Life After NICU

Finding a Way, One Moment at a Time

Like everyone else, I am completely shocked  at the images from Moore, Oklahoma, and so heartbroken for the loss of life. The devastation is incomprehensible. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with everyone across the midwest who has been affected by recent storms and tornadoes.

I am absolutely in awe of the thankful spirits of those who have lost everything over the past couple weeks. I watched a woman being interviewed following the tornado that destroyed many homes near Granbury, Texas. She was standing amongst rubble that had been her home just hours before. She lost everything, but still had a smile on her face and talked about feeling thankful. Somehow she found the best in the worst of circumstances. I think when we find a way to do that, we begin to heal.

I have been extremely fortunate in my life. I haven’t experienced great tragedy or devastating loss. I have been in trying circumstances for sure, but I think we all have. We all have a story. Many of us face difficulties every day that no one ever knows about. I think those difficulties help to define who we are. Do we face them with anger or bitterness, or do we find a way to make the best of where we are and face our struggles with a smile?

The most difficult circumstances I’ve faced were in the NICU with James. Those days were so hard, especially in the beginning. We didn’t smile a lot at first. We were scared. I was drowning in guilt, trying to figure out what I did wrong. There were lots of tears for many days. But at some point along our NICU journey we began to accept where we were. I started to let go of guilt. We began to feel a strong sense of peace about James and the challenges he faced. We literally took one day, sometimes one hour, at a time. In the worst of circumstances sometimes that’s the best you can do, just get through this moment.

I imagine that’s what many families are having to do today, just get through this moment. The big picture must be so overwhelming. I’m thankful that we come together and support one another through kindness and love during times of great need. For the most part people are good and want to see others be ok. I think we’re at our best when we help one another. It’s inspiring in so many ways to see kindness and love shine through the darkness. We’ve been on the receiving end of that kindness many times during our hospital stays with James, and it is absolutely what got us through. I know it’s what will get so many through these dark days as well.

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