Sunday was one of those days where I wish you were here now, Little One.RB and I went to do some work on our camper, and the car battery ran out from me playing music a little too long with the windows down as we twiddled away at the wires. When we got back in the car, there was the tell-tale sign: the unimpressive drrrnnnk as we turned the key.
This might have bothered some people, but RB and I are pretty laid back about things like this. Especially lately, things have been put into perspective a great deal. It’s a beautiful thing. We took it as a sign: get out of the car and enjoy some more sunshine. It was a beautiful day.
Eventually, the car started. It seemed like magic, “I’ll try it just one more time,” I thought, and with a burst of power the lights flickered on and the engine purred sweetly. As RB finished with the camper wires, I drove in circles in the storage parking lot, each time passing him and shrugging my shoulders, “I guess I just have that magic touch!” I yelled to him from the open window.
To save the battery, we decided to take a drive to nowhere. This is something we used to do a lot when we were dating. We’d drive around, especially at night, talking, listening to music loudly with the windows down, enjoying the open stretch of road that seemed as never ending as our possibilities in life. The starry night sky and the headlights outlining our path were the only illumination, and we’d just relax and enjoy the journey to no real destination. Some of our best conversations were in the car on nights like that, and we fell deeper in love in those long rides at night with nothing but us, the roar of the engine and the stars above.
Nowadays, to take a drive with no purpose is a luxury. The price of gas is so astronomically high we have to conserve every drop, but Sunday was different. We drove to an off-beaten path, saw the water and stopped the car to watch some galloping horses in a field right off the road. We took a minute to just enjoy the journey with no destination: to suck the marrow out of the bone of life.
And I remember on days like Sunday what it felt like to be a child. What it felt like to have no worries, to be carefree and feel secure and to just enjoy the ride.
You see, Little One, when I was young I was very, very sick. At two and a half years old I was diagnosed with Scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disorder. Doctors told my parents time and time again that I was going to die, to plan a funeral and detach themselves. But my parents are fighters, and they refused to listen. They did everything in their power for me to get better and flourish, and I did. Once the doctors stopped telling them I would die, they started telling them I would never be able to walk, that I’d be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life. When the insurance company refused to pay for physical therapy for me, my mother stepped in and learned what she could and did it for me at home. I still credit my parents defiance and hard work to me not only being able to walk and run and have a childhood, but also to me even being alive.
I want to be that kind of parent for you.
I want to fight for you to have the best life you can have. To flourish, to feel safe and secure even when I’m scared you’re not, and to be a fighter yourself. I want to educate you with everything I can, to give you the power to be independent and strong like my parents did for me.
Never in my childhood did I feel like I was different. Never did I feel like I was the sick kid, the weird one, the one that was going to die. Even in the years I spent in a leg brace, through the countless surgeries and procedures, the times when I had to be schooled at home because I was too sick to go in: I don’t look back on those memories with hurt or any type of doubt. I look back and think, my God did my parents sacrifice for me. They loved me enough to give me a childhood that this disease tried to take away. They played a tug of war with scleroderma, my childhood being the anchor in the middle, and they fought for so many years and they won.
Of course I remember the hospital stays. I remember the surgeries, the pain, the shots. I remember waking up with fevers and celebrating birthdays in braces or in bed. But they are not the keypoints of my childhood. They are the tiny dots in a timeline littered with great memories of trips, birthday parties and friendships. More than anything I remember a childhood filled with laughter, security and happiness. I can recall with great clarity summers spent on my bike, fishing in the creek, going to museums and Niagra falls and then bragging about them when I got back. Best of all, I remember being eight years old and told I was finally in remission.
I sometimes I get down, Little One, when I think of how easy it is for other people to have a family. It makes me sad at times that other people can just look at someone else and get pregnant- and not even care. They don’t appreciate life, their own or their childs. And it upsets me sometimes when I think about it. When someone new announces a pregnancy on facebook and says, “Oh yeah, I guess we’re just ‘lucky’ to have two kids in two years- yeah right!” I look at that and think…yeah, you actually are extremely lucky. But then I put things in perspective.
You’re going to have an awesome childhood.
Those other kids whose parents don’t respect or value life don’t understand. They’ve never been on the brink of death. They’ve never had to watch their parents fight and sacrifice to give them what they so easily had- a childhood without worry. When small insignificant things happen, their world implodes like everything is ending. Our family won’t be that family.
Our family will be the pilot light, constantly on ready to ignite the passion we have for life within each other. We’ll make outstanding memories at every corner. We’ll try our hardest to make the hard things in life easier. We’ll learn about everything we can in this world together.
We’ll be on fire with life.
And you will have an amazing childhood, no matter what hurdles we face. I know this because I know the strength I have, the same strength my parents had. It won’t always be easy to be “the adopted kid.” I know that, because it wasn’t it wasn’t always easy to be “the sick kid.” But I also know that RB and I love you more than anything already, and we’ll fight until the bitter end to give you everything you deserve out of a childhood.
You’re going to enjoy the journey to nowhere that makes childhood so great. You’ll feel the security of our arms wrapped around you and the laughter and happiness in our family memories.
My God, what a beautiful life you’re going to have, I can already see it. I feel like I’m in that car with RB again as a teenager, the road stretched so far in front of us we can’t see where it ends.
Even on days like Sunday: just driving around, stopping to see the beautiful world around us. I wish you could have been there, to have that memory with us. I know I’ve said this often in here but I’m so glad I decided to chronicle the journey getting to you. I’m so glad that even on days where you’re not here yet, you can experience the emotions we felt. In my heart of hearts I know that in the near future, there will be many days spent making wonderful family memories, even if its just a Sunday drive together.
I hope that when you read this when you’re older you’ll realize how much we loved you, each other, and our family.
Waiting for Sunday with Love,