Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kindergartner. I'll just let you sit with that for a moment.

“Everything is possible; the impossible just takes a little longer”~James Douglas Percy”
video
The 1 minute and 40 plus seconds of viewing, is totally worth it. Promise.

The journey to this moment, has been long and arduous and daunting. To say the least. Mostly for this warrior child of ours.

If you asked me nearly 5 years ago, if we would see this day, if SHE would see this day, I would most likely have said ... probably not. That is an entirely honest answer.

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If you asked me that same question, 4 years ago, when an insidious pairing of words, Infantile Spams, were uttered to us,  I would have said the very same thing.

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Zoey mostly looked like this ... 24/7, while on one of the nasty drugs that we willed to work, but sadly, did not.

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She seldom slept during those days, like, seldom slept for 8 LONG weeks and in a desperate attempt to give her body rest, we shelled out 400 dollars for a baby hammock, that occasionally yielded tiny respites of sleep. For us all.

 And, if you asked me that same question,  again, 3 years ago, when we entered the world of pediatric cancer, I most likely, would have echoed a similar reply.

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I literally have dozens of pictures like this. Of Zoey sitting in her hospital crib, day after day, kicking cancers ass, with a smile.

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I can look at this picture and know, in an instant, that she was in a benedryl induced sleep to ward off the nauseousness, that chemo relentlessly brought. Notice the framed quote. It stayed there, above her head, 6 rounds of chemo, for 8 long months.

It is not about being hopeless. It truly is not. It is more about a mode of self protection that you have been operating under, for so very long, in order to dwell in an emotional safe haven. Afraid to dream. Afraid to believe. When all along, that wee little one, she knew. Her courageous fight, rather than a much easier route of flight, told us so. What one day seemed far beyond possible, now looms out there, just within reach. Not clouded in a veil of darkness and uncertainty but rather radiant in a tomorrow full of promise.

Her kindergarten transition IEP, on the cusp of her 5th birthday, was quick and painless and a lesson once more, to me, her mother, to never under estimate, never low ball, this wonder girl of mine. To circle back to hope. Always. The 8 or so, teachers/aides, therapists, in attendance, were awestruck by the progress she has made in the last 2 years. More on the details later. For now, I just need to sit with it all for a moment.

My girl is going to be a kindergartner. 

46 comments:

Cammie Heflin said...

:)

Anonymous said...

An amazing journey. God has a message here. Always have faith that somewhere there is an answer. He knows, and His timing is always perfect. Just like your little wonder.

Shelly Turpin said...

Y'all are awesome! Happy.

Meg said...

Amazing! What a journey your girl - and all of you - have had. I hope the school environment will provide even more opportunities for success.

colleen said...

Ah, beautiful.. to many more transitions and landmarks to come. What a child and What a mom.

Jamie said...

Madie will be in Kindergarden in the fall as well..had to discuss weather we wanted morning or afternoon and if we wanted her vanned to school or if I would drive her..OMG Its insane! Its amazing what our kiddos endure. Two different stories of course but still amazing. Now all I gotta do is establish a routine for my kiddo! ah!
Our little Loves will surprise the world someday! :)

The Annessa Family said...

Your girl is the most beautiful mix of fighter and princess I have ever seen. Her spirit is contagious, and her smile can light up the world. She is LOVELY...and things good...wrapped up into a perfect little package. And she IS going to be a Kindergartner! WHOOO!!!!!!

Brooke
www.MarvelousLoveBlog.com

Becca said...

Not sure how you always manage to move me to tears, Heather, but I could watch her all. day. long. Measurable progress...she's *amazing.* That quote was PERFECT. I just love her, and know she will absolutely THRIVE in Kindergarten! I'm so excited for you both!!!

Kristin said...

Go kick some kindergarten butt Miss Zoey! If anyone can do it, you certainly can. You're making your mama so proud!

Lacey said...

Can I just say that she is amazing!! Not only because she is absolutely delicious, but look at that girls speech! After all that girl has been through, he speech is coming along so fast! I can't believe that Jax is kindergarten age. If he goes to school next year, it would be 1st grade! Seriously, this kid is the size of a two year old!

Elizabeth said...

Fantastic post. There is so much here to linger over -- the photos alone tell such a story and your words, too. I remember all too well the infantile spasms days, the steroidal pudge, the screaming, the no-sleep -- my god, how did we get through it? Well, we did, and Zoey is AMAZING!

Justine said...

Wow!

Michelle Bogart said...

That is incredible, Zoey!!!

Bea, OT said...

What an amazing little girl!

Rochelle said...

I am in tears as well. Oh that girl will always have us dreaming big. She continues to move mountains!
Big stuff Zoey girl!

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow. Love this post Heather. You go Zoey girl with little niece Charlotte right by your side! (You have made us ALL proud, - East & West Coast)

Love

Aunt Bluebelle

Anna said...

Heather. real tears streaming down my face, it doesnt seem like that long ago. But yet it seems like a lifetime. I am so thankful for your strong spirit and your family. its all grace.....

Helena Sue said...

That's amazing. Congratulations to the big girl, and good luck to her on her academic adventures. :)

Denise said...

I LOVE every word of this post....where Zoey has been and where she is now....AMAZING!! I can't believe how her speech is coming along!! Have you taught her to say Ella yet? Zoey was one of Ella's first names to say :) And she says it exactly how Zoey says it. I love our girls!!

stephanie said...

Thanks for the family entertainment! It was top notch!!! Love that girl of yours!! Every time someone walked in we had to hit, replay! When Emmie heard your voice she high tailed it to the computer. She knows when there is a voice it means one of her pals are on the other side of that screen! She started waving and saying Hi to Zoey!

