Monday, June 4, 2012


I drove into the parking lot and parked as close as I could without being noticed by my kids. I wanted to observe them for a few minutes. Watch them play and interact without knowing I was there. As soon as they saw me they would come running and have stories to tell me, so I just wanted to watch them run back and forth, between the bouncy house and the water slide. Wanted to see how much they played with each other as well as the other kids and their teachers. They were getting so big. So independant. It was the twins last day at pre-pre-school. They were care-free and having so much fun. In the fall they will start school 5 mornings a week.  This makes me choke and my breathing staggers. I felt my heart rate increase and my stomach roll. They are just babies. Babies who I was told would never take a breath. Babies who I held onto as long as I could while stuck in a hospital bed for 8 weeks. Babies who each weighed less than 3 pounds when they were born.  Covered in tubes and wires. Constant beeping in the NICU and too tiny to hold. Oxygen levels dropping, heart stopping in fits of bradychardia.  So much chaos and so much uncertainty. And when they finally came home, 2 months after they were born, they were still smaller than most babies at birth. And an oxygen tank like a bomb came home with them and sat in the corner of the nursery. As well as a heart monitor which went off all hours of the night. And in the car. Always in the car, on the interstate, on the way to this specialist or that check-up, the heart monitor would go off.
 No one can take care of these babies like I can. No one understands. No one really gets it.  And now they will be in the hands of someone else every weekday morning. Someone I don't know. And even though I think I am "over it" since they are healthy and perfect now,  I realize that I am still going to be racked with panic attacks brought on by seemimgly normal events. I will never completely recover from being told my babies would die, from watching them almost die, from living in a state of limbo that bordered on Hell rather than Heaven. Transitions in their lives will never be effortless for me. I will always be overly anxious and even cryptic when it comes to my children, even though I am a happy and positive person.

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger".  We hear it a lot, right? I'm sure I've even said it before. But now I'm really thinking about it. Reflecting on it.  Taking into consideration things I have been through, things friends have experienced, different versions of Hell through which we have walked. And I can't be sure.  Are we stronger because of it?

There are a lot of broken people out there. A lot of good people who have been traumatized and shaken and defeated.  And they recover and persevere. And they are wiser and more grateful. More appreciative, more gracious. More empathetic and sympathetic. But all of that doesn't necessarily equal "stronger". Because those people are also scared and scarred. And relieved, but cautious.

Sometimes we experience things that never leave us, that haunt us. They shape us, but they also disfigure our psyche.  Things that leave us gasping for breath years later with little provocation.  Things that have us looking over our shoulders. Things that make you realize that sometimes it is almost too scary to love other people. Some experiences make us terrified to hold on too tightly, but just as scared to let go.

I am a believer that things happen for a reason. Good and bad. But I cannot even fathom that reason at times. I am also a believer of intercession and miracles.

Our worst experiences make us realize we can live through things bigger than us, and worse than we had previously imagined. And they put things into perspective for us.  But they also make us vulnerable and aware. Sometimes knowlege isn't power. Sometimes it's debilitating.


  1. I love this! Those feelings you speak of about your kids? They never change or leave you. That is why it's been soooo hard for me with my oldest. Not just letting go, even though that's hard, she's lost, and doesn't want my help. So yes, scarred, cautious, but definitely STRONGER. I don't have the luxury of this breaking me, I have 6 more children to raise.

    1. ^^My oldest is 17 now and I didn't know I was capable of panic attacks until she scared the sanity out of me one night. I don't know if my life events have made me stronger, but I have survived them and continue to do so. What else can we do? I'm not the type to give up.

  2. Chills and tears reading this. You said it girl. It is crazy how things that happen to us that at the time seem insurmountable can pass and we get through them - and we are stronger for it. I hate that everything happens for a reason - and yet I believe it with every fiber of my being.
    So happy to have you in my are so eloquent and brilliant in your writing and your expression. Big hugs to those babies of yours - and one big one for you too.

  3. GAH!!! This is AMAZING!! You are AMAZING!!! Your babies are AMAZING!! I just love you and am so incredibly lucky to have you in my life! Beautiful my friend, beautiful!

  4. Such a wonderful reminder of where we have all been at some point in our lives. Scared, lonely, vulnerable. We come out alive, yet different. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. This is beautiful and honest and SO true I can't even put it into words. You somehow captured how I feel everytime I look at my babies and think about my life thus far. Although our trials and triumph differ at the end of the day, they often leave us feeling the same. Ragged and unsure. I love you more than you are one talented lady with some very sweet chuckleheads. <3

  6. Omg this is must have X-ray vision of my heart. My the universe bless you...

  7. I had to pause and collect myself before I could comment... wow. you are spot on... its been 8 years October and I still observe from afar! My daughter born 23 wks spent 4 month NICU, so I get what you mean. I.She.We.Us... made it 6 months of Kindergarten before I took her out. I'm not sure if I would have done this if she had been born term and no complications. I'll never know... but for today home-school works best for us. I've enrolled her in programs with other kids: Karate, P.E. and Music... with it being summer time, she is going to day camp, which, is 3 hours a day. It is what I am comfortable with. Takin it one day at a time!

  8. Just wonderful writing and wonderful feelings and wonderful love. Heart you, NGM--TKC

  9. Does adversity make us stronger? I have PTSD from the birth of my son, which came close to killing both of husband is scarred from this too. I think what doesn't kill us leaves us grateful for what we still have, and hopefully, the glued bits and mended cracks of our shattered psyche hold up.