I’ve spent the last seven months making lemonade.
It was just over seven months ago that our daughter was born. That was the biggest odyssey of the last year and she is the defining characteristic of our lives during this time (you can read about our journey in my previous blog posts here).
But that wasn’t the only thing that went crazy during these last eight months. My grandfather-in-law was hospitalized while my daughter was still in the NICU (he’s in his 90’s and his heart has been compromised from heart attacks for nearly twenty years). My niece had her appendix out. My grandmother, who raised me along with my mother, was in a car accident. Again, all of this was while my daughter was still in the NICU. Then two weeks after she came home that same grandmother was walking across the street to church, which she has been doing for decades, and was hit by a car. In the face – the rear view mirror hit her full on in the face at full speed. She was being escorted across the street by a gentleman from the church who was untouched. I can’t go into details because the insurance company hasn’t settled yet, but it was and has been horrendous. She’s 92. Then two weeks later, a couple of days before Thanksgiving, my husband was informed that he would loose his job at the end of December because he was unable to fulfill his teacher licensure requirements as a result of our time in the Ronald McDonald House at Duke with our daughter. We were expecting a pay raise and had planned our family budget around it. He lived in a hostile work environment for the next month and was then denied unemployment because they offered him another position (a teacher assistant position which paid too little to justify a 45 min commute each way). It seemed as though it was all over until the second week of January when my father-in-law was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
There you have it. I feel like the lemons have been falling from the sky for the last half year.
But what do you do when life gives you lemons? You make LEMONADE.
For everything that’s happened, nothing has been devastating. That may seem crazy but it’s true.
- Our daughter is surpassing everyone’s expectations. Including ours.
- My grandfather-in-law has slowed down a little but is doing great.
- My niece is minus one small organ but is otherwise an awesome teenager.
- Grandma is still with us! There are long term repercussions from the accident, but she is alive and home. That’s just amazing.
- My husband and I are taking this opportunity to re-evaluate our vision and change our lives.
- My father-in-law had his kidney and the tumor removed at Duke and the cancer had not spread!
For all of the struggles and hard choices and seemingly insane turns of events over the last few months, we are all still here. Our family has been through the fire and we’re stronger on the other side.
So on this leap day, I’m taking this extra sunrise as a sign that life is beautiful and a gift. Raising a glass of lemonade to all of the strong people in my life who inspire me and to the miracles that I’ve been blessed to witness.