One year, it's been one year since we blasted into the heart world. I have to admit, we spent some time today playing the, "Last year on May 18th at this time, we were........." We talked about being life flighted, "The Call," finding out that Abby needed a heart transplant, when Abby was unresponsive, Abby's short-term memory loss, and many other things. One interesting question that Britt asked me, that I had never thought of before, was what happened after Abby's heart got shocked and she started breathing again? Britt wanted to know if she took a deep breath like in the movies, or what she did when she opened her eyes, and lots of other questions about Abby coming back to life. It's kind of funny, but I didn't know the answers! I hadn't ever thought to ask anyone. When they finally let me back in the emergency room, her eyes were already open and she was fairly coherent. I don't know about everything in between. I guess I might be asking some questions when I go back to school on Monday. We did have a good May 18th this year, we spent the day in Vegas just chilling and it was good, much different than last year. Thank you for all of the texts and phone calls today from people just telling us that they were thinking about us today, that meant a lot!!
We had some time today to reflect on the past year and think about all of the things that we've learned and the many ways that we've grown. I don't think that I'd want to go through it again, but I feel like I'm a much different person now than I was a year ago, my kids are too. Here some of things that we learned:
- We know everything about the human heart. In fact, I'm pretty much a nurse now too. We were the family that never took medicine for anything, but now we know tons of different meds and their purpose. I know their doses and when we need to make changes. When Abby says restrictive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, it's awesome! We are medically smart now, and it's fun.
-We've learned how to accept service, and to ask for help when we need it. This was a hard lesson to learn, I've always been very independent. But, we couldn't have survived this past year this without your help, both financially and emotionally. We will be forever grateful. I've learned that you're not weak just because you need help, you're actually strong when you can ask for it.
-We've learned that most people are good, and just want to help. The hard thing for us, is knowing what to allow people to help with. We've been able to see people do so many kind things, in so many different ways. Everyone wanted to help us, even if they didn't know us. This was very humbling.
-I've learned that sometimes when you ask why, or want to figure out an answer, that there might not be one. Sometimes we have to wait for answers, maybe longer even than this lifetime, and that's okay, I don't need an answer for everything right now. I guess it boils down to faith, having faith that there is a reason, and someday we will know what it is, and accepting the fact we just don't know.
-I've seen my kids grow up and mature a lot this past year, they've had to, and they've done such an amazing job with it. All 3 of them came out of this past year stronger and more responsible. I think they also have more character now as well. I'm just impressed with their ability to stay well-grounded and focused with so many things going on. They know what's important, and they held on to that. I'm the luckiest mom around, my kids have already learned the things that really matter, and they know how important it is not to forget these things. There's nothing I like more than watching my kids hang out together and love each other. I've learned that my 3 kids are everything to me, they are what matters most and I would do anything for them.
-I've learned that it's okay to cry, in fact, sometimes it's expected. I guess the hard part is knowing who you can cry with and who you can really open up to, or who is just pretending to care, but they really don't. Sometimes it's hard to know when to put on a fake smile and pretend, and when to allow yourself to really let it loose. Different people have different expectations of you, it just can be hard to know who you can really rely on, especially after things have been hard for a long time, and you still really need it. People can be funny, you just never really know if they'll be there or not.
-I've learned the value of writing. I don't only keep this blog so we'll have Abby's story documented, it's also my therapy, it's helped me in so many ways. I actually really like to write, and I wouldn't have know that without having this blog. Writing is an outlet for me, It's something I need now.
-Over and over and over again, we've learned patience. It seems like this must be something that we're still struggling with because we continue to get so many opportunities to practice. We wait for appointments, for phone calls, for answers, for medicines, for the insurance company, for biopsy results, etc. etc. We just always have to be patient. Maybe someday we'll really learn this lesson so that we can move on.
-We've learned that going through an experience like this can either significantly weaken your testimony or it can strengthen it, one or the other is going to happen. We were blessed enough to experience so many tender mercies and to see so many miracles that our faith, knowledge, and relationships with our Heavenly Father, only got stronger, and I'm so thankful for that.
- We've learned that we aren't the only one's going through a hard time, I think that most people, if not all people are struggling with something most of the time. It's not okay for us to feel sorry for ourselves and to think that we are being picked on, even when we really, really want to. Struggles are just a part of life. I've decided I that we can play the "poor us" game, or we can make the most of the struggles we are going through. This isn't easy, in fact, it's easy for me to type, but not so easy to do. Okay, maybe this is a lesson that I know that I should learn from this past year, but I haven't quite learned it yet, but I will.
- I've learned that there's going to be ups and downs, and there's not always an equal amount of each. Hopefully the "ups' will carry us through the down time. I hope I don't take advantage of the easy times, and that I can remember those times when things get hard again.
There are so many other lessons we've learned or are trying to learn, but this post is already so long. I am just so grateful to my friends and family, and all of the people that have helped us get through this past year. People, and my relationships with them, are what's important. I was going to say that I know this next year will easier than this year, but maybe it won't, I don't really know. But what I do know, is that we can cope with whatever comes our way, we are ready.
Britt graduates on and leaves for her senior trip to California on Tuesday, I finish school on Wednesday, and we go to clinic on Thursday, which is also Abby's birthday! Then it's finally time to relax and recover a little bit :) I think this time is well-deserved and I'm looking forward to it.
**One more thing.....plan on an extra-special post sometime this next week. I think it's finally time :)