I sort of got used to sleeping in and staying in my pajamas till 10am. I actually had visions of homeschooling when my alarm went off at 6:30am on Monday. But, alas, we are back in the swing of things. Me, standing with hands on hips at 7am demanding Mya finish breakfast and brush her teeth. Juggling doctors appointments with therapy visits. And we are back at speech classes on Wednesdays. This week at speech therapy, I couldn’t help but feel refreshed with the new year, ready to tackle delays head on! Although I don’t like leaving the house at 6pm for a 3 hour class, I do love speech classes once they are in session. I love talking with the other parents, learning new techniques. These classes make me feel at times inept for not taking every opportunity as a teaching moment, yet ready and excited. Although I love what I’m learning, right now the most valuable aspects of these classes is feedback from the other parents. And in a fortuitous way, there are two familiar faces in this class that I must recognize.
I have mentioned many times that Ellie’s days in the NICU were my darkest. Accepting an unknown diagnosis, learning of future surgeries, being separated from my newborn girl, they were dark days for me, days I would like to forget. I remember when Ellie was two days old, I returned from the NICU to pump and go to sleep. I sat in Ellie’s empty room and searched words on the internet. I found our local Down Syndrome chapter and typed a desperate email. I asked for guidance. I told our story and desperately needed a hug, a hug from someone who had been there before, who knew. Moments later I received a reply from a mother and a father who knew exactly what I was going through. They sent me pictures of their son, a story of his birth, advice on feeding and days in the NICU, and they didn’t even know me. And in those darkest days, their words served as the warmest hug I could have ever received. Even months later, when I was in the hospital for Ellie’s heart surgery I found a picture of their son on the walls of the cardiac floor. And I felt a connection again, just in his picture. Time has gone by, and I have healed from those first few weeks, but as luck would have it, those parents are in my weekly speech class. I’ve been able to casually thank them and tell them Ellie is thriving and well, but there is no way I could express the weight of their words during my darkest time. It must be fate that events are bringing them back to me, because they will always be part of our story. I vividly remember typing an email into the internet abyss and receiving a reply. That reply, their words, felt like sunshine in the midst of a storm. I’m hoping I can work of the nerve to accurately thank them, for giving me that light. For now I will accept that certain events are predestined and not in my control. People are placed into your life for many reasons. I am so lucky to have angels who met me in my darkest days yet return to me upon my awakening when I have the strength to accept my gifts and recognize them as being placed in my life for a purpose.