The love and experiences were easy for us. We both believed in our hearts we could "heal" Teale with our love. I probably believed it more so, in almost a "nonacceptance" way. I was sure her cerebral palsy was curable. I was sure we could make miracles happen and her right hand and arm would be fine. After all, Mark and I were united in helping our daughter. We started in the hospital, learning about "Kangaroo Care." We agreed to start Teale on PT right there in the NICU. I went through many hours of pumping breast milk, even though Teale was not even allowed to eat it. Because we both believed in the healing power of breastfeeding her, once her food restrictions were lifted. We prayed and asked for prayers a lot, receiving notices of churches all over the world praying for our daughter. Those things were easy for us. Then there were the things we didn't say, the unconscious decisions that I will always believe made Teale a better person. We had music playing for her from the very begining. A tape recorder in her NICU crib, soothing her when we were not able to be there. Music would be a hugely important part of her life and in my heart I am sure it has healed much and made connections in her brain that may never would have happened in another family. Even after the day I was told "she has failed all her hearing tests, we believe she is deaf." We still played music, believing "they" were wrong. There were many things thrown at us and many we only mildly accepted, pushing the "bad" away and believing in the power of God, love and prayer. Honestly, we were totally full of ourselves, both Mark and I were so positive we could "show the doctors they were wrong," there was hardly a thought of "maybe some of this can not cured?" We even omitted the truth when speaking to people about Teale, never acknowledging her severe brain damage. Teale was going to show the world what determination, prayer, hope, faith and most of all LOVE could accomplish. It's funny how I can get back inside that "me," the new Mom of a daughter with extremely complicated medical and physical needs. I still remember how clearly I truly believed that someday, somehow, her right arm and hand would work. Her mind would be strong and there would not be developmental disabilities. Maybe some see this as sad, that I was so unaccepting of my daughter as she was, but I don't see it that way. What Mark and I did, both conscientiously and unconsciously was to believe in our ability to make her the best she could be. We believed she would walk, we believed she would talk, we believed she would learn and love and be loved. We believed our work and the work of a team of supportive therapists, teachers and doctors could create a much better person than the doctors at the NICU had told us she would be. We had faith and we were constantly lifted by the prayer and support of those who came into our life. Teale is who she is today because so many believed in her. There have been many obstacles, many times we got thrown a new diagnosis that took away a bit of our heart. There has been acceptance too, that I did not "cure" everything still haunts me in some ways. The truth is Teale wasn't meant to be "healed." Teale is a miracle, not because she lived through a traumatic birth, but because she has taught me what "life" really is. It's not the money we make or the jobs we hold or the house we live in. It is the connections we share as human beings, loving and supporting each other through the good, the bad and the very ugly. Everyday I am touched by people Teale brought into my life. I realize, without her, my friendships and my love with Mark would not be as strong. That is the miracle of Teale.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
I woke with much concern on my mind. Worry overwhelming my thoughts and a question of how to get through ringing over and over again. Mark is hurting and I don't know how to help. It is stuff we often deal with, but somehow it is knocking him harder this time. I feel helpless, yet I believe in keeping the faith, I believe things will get better. This is marriage, one of us down and the other one carrying the ball. We have made it through twenty five turbulent and joyous years this way. I remember times the darkness took hold of me and I just couldn't see the light, Mark was there. He would support me in my pain, comfort me and encourage me to find the good again. We will make it through, we have made it through many, many dark times. Our life together is full of love and people who care about us. I know this too will pass, Mark has taught me that, above all others, he has taught me faith. He has also taught me that somehow good always comes from bad. I believe in us and our life together being a covenant with God. I believe He is a third party in our marriage & He is really the one who puts the light back into our souls when the darkness creeps in. When I feel helpless, I try to let go of my worries and give them to God. I know holding onto worry just drains me of my positive and the good feelings that create more blessings. So as I talk myself into making today better, please say a prayer or two for my husband, Mark. I know he will feel the love and his soul will be lifted by your love.