Gratitude For What Is

On July 2 as I was looking through my Facebook memories, I realized it was August’s half birthday. Half birthdays aren’t something we celebrate in our family, but I was surprised at how this realization caught me off guard. Lately, I have been typing up all of my journal entries and other writings since August’s birth, so everything is pretty fresh for me. 

As I have typed up my memories, I have relived those first months of uncertainty and grief. I have wept for that mom and all she is going through. There was so much uncertainty, so many questions, so much guilt.  I held onto hope with any tiny movement of his arm. At the same time, I didn’t dare hope. I didn’t dare dream about his future. It is a time that I would never wish to go back to.

As I was watching August play on his half birthday, I was filled with immense gratitude. August’s arm didn’t recover fully like we hoped it would. He has had to have 3 surgeries we didn’t want him to have to endure. He has been through countless therapy appointments, both for his arm and to be able to speak. But things are better than I ever dared dream. August is incredible. He can do anything he wants to do, and I have learned to never underestimate him. He is sweet and gentle, and he has a quiet strength that is powerful. He is smart and funny and silly. He is submissive and accepting, and he keeps a positive attitude through it all. We have a special bond that I am grateful for. I don’t think August would be the same if his life hadn’t started in such a traumatic way. I know I wouldn’t be the same either.

August was born 15 months before Greg’s ICU stay and the diagnosis of vEDS for half of our family. In the past, I have felt that the timing of it all wasn’t fair. August’s birth affected me so much, and I didn’t have time to deal with it before we had another huge thing to process. But lately I have started to think about it differently, and I can see that in a way the timing of it all was a blessing. August has been a light and a strength for our family during some dark times. He has given us something to cheer about and celebrate with every small milestone he has reached. The experiences I had because of his birth helped me be more prepared when my world crashed down in an even bigger way. I am able to say I’m grateful for what is. That is pretty huge.

I know there will still be some moments of grief, uncertainty, and guilt. I also know that in another 4.5 years I will be able to look at how far we have come and be in awe once more. I am so grateful for this little boy and for everything about him. I don’t think I will ever stop marveling. We have come so far. 

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