January 28th 2013, 1:00 pm:
I had just finished eating lunch at work, sat up to clock back in and became very confused. Did I spill my drink? Pee my pants? If it was pee, why wasn’t it stopping? I probably owe a lot of people an apology for my behavior the next hour or so, I was completely irrational, I know this, but that will come later, another day, in a different form, I promise. What matters today, is that moment, is where our journey together really began. I wasn’t due for quite some time so it was all so unexpected. I suppose you were ready, though you took your sweet time joining us here on land. Roughly 36 hours that is. 36 long, painful, life altering hours.
They say the memory of labor fades away, I beg to differ, My experience of bringing you into this world will never be forgotten, but I forgive you. You see, I knew our lives were changed forever the minute you joined us, but I had no idea just how… until now.
I now know that in your 3 short years in life you have changed almost every ounce of my being. For the better.
In your short but eventful life have seen the oceans and stood in the sands from the Washington coast line all the way down to California. You have ventured the strip in Vegas, held a baby tiger, been a local celebrity on the news, met a celebrity, rode the teacups in Disneyland, peered at the land below aside the pilot in a cockpit of a plane, been diagnosed with a rare disease, gazed at the redwoods, rode a gondola for miles in Idaho and laughed at your brothers fear at the top of a ferris wheel. You have been the best little adventure seeker I could ever ask for.
It means the world to me that you can stand by our side throughout our travels, but what you have given me that has changed me, is your heart.
When Derek Jeter played his last game for the New York Yankees, a story and game you would only believe was made for the big screen; and I sat there in disbelief crying, you climbed upon my lap and wiped away my tears. Reminding me how to be compassionate.
When I was ill and crumpled in the kitchen in pain, you rubbed my back and told me it would be ok. Reminding me how to be kind.
When you had a biopsy and were pinned to a table with all the adults fearful of how it would go, you remained calm, still and quiet. Showing a strength none of us could believe. Reminding me how to be brave.
When your slowly falling asleep and ask me to sing twinkle twinkle again in your softest voice as you fade away into dreamland, I am reminded to savor small moments.
When you made a necklace at school that consisted of a string and one tiny bead that you could not wait to show me, then said it was for me; I was reminded of how to be generous.
When you learned a new “trick move” and showed me repeatedly while dancing in our living room to Aerosmith, I was reminded of how to be happy.
Being an adult is hard. We get sucked into our daily routine of mundane tasks and often forget to take time to practice all these things. We focus on the negative, whether we want to or not and become overwhelmed. I am the biggest offender of this, the daily grind often plagues me and before you, probably consumed me. Your small stature but huge spirit has granted me the opportunity to remember on a daily basis to be compassionate, kind, brave, generous, happy and to savor the small moments.
It’s because of you that I rediscovered my love of writing and began using that tool to share our crazy, sad, happy, frustrating, amazing journey with others.
You were dealt a tougher deck than others in your disease, which we are still searching to truly understand and manage and though I know you do not realize it now, it is because of who you have been in these 3 short years that I will forever be compassionate to others with differences, kind to those who join our journey, brave enough to publically share all our emotions and steps on this walk, generous enough to share our knowledge and products, happy for those who do not walk in our shoes and forever savor every small notion we receive along the way.
Today is a special day, for today is the day you made your mark on this world.
My Mermaid, I love you to the deep end of the seas and back.