, choice of direction?
I pray that God helps you keep heading in the right direction and making the right decisions.
(And selfishly, hope that we can continue to be a part of it too!) ;-)
Thank you for the smiles today!
I pray that you are filled with joy as you watch your beautiful children and grand children grow.

Lacey said...

It was so nice to talk to you yesterday. Your super paranoid, stalker friend! We are looking at new signing times for Zoey, of course Ray is all over that. Miss my Zoey and want a Zoey love!

kerry said...

She looks totally at ease in school!! A whole new chapter for your little fighter! way to go Zoe!

Sewconsult said...

Wonderful news of Zoey going to school. Music is cathartic.
Beckie in Brentwood, TN

Anonymous said...

Jess-you are so correct - Got my genderations confused for a moment. I am great aunt & she grandma (even though she is my "older" sister) :)

I too miss our "togetherness" :(

Aunt Bluebelle

sturpin said...

Looks like school is wonderful - I am so glad. I just signed up Joy for school. I keep trying to breathe - she will like it, she will like it :)

To Love Endlessly said...

I LOVE this post! School is such a fun time and what a milestone! amazing little girl you have there along with an amazing mama too!

Dawson said...

So happy to see her where she is... In school, interacting with other children, lookin all like a big girl and stuff... just absolutely amazing!!

We have been watching from a distance since the beginning. Over the years we have watched in absolute amazement as she had tackled one obstacle after another, after another. We just can't wait to see whats next for her...

Thats the amazing thing about her isn't it?? You just know the "next" is coming.. Its just a matter of what will it be.

Were so very proud of her!!

Wish I had wonderful word for the horrible things your experiencing with losing small friends like that. Fortunately in my own life, I have not had to deal with such tragedy... So I do what i do.... I pray for you.

Lots of Love from Bama!!

Googsmom said...

{{{{{{HUGS ZOEY}}}}}}}

Big school girl. I love it!!!!

tish said...

HOORAY FOR ZOEY!!! Heather, I can't tell you how amazing it feels to read your post and then see Zoey so very happy experiencing all the joys of school (and in Thomas' old stomping grounds, too!)

All I can say is WOW!!... Continued love, thoughts, prayers and blessings... always.

Jeana said...

Wow Zoey! She looks so great being with her little classmates! and that backpack is too perfect. Thanks so much for always showing us the way Zoey girl.

Mary said...

She looks so cute! She's definitely ready for school!

Penny said...

Well, your Zoey did it again! I sit in tears.... she DID it!!! SCHOOL. Maybe not perfect but we I have started several "normal" kids that had less than perfect days...
Wow, and I LOVE her backpack! Perfect!


Give sweet sweet Zoey a hug! Don't be too upset about the fist day. I personally would have loved to have been cornered by Zoey!