This weekend, I got to experience a wonderful thing. The 2012 Hydrocephalus Family Meet-Up happened this year in Nashville, TN, and we were lucky enough to be able to attend. It was incredible. There is simply no other way to describe it. Seeing a lot of people face to face that I have been communicating with online this past year. Meeting other Hydro kids. Seeing my girls run and play carefree with other siblings. Just enjoying great company, great conversation, and wonderful wonderful people for an entire day. 99% of the time, the talk was not about Hydrocephalus... But it was just that feeling that the person you were talking to"knew." Everyone there already had the "understanding" of what being a Hydro parent is.... so we could all freely enjoy the day with no explanations, no definitions, and no judging.
This weekend also marked about a year from the week of Meagan's initial diagnosis. In the weeks following her diagnosis this time last year, I was scouring the internet for information, blogs, message boards....anything where a "real" person was on the other side... with "real life" Hydro experience. Not wanting to take the doctor's "doom and gloom" outlook for my daughter, I yearned for other people actually living with children like Meagan. Here I am, one year later, and I was actually with these real people for an entire weekend. Talking with them, hugging them, learning about their lives. There were families there from Washington state, through the mid-western states, from Texas to the East Coast. There were Hydro kids there of all ages and all abilities. There were families there with no siblings, and some with several. The best part of the whole weekend, though, was that none of that mattered. We were all just people. Just people there, with kids we love. Amazing, beautiful, wonderful kids, with amazing, beautiful, wonderful parents.
God always lets us know we are not alone. And this weekend, I saw that first hand. I always say Meagan's life was a gift to us. While that is infinitely true, I see that through her, we were also given the amazing gift of our Hydro family. And I say family in the truest sense of the word. No matter what, we are never alone.