Living and Learning

Well, I did it again….I had a long conversation with myself yesterday.  It was more of a reflection over the past 9 years but I did come to some pretty big revelations.  Do you want to hear them?  If so, keep reading….if not, I can’t blame you as I can be long-winded at times!  HA!

I was a wimp of sorts when Dennis met me 14 years ago.  I was scarred….I had been through a battle prior to meeting him.  A long nearly 3 year battle.  I won’t go into the details but when Dennis met me I had massive baggage.  Major trust issues and I was wounded.  Wounded by a failed marriage, wounded by people who judged me without knowing the facts and wounded by the loss and hurt that I had experienced in my 20’s and especially through a difficult first marriage.  So, when Dennis met me I was timid and scared.  I was damaged and thought no one could ever love me.  Well, he did……he took this scared, damaged and wounded woman and showed me what love was.  He built me up constantly and never once tore me down (still does).  He showed me what a man was….a gentleman.  He showed me unconditional love, devotion and sacrifice!

Fast-forward to 9 years ago when Hannah was born……once again, I was scared.  How could this happen?  A child with Down Syndrome and major heart defects……how could I do this?  I remember crying horribly at week 17 of our pregnancy when we found out all we were dealing with.  I remember asking Dennis, “how do we do this?”  His response, “we just do…..we pray and we trust that God will give us the strength and grace to do what is best for her.  We just do it!”  I have always loved his optimism!

I have learned a lot over the past 9 years.  I have grown a lot too.  I have toughened up….I have learned to fight for the things worth fighting for.  I found my voice and I am not afraid to use it.  I have learned to care about the things that are really important and not to care about the things that truly don’t matter.  I have learned not to judge and to not pay attention to those that do.  I have learned not to follow others but instead to form my own path and follow my heart.  I have learned to not let anyone walk all over me….I am no one’s doormat.  I have learned to love myself (this is something I never did) and that is one of the most important lessons anyone could ever learn.  I have learned to NEVER GIVE UP; you always fight for what is important and don’t take no for an answer especially when dealing with your child; their health, well-being and happiness.

I have lived a life and made choices that I wouldn’t recommend to others much younger than me.  But, through each one of those choices and yes, sometimes very bad decisions I have learned.  But, nothing and no one has taught me more than Hannah.  These past 9 years, although extremely difficult at times has made me the person I am today.  For that, I am extremely grateful!  You see, through my reflection yesterday (and yes, a little talking to myself), I realized once again just why God gave Hannah to me……it was to get me to this place I am today.  The place where I finally forgive myself for all the past mistakes, love myself in spite of them and have a spirit of fight in me that I need to move forward! Yes, in many ways, my daily existence is a fight…..a fight to help my little girl come back from this nightmare she is living and to get her back whole! Had it not been for all I have been through, I am not sure I would have the fight, determination and motivation to keep going.  So, yes…..I have lived and learned and today I am better for it.

A few years ago when we had Bob the cat (for a matter of weeks).  One of my happiest times.

A few years ago when we had Bob the cat (for a matter of weeks). One of my happiest times.

Me and my girl....my reason for living!

Me and my girl….my reason for living!  This picture was taken just moments before her 3rd open-heart surgery.

Oh sweet Hannah.....the things you have taught me and the joy you have brought your daddy and me.  We will fight until we get you back.....

Oh sweet Hannah…..the things you have taught me and the joy you have brought your daddy and me. We will fight until we get you back…..

Until next time………

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