Fall is in the air. Upon the first glimmer of fall about four weeks ago I found myself feeling very emotional. The change in the air, the sound of leaves, the smell of fall, all brought me straight back to this time of year last year. We are coming up on one year since we got Liviana's diagnosis (October 12) and I never would have thought it would have impacted me as it has.
It is amazing to me how something so simple as a season change can force so many emotions and memories to the surface. I could not escape it. I found myself right back in Wichita, first getting our CDH diagnosis, crying all the time, fearing for the life of our daughter at every minute of every day, not knowing where she would be cared for, not knowing how we were financially going to handle all of it, not knowing what the future held for our family that was to become 5. Would we still become 5 or remain 4 with only memories of Liviana? I remembered Rainbow House and our appointments in Omaha, trying to find a home, trying to stay positive for Miles and Aria despite my overwhelming fears and anxiety. I had a friend recently ask about Halloween and what the kids did last year. I had to stop and think for a minute before remembering that Halloween was spent in Rainbow House while we looked for a place to live.
It really took me several days to fight against the constant memory of last year. As the days have gone on and the season gets more and more evident I have been distracted from the negative emotions by Liviana's smile, her laugh, her keen observation of her environment, her crawling (that started this past Saturday) and her growing butterball belly. Liviana co-sleeps with us and I am replacing those memories from last year with the memory of her sweet little hand on my arm at night as she snuggles close. I am focused on this amazing little girl who has no idea the powerful impact her short life has had on us.
Next year at this time I may still be taken back to those challenging and emotional days, and that is fine. I know however that new memories will be created this year, of her crawling, her growing, her overwhelming desire to eat the grass outside when she is in the yard. I will never forget the challenging times but I am so amazingly grateful and blessed that we are able to create new memories that are so joyful each and every day.