All of us have that moment when a memory haunts you. It can be as simple as a flower evoking the image of your father who passed away. It can be that moment when you should have spoke up and instead sat down. The time you drank too much and (insert embarrassing moment here). It could be passing your old high school and being dragged back through time. We all have a memory that haunts us.
For me it is more than one memory.
The memory of walking into the NICU and saw the nurse holding my four-day old child down as she tried to draw her blood and start an IV. The nurses face full of despair and worry as she shouted to her coworkers “GET HER OUT. MOM CANNOT BE HERE RIGHT NOW”. As the other nurse kindly and gently but determinedly removed me from the NICU. At 2am. On day four of my child’s life. I thought nothing could be worse than that moment.
Until the next moment that haunts me.
In the NICU the next day when Bridget began obstructing her own airway with her tongue, decreasing the much needed oxygen she needed.
Or the next…
Being convinced that my baby was stable and my other child needed me at home I left the NICU and drove home at 10pm to bring Abby to school the next day before heading back. Carrie Underwood’s “Just a dream” played on the radio. I began bawling thinking this was just a dream and my baby was not real. I cried the entire drive home, the entire night in my husband’s arms until I grew strong so Abby wouldn’t see my worry. I drove back to the hospital determined the next time I would leave would be with my baby.
Or the next memory…
Getting discharged home and being scared out of my soul that it was too early. Not trusting myself to care for my baby. Not letting her out of my sight or away from my side.
At only a few months old being readmitted to the hospital for dehydration. Feeling so inept that I could not figure out why my child was vomiting or having such bowel issues. Never knowing that it was an allergy to the formula we were giving her. Giving it so often in the hopes of getting her to thrive rather than finding out we were harming her.
Over the next six years Bridget would give me countless memories that haunt me. After the haunting memory of those first admissions, to have Bridget admitted again this December with dehydration. Having to physically old her as the nurse tried once again restart an IV that failed. Deja vu that brought me right back to that memory of 2008. Except this time I do not leave her side.
Yet all these memories that haunt are overshadowed by the joy Bridget has brought us. The memory of triumph. Of her walking for the first time, jumping and escaping the doubts that were placed heavy on our heart.
The memory of friendship.The children in Bridget’s school who accept her for who she is and not what she “should be”. The children who automatically include her in their celebrations, playtime and routines without prompts from their parents or teachers.
The memory of princesses and fairies. That Bridget hit this “typical girl” milestone. The child I never thought would notice has become enamored over anything princess. Just like her sister was when she was little.
The memory of sisters. A bond I never could have imagined, created or promoted. One that happened organically and has been sustained by their devotion to one another.
The memory of family who have been with us every step of the way. Of the friends who are now considered honorary family members. Of those who have not only become my village but have grown it in ways I never imagined.
The memory of Bridget’s first time dancing on the beach after months of her being terrified of the wind and the sand and the waves. Well general terror over the beach.
The memory of holding my little girl for as long as she lets me. No matter how tired my arms (or hip) gets, I will never deny us this memory. These moments that quiet the haunting and allow me to rejoice.
While in six years I have many (too many) memories that haunt me, I refuse for them to vanquish the memories that shine. Especially when that Carrie Underwood song comes on.
This is how I finished the sentence, the moment that haunts me…