I found the following post on my hard-drive. Elijah was only nine months old when I wrote it. I didn't post it at the time because I must have thought it was too negative. Obviously, some things have changed since then (cerebral palsy diagnosis- yep, we've got one). But, when I read this tonight, the last paragraph filled my eyes with tears. Almost two years have past since I wrote this and it's still relevant to me today...
I've gone through a lot of emotions during the last nine months. I can thankfully say that most of those emotions have been positive. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t bad days. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t a certain grief process that occurs when you know that things didn’t go as they should have gone.
I know denial is a big part of the grief process. So is anger. I have experienced my share of both. I think those are legitimate emotions. The past few months have caused me to come to terms with what happened on a rainy night nine months ago. It’s definitely a process and I’m sure it’s a process that will continue for years to come.
I’ve been trying to prepare myself for a cerebral palsy diagnosis. The fact that Elijah doesn’t have a diagnosis yet is a really good thing and I can hope that he never will. To me, no diagnosis means that he doesn’t have severe symptoms and therefore is doing really well. That said...I know I need not live in a fantasy world where things will only happen as I would like them to. Don’t get me wrong, I think those of you who read these journals about Elijah’s life are well aware how positive I am. That’s just the way I am and I really like that about myself. There is another side too. Sometimes I’m afraid my positive attitude clouds over the seriousness of what happened to Elijah and what it means for his future.
Wait, what’s with all this negativity?! What happened to the glass is half full Lisa? Don’t worry, I’m still here! I think what I’m trying to say is that I’ve worked through some of the denial that has plagued me. I’ve accepted Elijah’s fate and I am coming to terms with the fact that Elijah indeed has “special needs” as much as I hate to write that, as much as it hurts, as much as I wish it weren’t true. My idealist self can’t change what happened and I can’t go back in time. So, I’m preparing myself. I’m preparing for a future that doesn’t look like the one I had imagined. I’m preparing for doctor’s appointments and unfounded predictions about my son’s future. I’m preparing for titles to be attributed to my son that I don’t want to hear. I’m preparing for advice from strangers and insensitive comments. I’m preparing for a parenting life that’s a little different than most.
But most of all, I’m preparing to be happy. I’m preparing to smile every day. I’m preparing to live each day to the fullest, to love my family, my life. I’m preparing to defend my son. I’m preparing to be positive, to not sell out my little dude, to give him every opportunity to have a full recovery. I’m preparing to never give up the fight for his complete well-being. I’m preparing to teach my son that he can do anything if he works hard enough and if he believes enough. I’m preparing to give it all up to God, as hard as that is at times. I’m preparing to just be.