I didn’t realize that this would be the year when May 3rd would fall on Monday until the twins and I were going through the calendar recently to plan their 13th birthday bash. I momentarily caught my breath, and then determined that it was not going to matter.
In the week since that realization I have pressed deeply into Paul’s exhortation to let go of what lies behind and press forward. God was so gracious to me in making today look and feel so different than the first day of our journey six years ago. Rainy, voggy, steamy — it in no way resembled the bright, shiny day our lives changed.
But, don’t you know, whenever we make bold statements, like “it is not going to matter” we are sure to be tested severely. And, so it has been today. As I type, Abbie is an inpatient once again, having been admitted through the ER because of bilateral pneumonia. Can I tell you though, I will simply not be moved…I will not.
After I had dropped Genevieve and Abbie off at the ambulance entrance to the ER, I parked nearby. Casting Crowns’ “Praise You Through the Storm” came on the radio, just as I was looking up to see the beloved church steeple that saw me through so many nights. I laughed. Out loud. With joy. I realized that I am not the woman who arrived at this hospital in an ambulance and in shock all those years ago.
Entering the ER I hardly glanced at Trauma 1, where Abbie was saved, and the sounds and smells didn’t turn my stomach. All day long I had practiced not dwelling long on memories of that day when normalcy died. So, by the time I reached Abbie’s bed I might as well have been strolling through the mall. I am not kidding. God wasn’t exactly carrying me like he did that first horrific night, it was more like we were dancing together.
I realized that it has become easier lately to let go of what lies behind (the hardest part being not dwelling on memories of who she was before she was hurt), because I feel like I need both hands available to receive all the exciting things being unleashed in Abbie’s life.
This girl is utterly amazing. Lying on a gurney with junky lungs, she was still using her eyes to read along with me the novel we are just starting. She paid attention to every conversation. When her pediatrician mentioned that she’d had knee surgery, Abbie turned her head to look at her in shock, and you could almost see her thinking “Wow! Even doctors have to go through this sometimes.”
I just can’t convey how great she looks, how attuned she is to everything going on around her, and how freely she was swinging her casts around tonight. Tears of awe are falling as I look at her. So brave, so strong. She is not the same little girl who started this grand adventure, either. She has been refined more ferociously than I can imagine, and yet she grins. I am just so grateful that she chose to stay with us.
The week before Abbie’s surgery Kyle brought home a little gift for Abbie from school. I had no idea who sent it, and was tickled to read the card from his English teacher. She has obviously been following Abbie, which always touches my heart, but what really endeared her to me was when she wrote about Kyle, who can drive her crazy at times, yet it still one of her favorites. I know just how she feels! She noted that Abbie has an appreciation for Robert Frost, as does she. I had expected a little booklet of Frost’s poetry in the package, so was stunned when a beautiful pendant appeared instead. Its words sum up these years so beautifully: