Many people have told me over the past three months how strong I am. While I have always prided myself on my independence and intelligence, I don’t think I’m particularly stronger than anyone else would be if stuck in the same circumstance. The truth is, no one pictures themselves being told their child will never have a normal life. No one prepares for that. But if it visits itself upon you, you have no choice but to respond. And your choices are limited: 1) close your door and go to bed forever or 2) put on your big girl panties and keep moving. I am realizing this last two weeks that I am definitely not as tough as I thought. It turns out that my early acceptance of my new reality was actually my denial phase in the grieving process. I wasn’t in denial of Oliver’s diagnosis, but of the fact that I hadn’t yet moved on. And now, with going back to work, ending breast feeding earlier than planned, and two really rough weeks, I am officially in the anger phase.
I’m not walking around looking for faces to punch (most days), but I am at the point where I have to constantly remind myself that other people having perfectly healthy children is not an affront to me. I have to remind myself that not everyone knows how to handle other people’s grief and that some friends will disappoint me without meaning to. I have to remind myself that the world is still a beautiful place even though there might be a treatment to stop my baby’s seizures naturally that I may never get to try because it offends some people’s personal politics. And finally, that my life now revolves around things that normal parents can’t even imagine – making us very, very alone, even while surrounded by love and support. So right now, I’m angry. And unfortunately for this new baby blog, anger robs creativity. So as you see in my bio to the right, I have no business running a blog right now and life is going to trump passion for a little while I work on coming out the other side of this particular chapter in the grieving process.
In the meantime, this is the next piece of art that I made for Ollie’s room, long before we knew what he would be facing. And now, it’s a daily reminder that courage and “strength” is in faking it well. I’ve always told people that having style in your home or in fashion is a lot about faking that you confidently made every decision on purpose. It turns out that’s true in life’s bigger trials, as well. And while I may feel like a little hobbit who has been asked to go on a big journey to save the world, I can be brave WHILE being terrified. It also turns out that being weak and vulnerable is exactly where God wants me according to 2 Cor. 12:9:
And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me.
So if I seem a little more quiet online or in person, please don’t worry or take offense. I’m just getting myself saddled up for the journey to come.