Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Moving Forward. I Think.

People are asking me, now and again (and by "people," I do include the newspaper reporter who gave us a jingle last night), "How is Caroline?"

And the answer to that question is, she seems fine. Quite herself, in fact -- maybe just the teensiest bit more clingy, but otherwise firing on all cylinders. Thanking God for the beautiful flower she found in the backyard. Trying to Jimmy-Carter me into buying her a brand new tea set. Drawing herself to sleep.

Then sometimes people ask, "How are YOU?"

And the answer to THAT question is a bit more complicated. Let us review. In about 48 hours' time, we went from this:

to this: 

to this: 

When you're in the hospital with your child, the world stands still. It's like a self-contained bubble in which you're barely aware of the passage of day to night and back again. You're completely focused on the crisis at hand and maybe even faintly convinced that the rest of the world is too, lacking evidence to the contrary. "GOING HOME" seems like magical finish line, the goal toward which you press, whereas going home turns out to be only the beginning of a complex process. Rather like pregnancy and childbirth, I suppose.

Once you come home, though, you have to plow ahead with something resembling a normal life. Part of you wants to disappear from the world at large and sit at home staring at your child, but life does not allow. In the past few days, as we've resumed normal activities and even been crazy enough to participate in all-day Cub Scout camp in 99-degree weather, I've felt torn between two urges. Urge #1: wanting to tell everyone around me, total strangers included, about what happened because I can't look at my kiddo without doing a tiny double-take inside and thinking, "I can't believe we got to keep you! YOU ARE A MIRACLE!" Urge #2: not wanting to keep retelling the story, especially in my children's hearing.

Then stuff happens, like the Professor shows me the picture Ian drew with the therapists at the hospital, or I watch Caroline climb hesitantly into a wading pool with her camp helper, and I'm blubbering like a malfunctioning sprinkler system.

So. Moving on. Two steps forward, one step back.

And part of today's Two Steps was Eliza's promised birthday outing. I took her, her friend Rhynn, and her little sister for tea and scones at The Steeping Room. Clotted cream made an appearance and received its due applause.

Okay, it was clotted cream. We'll call that a giant step forward. 


Jenny said...

I've been thinking about you so much since I heard about what happened. I can't imagine at all what you've been through, emotionally. You're strong, and I know you will get through this with the grace and determination with which you live your life.

That said, I would be remiss if I didn't remind you to get help from a professional if you need it. I think most people would.

I wish I were closer so I could give you a hug (yes, a hug)!

JoAnn said...

Hannah, you are moving through this every bit as well as anyone could. No one should try to convince you that you should do it any differently. It's a lot like grief: everyone does it at their own pace and in their own way. I know that the writing helps, so keep doing it. The Lord will light the way, as He has so far.

Much love, MIL

Tim said...

Hannah, you have displayed unbelievable strength, courage, and grace, evidence of the inner supply of Divine Grace. I love you so much, and feel privileged to be married to you.
-DH (The "Professor")

Galex said...

I love you and your whole family! Mmm! Wanna hug ya.

Julie said...

May the Lord be with you all,each moment and each day...your post made me laugh and cry at the exact same time...the sprinkler analogy...I don't begin to imagine what your still going through but I'm still praying for you all! I'm so glad everything is looking good on the recovery front and I agree with the JoAnn post.