Monday, December 08, 2008

Almost there!

One month from today, if all goes well, Paige will have her body cast removed. In total she will have spent more than 6 out of the last 14 months in a cast, unable to sit up or roll over, or do much of anything other than lay somewhat flat on her back, with her legs suspended in the air.

To say that this would break the spirit of most of us is probably a grand understatement. I can't imagine the frustration of not being able to move; not being able to scratch an itch, or reposition myself while I sleep, or sit up to watch t.v. or eat dinner.

I can't imagine anyone in our family having the courage and strength that Paige has had throughout this ordeal. I have trouble sitting still long enough to post my blog, or watch a half hour television show.

Dakotah would certainly spread the misery around - she would be so bored and so frustrated, and wouldn't hesitate to take that out on ME, lol. She'd be the kid that wanted the bell next to the bed so she didn't have to wait 8 seconds for anything. And by about day 3, I'd be ready to take that bell and hurl it as far as my arm could throw it.

Ditto to how Wayne would handle it.

Its even more amazing that Paige has such limited verbal skills and is really unable to understand the "why" of this cumbersome cast, and yet, she still takes it all in stride. Her entire world changed virtually overnight. She went to school one day, played with her classmates, did her work, and then the next, she went to the hospital, fell asleep, and then...THIS.

She is one of the most gracious human beings I've ever known. Every single morning she greets me with that sweet little voice of hers. She smiles at me as I bend to hug her and talk with her, running her hand through my hair, taking the inventory of the familiar things she loves - checking each of my ears for earrings, looking for Kirby who has inevitably come into the mix, wanting some attention.

Her day is quiet, no noisy classrooms, no assemblies, no preparation for the Christmas play.

But, every single day from her quiet comes respect and adoration from those of us who love her so dearly. She lays on a blanket on the floor, and we all clamour to be near her - to talk with her, and adore her and help shorten her long days.

And inevitably at night, when its time to go to bed, Dakotah will be the one who wants to sit next to her and tell her all about her day, and what she has done. And then, more often than not, Dakotah will sing to her; almost always Beatles lyrics, from her favorite movie of all time "Across The Universe."

And Paige will join in - singing her lungs out with nary a real word spoken - just holding her big sister's hand, mimicking the rhythm's of the music with short syllables, dah dah dah dee dah, ma ma ma ma ma.

People may look at our family and think us very far from a normal family with typical happenings.

For that, all of us thank God every single day.

Monday, December 01, 2008

'Tis The Season!!

So, now that American Thanksgiving has passed, I suppose we can officially begin to celebrate the Christmas season.

Sunday night, we bundled Paige up in her coat and blankets, put her flat out in her wheelchair, and went to our town's annual Christmas parade. She was so happy to get out of the house and see some noise and excitement. It did her so much good to get some fresh air - she was in such a great mood when we got back home.

We're still sort of halfway through putting Christmas lights outside - no matter how early we start, Christmas seems to jump up on us.

Almost always, I get a good old fashioned case of the blues just before Christmas...I've had a lot of "stuff" happen over the years in the weeks before Christmas - two miscarriages, my dad being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Paige's prenatal diagnosis, etc...

So, I think I somehow got myself stuck in a bit of a rut. When something bad didn't happen, I felt apprehensive and nervous that it was just around the corner. I always felt sort of a desperation to make every Christmas the best ever - and I always felt a bit out of control about it as well - that no matter how well I planned, how many lists I made, how many gifts I bought, how much cooking I did, how many promises I made to God, that as soon as I let my guard down, I was going to get it and get it good.

I'm not sure what is so different about this year - but so far I've escaped that feeling of dread. Perhaps its because Paige has had what we are hoping will be her final surgery for a very long time, and we can actually see the end of the tunnel to the Escape of The Body Cast. Perhaps its that even though I miss my dad like I do every year, I feel him very much with me this a very happy way.

Or maybe its a combination of little things that are making this a good season. My children are healthy, my dog is so dang cute, we are doing well as a family, I have good friends, one of whom actually works with me in the office I where I work. I really like my job, and I have a funny, crazy boss, who never stops entertaining us.

Whatever it is, on this December 1st, as we head toward Christmas, I'll take it, and I'll remember to be very thankful for it...

Please pardon any funky colours on my blog - I am waiting on a new monitor - this one is dark and not very precise - I'll fix everything up nice in a few days!