Friday, July 25, 2014

Thirteen

13. 

How is it at all possible that my sweet Claire turns 13 today?!?! 

Our first year with Claire feels like yesterday.  It was cram-packed full of fear, little hope & worry.  I have not forgotten the exact words that were spoken to us when Claire was 3 months old... "She likely will not live to be 1 year old."  I remember feeling as if everything in my life were crumbling -- that my whole world, my reason for being, my future -- were all shattered.  I had so wanted a daughter.  I picked out the name "Claire" when *I* was 13.  I had this image of what my little girl would be like, what we'd do together, how I'd fix her hair & paint her toenails like mine & dress like twinkies & we'd be SO CLOSE & she would be spunky & funny & cute & perfect.  

And we were given just that.  In a very different package than we were expecting, yet no less special.

I am SO. GRATEFUL.


"You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure.  It all depends on how you view your life."
~Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes


July 2014  ~  Sportin' her new 'do!

July 2014  ~  PT in the pool with Angela!

I look back now & realize all that I would never wish to be... as a mother, a wife, a friend, a person.  I love who Claire has made me become.  I love how she has united our family and shown us what really matters.  I love that she touches people -- total strangers -- without ever having spoken a word.  I love that her eyes speak volumes and her expressions convey more than any words ever could.  I am in awe of her strength -- oh, her amazing strength! -- it makes me want to be more & support others more & LOVE MORE.  I love her determination and her spirit.  Guys, my girl is working on standing & supporting herself in a crawling position!!!!!  I wasn't sure this was even possible.  I love that my girl took that "1 year maximum prognosis" and basically told those doctors to fuck off.  Don't think for one second that my annual "Claire is STILL defying your stupid-ass odds" letter won't be sent to that dick doctor today.  I love how my girl loves.  I love that her whole life is based on love & giving as much of it as she possibly can EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. because honestly, that is all any of us should ever strive to do.


"Love is pulling together against all odds."
~Smiley Blanton


Fall 2001  ~  Those eyes... they have always seen straight to my soul.  Then & now.  
Spring 2002  ~  This picture always makes me tear up, remembering how Claire's legs used to not scissor.
I loved her then & I love her even more now because despite her challenges, she still finds joy in all she does.
November 2002  ~  Claire being a "triplet" with her newborn twin cousins, Elisabeth & Christina
October 2003  ~  One of Claire's first smiles captured on film, at 2 years, 3 months of age.
I cannot even put into words how precious this moment was to all of us.  To FINALLY see emotion.  To FINALLY know our baby is happy & FINALLY be able to show us.  To have waited 2 extra years to see such a miracle, not knowing if that day would ever come.  To say this was one of the best days of my life would be an understatement.
November 2004  ~  Photo by Gavin Peters
January 2005  ~  Cal & Claire with Gran
November 2006  ~  I love these hooligans!
August 2008  ~  "Geek Chic" taken to a WHOLE 'nother level before it was even cool!
November 2010

Happy 13th Birthday, my Mimi.  You are my heart.  For always.

July 2014

xo

7 comments:

Kelli B said...

Happiest birthday wishes, Claire! You're a gorgeous girl and a beautiful soul!

Amy McDonald said...

You're family is gorgeous!

Mrs Woo said...

This is the first time I've read your blog & seen your beautiful family!
I have a 2.5yr old sassafrass, Princess Dragon Trainer Matilda. I'm very lucky that she is totally healthy. She's a special little girl, she has always been drawn to people in wheel chairs and those with different disabilities. Ever since she was teeny, like too small to sit up.
She keeps asking about Claire, "what's dis little girl's name Mummy?" "she so pretty & funny" :)
I just wanted to pop by and say we're joining in your journey all the way from England. <3
Lots of love, I am looking forward to the ride!

DoRe' Arnall said...

Wow--13! It's been a while, my friend; finally catching up on my neighbors in BlogVille. Awesome posts,as always; love your perspective, love your spunk, love the way you love. Off to catch up on more of your stuff--hugs from Washington state!

Sophie said...

They have the most beautiful eyes!! :) Almost like bambi! You just melt how beautiful they are!

Bhavana Kanja said...

wonderful family, Birthday wishes to one and all in advance , hope to celebrate more Birthdays

Birthday Wishes said...

Many Birthday wishes to you. I wish you joy and happiness in your life hope to all dreams come true.

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