Friday, October 3, 2008

Changing of Seasons and Memories

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.


Fer said...

Beautiful post Amy. I've been feeling the same as you since on october 4th last year the doctors diagnosed Juan pablo with CDH, so I totally understand your emotions :)

kmm0305 said...

Look at what a great place you are one year later, and another year or two will have you filled with many more wonderful memories of beautiful Liviana! As I was reading your post, I remembered that I "forgot" Leah's homecoming day this year! Those anniversaries that stick out in our minds when they are fresh don't always pop up after the years go by--kind of bittersweet.

ISU plays Kansas in Ames tomorrow--we hope the outcome goes our way. ;) The girls and I will have to miss the game, we are going home to see Grandma & Grandpa (and its my 15 yr HS reunion--ack!).

Enjoy fall, its my favorite season!

Dotty said...

i feel the exact same way, july 19 was our "date" and it hit hard! your post was beautiful! give Liviana a big hug from us!!

Dear6993 said...


Thanks for sharing your reflections of the last year. I am sure those fears were so powerful, and the thought of those moments, hours, days, weeks that followed must stir so many emotions. We 'met' Liviana and your family when we found out our great niece, Kinley, would be born in May with CDH. Liviana was already home and we have enjoyed seeing her get stronger over these past months. Aria, Miles, and Liviana are so blessed to have you as parents and are obviously thriving beautifully! It is amazing to know that God strengthens us more than we know we have the power to endure. Thank you for your insight into this wicked disease of CDH and your helpful references. Thank you for your prayers and kind words in support of our sweet Kinley! We will continue to pray for your family, and may this next year bring you peaceful, joyful moments to create new memories for the years to come.

Enjoy your day! Karen Dear, Minnesota

Darcy said...

Thanks for sharing those thoughts. I can relate too, as so many others can. It really helps to hear someone else talk about it!
Liviana is beautiful!

Kenny and Jennifer Miller said...


This post really hit home with me. Our one year "date" of diagnosis is coming up this month too. I remember everything about it, even what I was wearing that day and what I ate for breakfast. It's been really hard for me and yet I'm so happy to have Sofie home and healthy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

On a completely different subject, your info on "The Crazy Natural" has inspired me to do more to eliminate chemicals in our home. We've been eating whole and organic foods for several years, but we still use all the "traditional" household cleaning products. I've recently switched to an all natural laundry detergent and replaced Purell with an alcohol-free, all natural plant based hand sanitizer for when we're on the go. Nothing replaces good old handwashing at home. I routinely disinfect Sofie's toys and things and it's always bothered me the residue it must leave that she puts in her mouth. I'm switching from clorox and lysol wipes to your mixture of vinegar, tea tree oil and water. Would you mind emailng me your "recipe"? I'd really appreciate it!!

Jen Miller