I was lying in bed. The hallway light was on, I was waiting on Eric to come home. Excitement had taken over my body. I was literally incapable of sleeping. As I lie there, exactly six years ago, this very moment, I was preparing to meet my new born daughter. I was so excited. I was thrilled. I wondered what she'd look like. I wondered how big she would be, what color her hair would be, would she even be a she? I was so excited to be her mom, and so elated to be meeting my girl. I was so in the moment, I don't think I could even have fathomed at that moment her ever growing up.
I am laying here tonight in that very same bed, exactly six years later. The anxiety has taken over my body and I can't sleep. There are tears swimming in my eyes. There is a knot in my stomach. I'm nervous and there are a million things running through my head. Only this time, I'm not wondering who she'll be. I'm not wondering what she'll look like. I know what she'll look like. She'll look like me, and to be honest, I'm terrified to wake up and meet my six year old daughter.
I look at her and I see so many things. She is her own kid. She's strong willed, and smart. She's beautiful, and I think she knows it. She loves God more than anyone I think I've ever known, and she says she loves me all the way to heaven and back.
But I'm terrified that when I wake up tomorrow and I look at her, I won't see those things. I'll see me. A little, black eyed, curly blonde haired, six year old me. And the thought of it makes me ill.
The thought crosses my mind that tomorrow she will be six, and immediately a wave of panic and nausea passes over me. I feel ill. I see me in a little pink and black checked bathing suit at my sixth birthday. And then I see me in a NKOTB hat and a white t-shirt on my seventh birthday. And I can see the difference in my eyes. And it terrifies me. And it makes me sick. And I can't block it out. I look at her, that precious little girl who looks so much like her mommy, and I see me. I look at her and I remember. And it's overwhelming.
And I hate it
I feel so selfish. I feel as though I'm allowing this to overshadow all of the good. I do not want that. I know there is so much to be thankful for. I know that. I do. But there is also so much to deal with right now.
I don't want this hanging over me tomorrow. I want to be able to put it aside and celebrate the six wonderful years we've had with our precious girl. I want to giggle with her and take beautiful pictures of her and eat cake and hold her. I know it won't be too many years that she won't let me hold her at all. I want to soak it all in.
But tonight, I'm overwhelmed. I'm washed over with memories. I'm immersed in panic, in pain, in fear. I'm lost in the hurt of my past. The knowledge that 20 years ago, my life was forever changed. I want to curl up in the dark and just let it take me over. I almost need it to. I need to get through this.
And I'm grateful, so very grateful at this moment, for God's grace. I'm thankful that through God I can rise in the morning victorious over this. I will wake and I will kiss her pretty six year old cheeks and brush her curly six year old hair. I will make her pancakes and I will take her to the bus. I will take her cupcakes to school, and I will watch her play with her friends, and then I will celebrate with her, and watch her worship God. And I will put it aside for her. I will revel in the knowledge that she is six, and that her life will not change. She is safe. He can't get to her. I will rejoice in the fact that God made me her mommy. That he gave me this precious gift to protect and to keep safe for Him. I will be grateful that I am not naive any more. That I have opened my eyes. I will rejoice in the redemption He has given me. And I will dance with my girl. Because she is six.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.