Thursday, January 03, 2013


i've been experiencing some flashbacks lately
it sounds scarier than it is,
it is just a memory,
accompanied by a flood of emotion.*

these intense memories are unsettling,
while my heart is flooded with sadness,
my brain questions the emotions.

how can i feel so sad?
i look at chloe,
her wild, white blonde hair,
her plump, rosy cheeks.
she is the picture of health.
why the sadness?

i can only guess that i feel sadness
akin to what one feels about growing up.
a loss of innocence,
a knowing that it can happen.

fill in the it with any trauma.
before july 2010,
i never imagined anything like it could happen.
now i know better.

i experienced my first flashbacks in the fall of 2010.
something unknown would trigger
memories of those first days,
the ultrasound,
the phone call,
checking into DeVos Children's
and all that followed.
it was scary,
i didn't understand.

now, the flashbacks are different.
they are bittersweet.
bitter, because of the sadness, the loss of innocence.
sweet, because now i can see past my own shock.
in the midst of that crazy summer of
an unexpected diagnosis,
a major surgery
and treatment that took over life for the better part of a year,
there was more happening around me than my own emotions.

now i see what was happening around me.
i see the people who visited us in the hospital,
arms filled with gas cards, snacks, little tokens for the kids.
not to mention the flood of treats, gifts
and other tangible reminders of love and concern
left at our house.
the unending meals,
central air funded by anonymous donors,
and the prayers,
groups of friends coming together at church to pray for us,
prayers written in cards or sent in e-mails,
prayers of which we are not even aware,
the unfathomable love of the body of Christ.

the memories are bitter, there is sadness.
there is a loss of innocence.

and yet,
there is a part of me that feels so thankful.
thankful that i had the opportunity to experience it all.
i cherish the small moments of sweetness,
the smiles, the giggles,
the stuff of which life is made.

i feel thankful that i get to know this,
this depth, this bigger picture of life.
i feel like i have been allowed to peek into a window.

i will never be the same person that i was before that day
of checking Chloe into the hospital.
i am glad for that.

*for those who are prone to worry, i am fine. i have a fantastic therapist. the flashbacks are a way for my brain/heart to process those traumatic times. i am working through it all.

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