Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Better


Two nights ago, I dreamt that Claire spoke her very first word ever. It was not my usual type of dream because I didn't dream she was radically different or more advanced. I dreamt she was exactly as she is in "real life." During the dream, Claire was mad and arching as she sometimes does when she is laying on her tummy in her beanbag and her g-tube is tilted in the stoma or rubbing on her belly in an uncomfortable way. She will almost do what looks like a push-up in her beanbag, arching her upper body wayyyyy off the beanbag to alleviate the pressure on this sensitive area. 

In the dream, she was doing this very thing. And as I always do in reality, I walked over to her in the dream and said, "Here, baby! Let me help flip you over. Does that feel better?" to which she replied with a smile, "Better!" (It actually sounded a little bit like she said "butter!") My eyes widened, and I said, "What did you say?" She grinned and again said, "Better!" I kept asking her to say it again, and every time she would repeat "better," grinning with pride. I tested her to see if she could say any other words, and my sweet girl just wanted to say "better!"

After she had said this word maybe 20-25 times in my dream, in complete disbelief, I grabbed my phone to video it, and she immediately clammed up and gave me her best RBF, just as she does almost every time I try to take her picture now, in true diva fashion. Don't get it twisted, I totally dig her 'tude, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to get a real nice pic of my girl these days. And if you know me, I like my pictures, so she & I have been butting heads about this very thing lately!   

I was left feeling confused when I woke up, always trying to seek meaning from the things that life throws my way. And I also felt a little bit wistful for the things she is still unable to do. I love her for the way she CAN communicate with the world and for the progress she HAS made in her therapies and so forth. Do I wish she could do more? Absofuckinglutely. But do I value who she is and love where she's at currently? Damn skippy. These highs & lows, you guys... these far extremes... the many polarities in my thoughts and feelings... they're very real, and they hit me hard sometimes, these last few months especially. 


Today Claire turns 16 years old. Sweet 16... holy shit. How is that even possible?! I look at her with such admiration and awe at all she has fought through to stay. My child who wasn't supposed to live to age 1 is SIXTEEN today. I bow to my knees and pray to every God/angel/protector/magician in the whole Universe for wrapping their arms around my precious girl and giving us the gift of time. 

The more I think about my dream, the more I wonder if maybe Claire just needed me to see things from a "better" angle. Perhaps she wanted me to remember the most important thing in life -- that I am in control of my own happiness, and life can be "better" if I so choose. I'm not gonna lie, it has all felt pretty heavy lately... pretty sad... pretty out of my hands. Not just Lola's rash, but nearly every other area of my life as well. 

Leave it up to my best little teachers to help me see things from a different vantage point. That's generally how it works. They give me such perspective and always bring me back to a place of love. 


I wish you the happiest of birthdays, my sweet Mimi. You shook my soul to its core 16 years ago, you showed me what love really is, and you simply made.  me.  BETTER.  I love you with all of my heart, soul and being, my perfect girl. 


Kerby, Cal, Claire, Christina, Lola & Elisabeth

If anyone ever spots these ostrich socks in grown-up ladies sizing,
I'll give you a million bucks if you buy them for me.
Just kidding.  Sort of.  Tee heeeeeeee!  I NEED THESE!



xo

20 comments:

Rhonda M said...

Happy Blessed Birthday, beautiful doll Claire!

Love, Rhonda

Lori Truex said...

Happy 16th birthday Claire!Have a wonderful day❤❤❤❤🎁🎉🎈🍰

Lori Medina said...

Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Norma Gilbert said...

Happy Birthday Claire...Sweet 16 Girl. You are a fighter and a unique young lady. Keep it up hon!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Dyanne Parnel said...

You are a wonderful Momma and your kids are also truly blessed to have you (and Daddy) in their lives. Good saw in you two something so utterly precious they he trusted you with these three blessings and especially with the care of Claire and Lola. Your lives aren't easy, but the battle is so very worth it! Happy #16 to you and your Claire.

Unknown said...

Happy birthday sweet girl 💖💖💖

Desiree Mitchell said...

Happy sweet 16 Claire!!!💟

Unknown said...

Happy birthday, Claire! I have seen womans ostrich socks on Amazon, but not exactly like hers. ;) -Deserer

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Claire!! You are so awesome!!

mj forgatsch said...

Happy Happy 16th Birthday Claire!

Yvonne Post said...

Happy B-day Claire and BETTER days for you mama of Claire!
Life sucks sometimes.

kathy peterson said...

Happy Birthday Claire!WOO-HOO SWEET 16!

PerthesKat said...

Happy Birthday Claire!! I love your spunk and obvious zest for life! And big hugs for Momma, she has the sweetest most caring soul. Hope things feel more in control soon, I know most of us could never truly understand, but we can pray and send positive thoughts! You ROCK Momma, and "better" days are coming! Give both your miracle girls hugs and kisses!

Stephanie Harper said...

Happy 16th birthday, Claire...and to your wonderful parents: Enjoy this day that has been given to you.

cooperfreckles said...

Happy birthday Claire!! Have you ever read ghost boy? If not it would be a good read for you! It is a true story of a locked in child that can not speak but an amazing caregiver realized by his eyes he could communicate!! It is all about him letting people now what he needs etc.

Lorelei said...

http://www.absolutesocks.com/ladies-fashion/ladies-knee-high-over-the-knee/ostrich-knee-high-socks/?utm_source=googlepepla&utm_medium=adwords&id=54457485169&gclid=CjwKCAjw2NvLBRAjEiwAF98GMZ1QiDCgVuecfgd03ua93GNP9yvbIsOetR3WK6i09fkQeDZel-j6nBoCMEAQAvD_BwE

rgcamom said...

Gwen, you are such a great mom you inspire me every time I read your posts with the ferocity of your love for all of your kids and your devotion to them. I believe sometimes (not always...some dreams are just crazy subconscious stuff!) God may come to us in a dream. Perhaps He wanted to give you a bit of much needed hope and affirmation to keep on keeping on and know your girls feel it and know it.

Marcie Cimini said...

Dear Gwen, You were blessed with these two beautiful souls because you are a very strong woman, determined to give them the best life possible - a life full of love and caring. Your little ladies have thrived because of you (and your family). You have no idea how much you have helped people with your positivity and humor. I am inspired and in awe of you all. God Bless and Happy Birthday Beautiful Claire.

Brenda Reed said...

Happy Birthday to Clare! And, Lola, I hope your rash gets better quickly. :)

Smith said...

Nice

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