Wednesday, September 23, 2015
I remember Meagan's birthday last year. I remember her going downhill that day. I remember coming home and my in laws not knowing what was wrong with her as she struggled to sit up and slurred her speech. I remember driving her to the hospital while I had one hand on her foot, pulling on it with force every few seconds so I could keep her awake as she kept trying to slip into a deep sleep. I remember seeing her doctor in the ER who said she was going to the OR right away. I remember sitting there waiting on her third birthday in yet another waiting room, dealing with another setback, going through another surgery. I remember her going to sleep in a hospital bed with fresh incisions, medications and hooked to monitors. I remember finally coming home after she had recovered and seeing the half made blue cupcakes we had purchased to bake because she loved Frozen, and the presents she hadn't opened. What a difference a year makes.
The rest of Meagan's third year was not without consequence. Her birthday surgery was unfortunately the beginning of another chain of surgeries and hospital stays that would take us through last February. But since February, she has not seen the inside of a hospital. Not once. Not for an emergency scare, a surgery, an illness she couldn't fight off, or any other number of things she typically has had trouble with in the past. Since February, she has been home. Playing, laughing, learning, starting school, and doing everything that she should be doing. For once.
Instead, this year, Meagan got to have a party with friends and family last weekend. Today, on her real birthday, she got to go to the Zoo with her sisters, grandparents and dad. She got to see the animals, take in the fresh air, look in wonder at things she was seeing for the first time, and touch animals in the petting zoo. She got to stop at her favorite place on the way home and have lunch. She got to play at home, take a comfortable nap, spend time with her grandparents while I taught dance, and give cupcakes to all her little dance friends who support her so much. Instead, this year, Meagan sat at the table with us while we ate dinner, licked her cupcake for dessert, and got her night feed comfortably in her own home. Instead, this year, Meagan got to sit in her living room, open some presents, and be excited to be 4. Instead, this year, her daddy got to tuck her in to her own crib, with her own blankets, animals and soft sheets. No beeps. No lights. No 'owies.' ..... just a girl going to sleep after a long, wonderful, happy birthday.
I hope we have many many more birthdays like this with Meagan. It has been refreshing to watch her through the day just enjoying life. She is such a strong little girl, and has a will power like no one I have ever seen. To think this time last year she was not even sitting, and despite all of last year's setbacks is now up on a walker, curiosity sparked, ready to engage and explore her little world is amazing.
What a difference a year makes, this is true. But the fact that she is with us at all, no matter if the birthday is the unexpected bad, or the oh so hoped for good, is really what makes the year great.
Happy 4th birthday to our little spark - may your light always shine bright, in the dark or the light, and may we have many more years with you - because you are truly what makes the difference in our year. We love you Meagan Theresa Gianna!