Made of Gray

Finding Myself

Holly D Gray14 Comments
Sometimes I choose to live in the comfort of our home pretending that the rest of the world has the same challenges that we face. When we are safely at home the stares, comments and reactions of others don't exist. Sometimes I feel completely philosophical about Caleigh's disabilities. I'm ready to talk about it at a moments notice. Sometimes I want to act like every kid in our neighborhood uses a wheelchair.
This weekend Caleigh spent the night with her Mimi & Pop. This is a rare occurrence and she was really excited about the sleepover. That night at home I missed her presence terribly. The next morning Eric went to work so I was alone in our quiet house. I slept in exactly 30 more minutes than our usual. I muddled around doing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. I didn't turn the TV on. All was quiet. I briefly thought about going running but decided to eat breakfast instead. I sat on the couch for a mere two minutes and couldn't take the silence. My good ole brain started going. What on earth would I be without Caleigh? What if she was gone tomorrow? I wouldn't know what to do with my life. My thoughts of the "what ifs" are stirred by little Emerson and her mother Erica this week. Both have lived in a hospital, away from the rest of their family, for 4 years now with Emerson being on the brink of Heaven so many times I've lost count. I often think about Erica and her struggles. My heart feels for her on so many levels. The hope she holds for her daughter's survival is extraordinary. At the same time I wonder who will Erica be when Heaven calls on Emerson?
Often I wonder if parents, just like myself, lose their identities in the care of their children. I'm truly different since Caleigh's diagnosis during pregnancy, and it becomes more apparent all the time. Crowds are now difficult for me to handle. Social situations are awkward at best. My bubbly persona that once described me only peeks through every now and then. I was the girl that was always happy. Always smiling. I can still smile and laugh, but my motives are different. The results have changed. I'm definitely more cynical and snide about certain things. Where before I was naively positive. My empathy for others and their needs isn't what it should be; isn't what it once was. My rational is jaded. I'm not walking around crying all the time, but I definitely have a more serious nature about me now.
Coming off of a three week intensive physical therapy session you would think that we would be continuing those exercises and practicing constantly. Quite the contrary. There is always something else on the list to do. Something more important to move onto. Caleigh doesn't just not walk. There are a multitude of areas to work on; not just one. It's difficult to think about the equipment and the exercises that need to be worked on daily. When you break it down and do everything on that list there really is no room for driving to and fro, living and being a family. How much is too much? I think I've reached a plateau of sorts when it comes to the importance of what has become a rigorous schedule.

With the ever changing tasks at hand "finding myself" has taken a back seat. I find a day or two free and let my mind wonder to projects that I've always wanted to do. By the time I realize I want to implement them the chance is gone. An example being that I used to love photography and everything that encompassed it. Now photos are a way to document Caleigh's life. Very rewarding, but different from what that love previously was.
"I don't know how you do it?" is spoken to me weekly. I've realized that I do it because I just do. I put everything else on hold and just do what needs to be done. I whine on this blog occasionally, those close to me get to hear it as well and then I get back to what is important. Caleigh.

"What lies behind us & what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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