I Was Given a Gift
I was given a gift.
The gift of a little boy who wouldn't ever speak.
The gift of a little boy who would never walk.
A little boy who "can't" on his own. The gift of a little boy who needed us to explore the world for him. To be his hands and feet, to be his voice, to direct his eyes.
A few years ago, we made the decision, the indescribably difficult decision, that Hank's life would be about quality. We made the decision that no exceptional measures would be taken to sustain his life. When God and Hank are ready, he can receive his wings.
But until that day, life is his for the living.
In March, when Co-Vid fears, and lock downs, and panic hit, we worried. We avoided doing a lot of things (1 because things were closed and if they weren't, we didn't go for fear). We had a rough summer for many reasons, i.e., my ACLR, and it made for in incredible difficult season. As time passed we wondered what would happen if Hank contracted Co-Vid-19. We've seen Hank battle a common cold, it's awful.
We've sat next to him as he struggled to overcome Influenza, declining into Pneumonia. I've listened to his pediatrician warn that we can't go much longer before PICU would have to be involved.
We've held him and we've prayed hard against the fear and we have always come out okay.
So, why let fear control us now? We once again, made choices that were hard. Necessary but scary. We would get back to "normal" and live our lives.
With the start of school in August, we had some worry. However, Hank continues to be healthy and thriving. The first day of school, his joy was evident when his buddy Mr.Gene pulled up in his van to whisk him away to the fun!
In February this year, we drove to Tennessee. A family vacation with our friend-family. Hannah and Jason have 6 boys, so there is a play-mate for everyone. Turner and Hank are best friends because they are both 5, says Turner. There wasn't a moment when he wasn't full of laughter and amazement. He smiled so much I bet his cheeks hurt. He was held and cuddled. He was played with and pushed all over the city. We took a million pictures and I'll never be sad we went.
These are my whole why.
I will not live in fear of living because this is the joy. I have 1 purpose, to ensure that what time he has with us, is filled with as much of this as possible.
Because in the end, these photos will be what I have left. The memories of happiness. The times we took to go see things, do things, be together... those are the moments that I will get to carry me long after I no longer carry him.
And it's not just for Hank that we do this.
It's for Alexis and Brooklynn and Emma.
We are raising three other children. Three children who will loose a brother one day. A piece of them will go away as well.
Living is how we give them strength.
Brooklynn asked me one day, talking about what they want to do when they grow up, if I thought Hank would be there to see them graduate high school.
I said with every fiber of my being, I hope so, but that I can't make any promises.
They feel the weight of this, too.
Going out into the world is my way of giving my girls the strength to know it will all be okay.
Life is for living. Go make a memory.
Take a few pictures.
Laugh at the snow.
Get lost in the town.