‘Tis the season of giving thanks and this year we have so much to be thankful for. This time last year, Braxton was 5 months old and we were still trying to figure out what was next in our journey. We have all come a long way in the past year.
As a family, we are happier and stronger than we were last year. The undiagnosed journey has a way of turning lives completely upside down. Through the year we’ve learned how to handle the stresses of it all [We’re no experts, but I think we do pretty well] and are finally able to enjoy our lives to the fullest. Make no mistake, the path to this acceptance is a long and treacherous road, but if you can make it through, and you will make it through, it’s completely worth it.
Today and everyday we are so thankful to wake up and see Braxton’s smiling face another day. Once a doctor tells you that your child isn’t going to live more than a month, you truly realize the miracle that is life. I’m thankful for 6 am wake-ups because it means my child is alive. Braxton is so alive. He has come so far this year, heck he’s come so far in the past two months! Four months ago, Braxton couldn’t sit, couldn’t crawl, couldn’t stand, he just laid there and we had to do everything for him. Then, it was like a switch turned on for him. At 12 months he finally sat unassisted, 14 months he was moving from a sitting position to up on all fours trying to crawl and moving backwards, 15 months he was pivoting and moving with purpose, just before 16 months he finally started crawling, now at almost 17 months he is kneeling and pulling himself to stand….walking is not far away. We are so very thankful for each and every one of these steps. There are so many little things we take for granted in life, but when you are told your child can’t or probably won’t ever learn to do these very basic things, the extreme joy you feel inside when he accomplishes any single one of them is unexplainable. There are so many emotions at once – happiness, pride, joy, excitement, angst, anticipation for the next, and most importantly gratitude. We are so grateful, so thankful to see our child growing and thriving. He’s happy, he’s loving, he’s an adventurer, he’s a fighter, he’s a miracle, he’s the joy of our world. And there is still SO MUCH more in store for him and I can’t wait to see what goal he accomplishes next. For now, we are living in the moment and are ever so thankful for every minute he is in our lives.
To my daughter, Aileen. [She’s 6 and can’t read this, but I have to share] I am thankful for my daughter. I am thankful Joseph has taken her in as his own and has been amazing with her the past few years. I am thankful for her patience and impatience. I’m thankful that she makes me realize when I’m not being fair and ignoring her. I don’t mean to, but when your 6 year old tells you that she feels like you don’t play with her enough, it stings, but it’s honest, and I’m thankful for that honesty. This is still new to me, having a child with special needs, I’m still learning to balance having 2 kids. Expecting a 6 year old to be patient with that is asking adult things of a child, and I’m grateful she still loves me no matter what. She’s so smart and such an incredible little girl. She’s gotten much more helpful with Braxton and less jealous. Now that he’s moving, she can actually play with him. I’m thankful for those moments. I’m thankful that Braxton has an amazing big sister. I love you with all my heart.
To my other half, Joseph. This year has been full of ups and downs, smiles and tears, fun and sleepless nights. Thank you for being an amazing father. There are so many guys who would have run as fast and as far as they could from this situation, but you have been a wonderful man and here for us in so many ways. Thank you for running all over town because I booked 3 appointments in one day, thank you for waking up when you’re home so I can sleep, thank you for cooking and cleaning, thank you for sticking with a job that keeps you away because you know it provides for us. Thank you for everything you do for me and our family. I love you more than you’ll ever know.
We are thankful for our therapists. Oh gosh, our therapists! I love them! All of them!! They are so much more than therapists…they are our friends, they are our family. They love and care for Braxton not as patients, but as children of their own. I am so thankful our team has such incredible passion for what they do and aren’t just here for a paycheck. They go through all our joy and sorrow with us. They cheer in excitement when I send them a video of Braxton doing something for the first time. They share my frustration when he regresses and we can’t seem to figure out why. They answer every one of my questions, never tiring or making me feel like a burden. I know you guys read this, thank you. I can’t say that enough. Thank you for all that you do and for loving our child, we are so thankful that you helped him get where he is today. I watch him crawl, pick up a toy, take a few bites of food and I’m just in awe of the things you helped us do…things I never thought he’d do, but he does because you helped us.
We are thankful for our family and friends. Family is important in times like these and our families have been great. Our family is there to answer our calls and hear our cries and join in our joys and sorrows. They are here to watch Braxton when we have to work or need a short break to regain our strength. To our family, we love you and thank you. To our friends, you don’t know how much it means to us to see you share our story or to see your words of encouragement when we express frustration because we’re at the doctor for the gazillionth time. To understand that it’s a huge deal when we post statuses about milestones Braxton should have reached months ago, to see you share in our excitement without judgement is a blessing. Thank you, each of you is amazing.
We are thankful for our readers. We started this blog to keep our friends and family updated, but we’ve received so much support from complete strangers. Thank you for your love and positivity. We’re at over 7,600 views in just a few short months of me starting this blog and I still can’t believe the impact it’s had. To everyone who reads this, thank you. Thank you for taking time to enter our world. Thank you for taking the time to like, comment, or email us. We are so appreciative.
Today and everyday, we are thankful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!