Last night, while the world was out guzzling champagne and looking for someone to kiss at the stroke of twelve, the new year arrived here at hospital with little fanfare. And yet, here we are in 2011 with a clean slate, ready to tackle life at home and all of the challenges that normal brings.
Our year begins with a fly-by visit from Gavin’s Nana, who decided on impulse to jet over from Australia and has Uncle Ryan accompanying her. Unfortunately, Pop had to stay at home to work. Since I explained this to Gavin he keeps repeating, “no Poppy come, go to work,” in a little voice. So although we miss Poppy, Gavin was very excited to see Nana and Uncle Ryan today and we had his busiest day yet.
We were permitted off of the floor for the first time, and Gavin walked himself all the way to the elevators, a big move considering he hasn’t walked properly in six weeks. We went downstairs and wandered around the hospital, and Bean ate several slices of cheese while everyone else had lunch. It has been a very good day. Even better, because there is finally talk of our return home. Gavin is no longer on morphine or any IV meds, so the only continuing problem is oxygen. The team has decided that Gavin is probably okay to go home on oxygen, since the amount continues to be negligible. Of course, this is not ideal for us, but at this point, we’ll take it! I am hoping that once we are home and more active, Gavin’s true recovery can begin.
Looking back on 2010, it is hard to believe that this year actually happened. It’s hard to even think about where we were this past month, but such a relief and joy to contemplate where we are and where we are going. There have been times this year that have broken me, there were times when I thought I would never be able to find it within myself to laugh or smile again. The tears I’ve shed could flood a small town, and there were days that getting up and continuing on seemed such a monumental task.
With all of that though, came such learning and insight and appreciation of this blessed life of mine. Without these challenges, I would never have known what a strong, strong man I was fortunate to marry, I would never have known what an incredible fighting spirit my son was born with, I would never have known how wonderfully generous and loving the people who surround me are.
These are the things that I want to remember and want to share with you:
Be empathetic. There comes a great connection through shared pain.
You never know what the person who bumped into you on the street is going through, so don’t be so quick to judge. He may be having the worst day of his life.
Our careers are important, but we all must remember to strike a balance in our lives. Our children only get one childhood, and if your job is preventing you from seeing it, perhaps it’s time to rethink your employment situation.
Follow your good impulses to be generous and complimentary. The person on the receiving end will remember that kind act long after you’ve forgotten all about it.
Tell your family members how much you love them.
If you feel wronged by someone, find it within you to forgive. We all make mistakes, and some seem unforgivable, but prolonged anger is a useless waste of your energy.
Do things you love and don’t worry about things. You do not need a bigger TV and you will always remember snowshoeing on a perfect winter’s day.
Please calm downwhen you are driving. You really are not in that big of a rush, trust me. And remember that the people in the other cars are people!
Give to charity.
Put yourself on the bone marrow registry.
Enough preaching. That will do to start. Have I got resolutions? Resounding yes! I know we will face challenges this year. We still continue the journey through treatment which means many clinic visits and blood work and fear of fevers. I know I will lose patience and be frustrated and sometimes tearful. I also know there will be many sweet, sweet times, being at home, planning our future and playing with our beautiful boy.
Come on 2011, we’ve got work to do.