Friday, April 16, 2010

Touched By An Angel

When you have a baby who wears glasses, you get a lot of attention from strangers. Most people comment on how cute Amelia is in her pink plastic glasses (can't argue with that one) and sometimes they ask how we knew she needed them. A lot of times they'll want to know how we keep them on her or how the doctor knows what her prescription should be. Occasionally, a person will tell me about their nephew/neighbor/grand-daughter/brother's best friend's cousin's baby, etc... who has a lazy eye and wears glasses. One time a waiter at TGI Friday's told me about the time he took a firework to the eye during a bottle rocket war and had to wear a patch for three months. He said he knew EXACTLY how Amelia feels. Because, clearly, a grown man getting injured during a fight with pyrotechnics is very similar to a baby being born blind in one eye.

Anyway. The point is, we get a lot of attention.

So today, when we were leaving a restaurant after lunch, I didn't think it was strange when a man got up from his table and stopped my mom, who was carrying Amelia. I paused, expecting him to ask one of the typical questions we get. But he didn't ask any questions. Instead, he laid his hands on Amelia's head and prayed for her vision to be restored in the name of Jesus.

So. Yeah. Did not see that one coming.

At first I was completely weirded out by the whole thing. A stranger touching my baby? And praying over her as if he knew her? It was just too much. But at the same time I was also deeply touched. Moved to tears, even.

You see, it was a Friday morning, exactly a year ago that we sat in Dr. H's office and heard the term "PHPV" for the first time. It was exactly a year ago that our fears that something was wrong with Amelia's vision were confirmed. And today, a year later, I found myself driving to Dr. H's office for yet another appointment for a contact that doesn't fit right. It was the last place I wanted to go today.

I mentioned previously that I had been growing anxious as this day approached. Anxious because it brings back to the surface all those feelings and emotions that we experienced that day and in the weeks that followed--shock, sadness, anger, confusion, disappointment, worry, grief. And lately, we've been coming to terms with the fact that Amelia's vision is just not improving. And, according to her doctor, most likely won't.

But today, a stranger reminded me that in spite of medical evidence that says otherwise, I can still hope for something better for Amelia. I can still pray for something better. I'm ashamed to say I had forgotten that.

So to the man who prayed over my baby in a crowded Mexican restaurant today: Thank you. But dude, seriously, next time give a little heads up before you touch a stranger's baby.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hello...Hello...Hello... Is There Anybody Out There?

Sooooo....It's been a while. I'd love to offer up all the usual reasons for a blogging lapse--busy, busy, oh so busy!, sick kids, school demands, Spring Break, marathon training, preschool teaching, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, teething baby, the final season of Lost, etc...--but the real reason is actually harder to pinpoint. It's just that...I haven't really wanted to write much lately. And it's not because of a lack of material (anyone interested in hearing about our two trips to the ER in two days? What about our family vacay at Disney World? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?). I think I've just been processing a lot of things lately.

Not to be dramatic (oh, who am I kidding, of course I'm being dramatic), but as the one year mark of Amelia's PHPV journey approaches, I find myself increasingly anxious and prone to the teary-eye. Just thinking about that day causes my heart to race. I can remember every detail, from what I was wearing to what the weather was like to what I said when I called Jason at work and told him to meet me at the eye doctor. I recall all the minute details of that day, yet I kept the hard stuff--the emotions--locked away.

In the last year, I don't think I have fully let myself grieve over the enormity of what Amelia is facing. I think I have denied myself that because, as so many well-meaning people have pointed out, at least it's not cancer! She still has one good eye! What's the big deal?? To some extent (maybe a great extent), they're right. But the fact of the matter is, pain is pain. And if "is it cancer?" is the litmus test by which we allow ourselves to feel pain, most of us would fall short. Thankfully. But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

Trust me when I tell you that nothing will shake you to the core like hearing your child has been given a "challenge". Your mind will go places you don't want it to go. You will google the same thing over and over looking for more, better, different, information. You will constantly question whether you are doing enough, whether you have the right doctors, the right treatment, the right plan, and, if you are a mother, if you somehow caused it. You will ask hard questions. You will look for answers that don't exist. You will worry. You will wonder...

But then you will look at your child, and you will forget. You will see only her joyful spirit and not her "challenge". You will see the way she adapts to her surroundings. You will note that she doesn't consider herself "challenged". You will be thankful.

And you will finally decide it's no longer time to grieve.