Humans are incredibly adaptable. We can survive terrible shock; we can fall apart, drag ourselves back up again and get on with life. We are strong.
It has been five months since I was in that doctor’s surgery hearing a diagnosis of my girl’s health so terrifying I felt like his words would physically pummel me, gasping for breath, into the earth below. Those words (and all that followed) did pummel me.
Some days I slip back there. Into the crisis. I am that mother pummelled into the ground, gasping, darkness all around me. I despair the past. I fear the future. I catastrophise the present.
And other days, like today, I feel it is all going to be okay. I notice that I am in the moment when I feel okay. Not despairing the past or fearing the future, just being here now. Maybe even a little hopeful and excited for the future. Ok, maybe not overly excited (being honest), but acknowledging there is one, and it might just be okay.
Five months down the track we are forging a new normal. A (new) rhythm has returned to our days: school bags are packed, gardens are watered and dinners planned. Appointments are made and kept with specialists treating and assessing a situation so utterly foreign to our before-surgery days. But, we are learning to merge the familiar with the unfamiliar in this new normal.
Last week we saw another specialist, had another assessment and another moment to reflect on all that has happened and, most importantly, how far Ella has come.
Now we were talking about the best plan of action for starting the HSC next year. There will need to be a plan of action, just as we needed a plan of action for her return to school and before that, a plan of action of how she would walk again… Five months ago the HSC seemed so impossibly out of reach, now we are planning for it. That is amazing.
After the specialist appointment we went downtown and got some lunch. She had noodles. I had sushi. We sat close to the entrance and watched people as they passed by on their own journeys.
Ella didn’t choose to travel down this path, but we are on it now, together; making our way as best we can.
Days like these give me perspective. Step by step we keep adapting and moving forward and while we don’t always notice every slight improvement as it happens, when I look back on how much has changed over the past few months I can see all of those little improvements add up.
Perhaps something heavy feels like it is pummelling you into the ground right now? If that is the case, I want to say to you, with all my heart: You are strong. You really are. Don’t give up hope.
photos: This garden of mine; my solace.
p.s: I know things are improving in my world because I have been inspired to dust off the Nikon and see the world through its lens again J