Wednesday, November 9, 2011
This week was the week that I have dreaded for 9 months. In grief stricken anticipation I tried to just avoid reality all week long. I knew it was coming and there was nothing I could do. I don't handle raw emotion every well. I like to stuff it in a tiny little ball and hide it away somewhere, pretending its not there, hoping it dissolves. I've never been good at confrontation, goodbyes, or sharing feelings. I've gotten better since becoming a wife and mother, by forced practice. But there is something about feeling that wave swell inside of you. I guess I'm afraid that it may just take over and once I start crying I won't stop. I was physically sick to my stomach all day Monday. The doorbell rang at 1:15 and there she stood in all her glory with a glowing halo around her head. It was our last therapy session with Cruz's speech therapist. Cruz had eagerly waited at the door for 20 minutes. Even now I am welling with tears and swallowing a lump in my throat. Its one thing to bond with someone over difficult trials and traumas. Its a whole different kind of bond when someone comes in and bonds with your child and changes their life. Cruz literally asks for Holly almost every hour of every day. He is so excited on the days when I tell him that she is in fact coming. He claps and cheers and jumps up and down. He will even sit by the window and wait for her. I know that deep down he has this understanding that she is the one who comes to help him. It breaks my heart every time he asks for her because I know he is never going to get to have another therapy session with Holly. Our contract with first steps has to end when he turns 3 and starts preschool. The entire session I felt like I couldn't even look her in the eye or I would cry. Holly came into our life when we were at the bottom of the barrel. I was at the end of my rope with Cruz and I didn't know what to do. Calling first steps was what I thought was las resort. Really it was just the beginning of a different chapter. She has been here every single week walking along side us through this crazy journey. She didn't just do what she 'had to do'. Holly would drop off books on my front porch at times, even a plate of cookies. When I had to switch to gluten free Holly was my go to for recipes, advice, you name it. She mentored me through this whole process making herself available to me any time and I don't know what I would have done without her in my life. There has always been that sense of relief that I can ask Holly what to do about any number of given situations. If she didn't know off the top of her head she would research for me. It's a strange feeling the first time or two that someone comes into your home to 'evaluate' your child and 'diagnose' the situation. Then when you find out that person will be coming every single week and it can be intimidating. But Holly became like family to us, even to Franklin who was incredibly excited to see her each time. In thirty years Cruz may not remember this past year, but we will make sure that he is very aware of the journey he led us on and the people that impacted his life. Until Holly came, we didn't know signs, we didn't know about sensory issues, we had never heard of Apraxia. Until Holly came we weren't sure if Cruz was ahead of the curve or behind, if he was always going to have problems or if there was hope. Holly brought a lot of things to us, most of all hope. I couldn't write her a thank you because it would have been ten pages long. And I of course wanted to avoid the rising well of tears, which are now spilling. How can you possibly put into words a thank you that seems appropriate for the life changing impact she had with Cruz. She may never fully know the difference that she made in our family, but we will never forget. This next week Cruz starts ECSE. So we tearfully close one chapter and turn the page to start another.