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.

Give blood.

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.

13 responses to “2011”

  1. Marie

    I am so excited to hear that your little man is welcoming the
    New year in in such good health! All of us here have prayed, struggled with you, cried and cheered over these last few months. Please give Gavin a new year’s kiss from me for me 🙂 We will continue keeping you all in our thoughts. May the New Year bring great joy, tremendous health, and more happiness!

  2. Amanda

    Thank you Erica for your beautiful words. We are so thrilled to hear that Gavin will be beginning his recovery at home soon. Sending all of you happy healthy new year wishes for a year of joy and love. Always thinking of you. xoxo

  3. Monica

    And there is the gift that great pain, fear and sorrow can leave in it’s wake – incredible joy, gratitude and love. Beautiful, beautiful words Erica and a crucial reminder to us all. If you hadn’t shared the way you have, I don’t know that we all would have felt united in our support the way I know we do. Many times I read other posts, nodding in agreement over something said exactly right and feeling a kinship with all these people I was praying with. Thank you and Craig and Gavin. You are incredible and you are going to rock 2011!

  4. Aunt Karen

    As usual Erica, your words strike just the right note…you are so right about THINGS…things we think we need, but just really want. You have found out, in the toughest way, what you need, and what is important in life. I fervently pray that you get everything you need in the coming year. Hugs and kisses for you all, but especially our little fighter, the Gavinator. Peace.

  5. Cherie

    Simply amazing! So happy that things are going so well for your little Gavinator. Thank you for sharing your story, being honest with your thoughts and advice, for finding the silver lining. And most of all for giving us all a wake up call about holding those we love close every single day.

  6. sarah

    I loved this post, and am so thrilled beyond words to hear how well Gavin is doing! and to think you may be going home! may 2011 bring you guys continued healing and resilience and joy…and may the rest of us be fortunate enough to continue to bask in the glow of your strength, love, and wisdom. happy happy happy new year!

  7. lisa

    You’re awesome. I’m so excited for what’s possible this new year. Tears and smiles on this end right now. Thanks for sharing all of your thoughts so beautifully.

  8. Karena

    I could not agree with you more. I think about you and Craig all the time. I have learned more about myself this year than in the previous 34 and I think you have too. I can relate completely to what you said about Craig. I don’t know what I would have done without Sam this year. Losing both my parents in less than two weeks was hell but having a strong support system can get you through. I love you and I am excited for you to put 2010 behind you and start 2011. I will call you sometime when you are back home

  9. Kelly

    So lovely to read your latest update Erica, so many wise words. Continuing to wish you, Craig and Gavin well as the journey to health enters a new stage. xoxoxo

  10. marina

    my heart is busting…i wish you a very sweet return home, clear of complications and huge blue skies for this year ahead. thank you infinitely for sharing your wise and compassionate words. Gavin, having a mum like you, is no doubt a very, very special boy indeed and capable of anything. happy new year xo Marina

  11. Diana Solomon

    This is the miracle that we have all believed in! What a thrill to read this news! Continued good health, strength, resolve, love, excitement, adventure, silliness and happiness to you, Craig and Gavin. Seraphina can’t wait to have a playdate with him.

    Happy New Year.

    xx diana

  12. Auntie Melanie

    I read this the other day and didn’t comment as I was far too emotional. I have always believed that our own Christmas Miracle would happen. I know that he is coming home soon and I’m so very very happy for everyone – My Gavin Followers on Facebook will be so pleased and overjoyed to hear this – once he DOES come home – I will post it. Take a picture of his sweet face when he sees everything all over again. Words cannot express how I feel right now. The Miracle happened.
    Love you all xoxox

  13. Auntie Bev

    Dear Erica – just read your inspiring and uplifting words, and I’m feeling a lot of gratitude for all our blessings. We tend to take our blesssings of good health, etc. for granted. But now I know better. I thank you for being so steadfast and strong on this arduous, fearful climb to the top of the mountain. You are a dedicated, loving Mother who has climbed the mountain and is now at the “top”. You are “one strong woman”!! Gavin is so fortunate to have you by his side!!

    I give thanks to the universe, to God for every good thing that happens. It really is a miracle!

    Love you!!

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