Congratulations Miss.Z!! I'm thinking your mama is going to have a vast collection of caps and gowns from all your academic accomplishments. But you already know that don't you!!

Hugs and many kisses to you!!!

colleen said...

Heather,
I've been meaning to ask you: Where can I find an Aunt Bluebelle?
If you know, just point me in the right directions, okay?

SECRET PEPPER PERSON: said...

I just cried when I read this beautiful post and watched the video. And I realized that Zoe and Robin are the same age and will both be in kindergarten. I wish we were neighbors!We could have some serious, dangerous fun and kick some major booty together!

Anonymous said...

Amazing how far she has come...What an amazing video! She can always bring a smile to The Steelman family....The Steelman Girls XOXOXO

Anonymous said...

If I didn't think Zoey was asleep right now I'd be knocking on your door - that video was so special. Go Zoey! I'm so proud of her - and her bestest ever cousin Charlotte.

Christy Pinuelas

pressuresupport.com said...

What a beautiful post. What a journey. Such wonderful photos and that video?!

I don't even know what to say.

Kindergarten? Jeez I'm gonna be a mess for that. Thanks for letting all of us celebrate this with you.

Jeana said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS. Heck yes that video was worth watching. I could have watched her for another couple hours. Zoey, you are amazing! Just seeing all that you are doing just brightens my day and gives me such hope for your little feisty friend Kaelyn and what her future holds for her. Thanks for lighting our way, as always!

thepiersolfamily said...

Hooray hooray hooray!!! Go Zoey! Hope to see the wonder girl soon face to face! Xoxoxo laura

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

LOVE IT!!! :) Keeghan and Kellsey go today for Kindergarten shots. Not the most fun part about registering for Kindergarten, but... whatever! LOL Zoey is going to ROCK Kindergarten! :)

Lisa Lilienthal said...

Of course she is! And you'd better take a little credit, mama -- you all have been right there with her. Yay Zoey!!

Ian Marrey said...

I'm speechless, unlike Zoey :-) She's growing up into such a beautiful (and opinionated) young lady.

Bethany said...

Zoey is an amazing miracle girl whose life God has known from before she was ever conceived. She is a wonder, a fighter, a charmer, a beautiful treasure and a gift to this world. I am celebrating with you that she is on the cusp of such an achievement of childhood. And the video - awesome!! I love her little voice speaking words, her signs, and her attitude!!

Sewconsult said...

I haven't checked in with you for quite a while. Zoey has made such great progress. Wow, KINDERGARTEN! That's absolutely wonderful and of course, no surprise. She has such love around her, which is obvious from the video. Praying for great success.
Beckie in Brentwood, TN

Christy Pate said...

Congrats Zoey! And Heather! And a happy birthday too. I love the video, she is such a doll. I just want to reach through cyber-space and give her a squeeze. I don't know how you get anything done during the day besides sit and hug! Your little love has been through alot in 5 short years. It's enough to make anyone proud. Like, I wonder if she's going to get some sort of presidential commendation!

I also wanted to tell you how happy I am for your recent reconciliation. The pic made me very happy!

Cold, snowy love from Kansas,

Scrappy quilter said...

Loving it. Heather I remember and it's truly a miracle to see how far she has come. I'm loving it. Hugs and (still in tears, dancing for joy and you know why).

Lindsay Marie said...

Wow, this is wonderful news! I'm so happy for Zoey!

Maureen said...

Kindergarten! She will be the cutest kid in class : )

Melissa said...

Of course she's going to be a kindergartner. :) Which isn't to discount the worries and fears of years past, and all you and Zoey have been through, but more the fighter I see in her. I had no doubts!

Laura Gilmour said...

She is really developing her language, especially receptive language skills. I'm very impressed. She's a smart little girl who is good at compensating for the neurological challenges. Definately stubborn though. She understood everything being said to her in that video, but chose when to respond.

Brandi D. said...

Amazing job Zoey! My firstborn was 13-weeks premature and he didn't know if he would make it. He started kindergarten this year and the joy is immeasurable.

Merideth said...

I have no words to express the pure joy and awe of beautiful Zoey in this moment. What an awesome video. Thank you SO much for sharing! Love this SO much!

karen gerstenberger said...

That video was inspiring. I've never met you or your sweet girl, and yet I felt the love in that clip - the dialogue, the interaction, the joy and fun were palpable! How wonderful that this is happening for her, for all of you.

I see we have a number of things in common, including our precious girls' pediatric cancer journey and our membership in the marrow donor's registry. God bless you - and thank you for your kind and encouraging comment on my blog. I hope that my book will be a blessing to each one who reads it!

The VW's said...

It's amazing all that Zoey has been through in 5 years! More than many will conquer in a lifetime! What a sweet little trooper! We just got Gavin's letter in the mail about him transitioning to kindergarten.....I looked at it and thought to myself, this must have mistakenly been sent to him! Kindergarten?! Blows my mind! Love and Hugs to you and Zoey!

Anonymous said...

I have read your blog for a long time, and never commented. Watching that video was so great! I am a Kindergarten Teacher in Chicago, and I am hopeful that Zoey will have the most wonderful Kindergarten experience!

Anonymous said...

A very Happy Valentine's Day to all my West Coast family.

Love from East Coast Bluebelle!

ABandCsMom said...

Did I not tell you, back in April...that your girl was going to get there, that she would soar??? Look at her now!! She is amazing, Heather. Give her some love from us.

Cole said...

Wonder is just so her word. So perfect. She is a wonder. Love to you friend. Kindergartener. What a beautiful word to add to the description of dear Zoey.