Happy New Year
There are dates that seem suspended in air – bringing either joy or sadness- and some that bring a feeling of anxiety as they approach.
Tomorrow is May 5th, and it will the first anniversary of Max’s major SDR surgery. We have been calling it the surgi-versary and are planning a small surprise (don’t tell.) It also marks the anniversary of end of this year. We started it on May 5, 2017, and will be taking this May 5th, 2018, as our new year. For some reason the normal starts of Rosh Hashana or January didn’t ring any bells for us as we felt that we needed more time.
This has been one of the hardest years of our lives and we are happy to bid it farewell. The surgery itself has been the benchmark for the entire year. Every day since May 5th of last year, we have charted Max’s recovery, progress, backslides, and challenges. This is how this surgery works. You don’t get fixed overnight. You gain a little bit of growth, a little bit of health, and great deal of struggle. The true results can only be measured when he is fully grown. He lost his hard earned ability to walk on May 5th 2017, and he has worked every day since to get it back. He used a wheelchair and then a walker, canes and now nothing. He stayed in the hospital for two months and then returned home to a grueling schedule of daily therapy. It wasn’t until this month that he was able to attend school walking without any devices. It has been his goal to take gym at school next year and he will. He is pushing himself beyond belief and now does daily walks and work-outs at the YMCA. If you see him walking by, please say hi!
But through it all, he feels beaten up and beaten down. He doesn’t see how far he has come, only how far he wants to go. He still has pain. No one is more resilient, but he hides it behind the bravado and agitation of an almost 15 year old boy who lives in a Fortnite world. He is angry at us, so very angry at CP, and perpetually angry about having to do his homework. His verdict is still out on whether the surgery was worth it and a part of him will probably never forgive us for it. It’s ok, because part of me may never forgive us either.
During the course of this year, we had job stress, car accidents, multiple events of ridiculous misfortune, broken appliances, and even a night when the ceiling literally caved in. Our dog had surgery, I had a cancer scare, and ended my lifetime of ice skating with a badly broken ankle. Our health insurance company uses our photo as a dart board. The IRS even came knocking with an audit – as if to get in on the fun.
But, we also have so much joy because of Sophie. She has flown through senior year with the best of results – a wonderful college acceptance, merit scholarships, and total and complete success in meeting all her goals. She has been our only place to rest a weary heart. It is a gift that we get to celebrate her next month at her 18th birthday and graduation – another way to put this past year behind us and move on.
I am not looking for your pity or for your tears – I am just chronicling the events we set in motion 365 days ago. Through it all, we have had the people who love us answer our calls, show up when we needed them, and give us exactly what we didn’t know we wanted. Because of you, we are still here, we are still fighting, and we are finding the peace of mind we so desperately need.