05 November, 2012

solace and hope

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


  1. Oh, Megan. My heart goes out to you. I know we have been through different crises, but I really identify with the emotional journey you are describing. The human heart is amazingly resilient. It never ceases to amaze me how someone can go through something shocking and life-altering, then adjust their 'internal settings' so that it becomes a new kind of normal. I think about those people who live in a war zone, who go about the business of making meals and caring for their families while they hear bombs dropping in the distance.

    I think you are so dead-on when you say that the times when you are okay are when you are 'in the moment'. That is one of the greatest lessons I've learned from my ordeal. It's a lesson my children taught me. No matter what has happened in the past and what may come in the future, the moment is always the place that makes everything okay. The ability to be fully present and engaged with whatever is going on in the moment is, I think, the key to getting through anything.

    Thinking of you and your beautiful family. Wishing you peace and healthy outcomes. x

    1. Thank you, Kristin.
      I agree about the kids leading the way with being in the now - my two little ones are particularly good at that.
      In so many ways Ella's tender age (just turned 16) has helped her get through this too. She just gets on with the task at hand - it's me worrying about the future and all the implications this illness could have for her.
      Lovely (as always) to see your comment here.

  2. Hey Megan...this is Sharon who did the roster for Simple Green...I am so glad things are looking up. Facing my own serious health problems thses last two years I know how those days can be. I just have to keep rolling with the punches, and having days exactly like you put into so many beautiful words. My prayers are always with you and your daughter.

    1. Hi Sharon!
      So lovely of you to visit and take the time to comment. Thank you.
      And thank you for all of the good work you did with the co-op blog.
      Roll with the punches is exactly what we have to do sometimes, isn't it?
      I hope you are doing okay with your health.

  3. It warms my heart to hear that you're making it through. Each little step counts.

  4. Wishing you all the best for this journey your are travelling with your daughter, one day at a time, and one moment at a time..........x

  5. What a beautiful garden to find solace in.
    Yes we are strong, us people, strong if we let ourselves be.
    We are brave too.
    Adore your photos.

  6. Thank you Megan for the encouragement and hope you have offered to us in the midst of your own journey with your family. I am truly happy to hear that your Ella is moving forward in the next phase of this journey. My thoughts are with you as you take on this new normal and consider what the future might hold. Sending strength and hope right back to you!