Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Link

For me, there has always been a link between my hands and my heart. And in this difficult year the connection has been deep and apparent to me. For most of the year I was literally locked up in the hospital with Miss E. Away from Hub, away from Miss N. We were a family split in half.

During this time I tried to find ways to connect with Miss N. I tried to keep a connection between us. I tried to let her know I was still here... still thinking about her and loving her. It was hard. It was bitterly hard. She hurt. I hurt. We all hurt. We have been free of hospital stays for four months now. But the scars are there. After our initial stay (34 days/nights) I would leave a card, a note, a drawing... a little present for Miss N at home in my dresser. If we ended up in the hospital more than a few days Hub would sneak it out onto her pillow while she was brushing her teeth. It was a way for me to be at home with her. For the first eight months Miss E was inpatient over 50% of the time. That is a lot of time to live apart. Miss N now carries every single one of these notes and drawings with her every time she parts from me even if only for a few hours. On one hand, I love that she does this. I totally get it. The small gifts are forgotten, but the things made with my hands, the words written from my heart, are treasured by her. On the other hand... it is heart wrenching. I know the scars she has. I know the fears she has. And the fact that she clings to these things so dearly exposes them.

During much of this time I would have her blanket with me. I started it before Miss E was diagnosed... but it proved to be the perfect timing. Most nights after work Hub would pick up Miss N and they would come up to visit at the hospital. If I had been working on the blanket, she noticed. She would light up. She would go home for the night with a smile on her face and say "Now don't forget to work more on my blanket!". It was a connection between the two of us even when we were apart.

Now, it's certainly not as flashy as the new Nintendo DS she got spoiled with today. But I know that she will treasure it. I know that it spoke love into her heart far more than any other gift can.

She has had quite a fifth year our Miss N. Just ten days in she became a sibling survivor. In her 5th year she faced issues most adults have yet to face. She grew an astounding 4-1/4 inches! (and is in the midst of another fierce growth spurt) She ate a ton... there were many comedic moments when we'd be offering ANYTHING to Miss E... begging her to eat... and in the background you could hear Miss N "I'll eat it! Can I have some?! Please?!". She learned to read. And she made us so very proud. Life handed her a lot. But she handled most of it with more grace and understanding than most adults do. On this her sixth birthday... my hope and prayer is for a year entirely different from the last. For her to have a year of just being a kid! I love you Miss N!


heather said...

Jess, what an amazing gift you gave Miss N! Your writing brought tears to my eyes because not only have I watched you guys have a difficult year, but because you are such a loving and devoted mom, no matter what the circumstances are. You inspire me to be a better mom.

Love you Jess and a BIG Happy Birthday to Miss N!

Anonymous said...

Jessica: I have followed you and your family along this past year through Grandma Pam and the Caring Bridge website. I have not left a comment until now. Your recent post moves me to tell you how inspired and awed I am by you and your writing. Your connection to each of your daughters is incredible and the story of Noah's blanket tugs at my heart. You are a weaver of love, Jessica. You weave together your passion and the love of your family with the reality of hard times -- an amazing accomplishment. Thank you for sharing all that with all of us.
Bless you and your family.
Happy Birthday, Noah!
Love, Cindy (at Pam's office)

Lilith Wood said...

You are such a good writer, Jessica. Your posts this year have given me a lot of inspiration and a lot of perspective too. Thank you for sharing! You make me teary :)

SJ said...

You just made me cry. Seriously, that is an incredibly moving post and a wonderful gift for your daughter. I just know that she will keep it and treasure it her whole life.

Sleeping Si said...

that was beautiful

Food Nanny said...

Hi Jess, the tears streaming down my cheeks right now are in homage to you and your family. Know that you all continue to be prayed for over here in Marysville.

Alison said...

That is just so special!! Way to go Mom!!
(I may not be blogging right now, but I can sit in bed and read a few!)