Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What If

When we adopted you,

I desperately wanted to bond with you,

To love you,

The way I knew I could.

The way your birth mother deserved for you to be loved.

The way your foster mother deserved for you to be loved.

The way you deserved to be loved.

I tried so hard!




But at first,

I couldn't.

I finally learned,

You can't make yourself feel something

That's not there.

So I stopped.

And then,

Something funny started happening.

It started happening.

But then,

The unimaginable.

You were gone.

The you we knew.

What I always wanted...

Was taken away.

Through years of infertility,



And waiting some more.

Then bonding,

And bonding some more.


It was within my grasp.

You and me,

We were finally meant to be.

We were finally within reach.

But no.



You were gone.

Why now?

That was my very first question?

Why when we had come so far?

I watched you fade,

Further away.

You and me, love.

All we had done,

Was coming undone.


In the mass of a mess,

A glimmer.

I took it,

And ran.

As I sat by your bedside,

All I ever wanted,


Like a tidal wave,

All I was missing,

Came flooding.

For you,

You were my girl!

The girl I'd lay my life down for.

The girl I would trade places with.

The girl I'd take the full concrete impact for.

The girl I would endure every single of those nine surgeries for.

As the years passed and you've barely recovered,

My mind has gone through serious transitions.

Many of them, quite possibly my own projections.

She's not happy.

What kind of life is this?

She can't run, jump, smile, play, reach, talk, walk, crawl, interact.

You can't respond in ways we're used to.

To an uninjured person,

You might seem unhappy,

I'm not immune.

You fool me too.

But I'm with you all day long,

So if anyone knows, it should be me right?

So if I truly think about it,

I think you're happy.

Your happiness lies in the simple.

You enjoy being




Read to,

Laughed with,

Taken on walks,

When we take your hand and pet Rainey,

Or when Nana sings the "kitty song" from The Big Bang Theory,

When Papa goes crazy cakes in your face,

When you lie on Daddy, and the two of you watch the Kings game,

Or when all four of us are in bed on the weekends.

So when I really sit and think,

You're rarely unhappy.

If I look around,

I see everyone else in unhappy, discontent, or depressed moments more often than you.

You're rarely ever discontent, crying, sad, mad, or anything of the sort.

I begin to wonder if we're all the injured ones, after all?

Sweetie, is that why you sometimes look at us as though we're all kinds of crazy?

'Cause we are?

Honey, from the day this accident happened,

You have been one of our greatest teachers.

You are nothing but




And Serenity.

You are the model.

We learn so much from you!

I have it all wrong.

I've had it wrong many times over, my love.

For that, I am sorry.

So sorry.

When I saw how extensive your brain damage was,

I wondered why you made it,

And didn't die.

When the program didn't work, after working our asses off,

I went through a long period of time when I was pissed that you were left a few notches above death. Not dead, but not really alive either. Not dead, but unable to do anything!

And after that, when I had to hear for the umpteenth time, from the umpteenth doctor how bad your brain is, yes again, I thought - well why is she here? If her brain is that bad, but yet we have zero recovery...why?

Do you know how bad these fleeting thoughts make me feel?

Bad! I had to get my head shrunk over them. I felt selfish and disgusting for thinking them of you. Sweet you, who's only trying to survive, to live, to be! I was confused, because if I indeed loved you the way I think, then why was I wishing you dead?

Maggy explained these thoughts weren't selfish, and were because it hurts me deeply for us as a family, but mostly for you! For us to see you like this is agonizing, especially because of who you were, and all you could do before. I wanted to set you free, free from this life, as we've had to watch you endure countless surgeries, endless therapy, and a body that's slowly, but surely breaking down. The truth of the matter is - the deterioration and surgeries will continue on with each passing year.

This all made perfect sense. The guilt over these strong feelings subsided, but resurfaced for a moment when it came down to letting you go again this past March. Baby, life can be rough.

But now I have a different view. Don't get me wrong, it's still hard, but I try to look at you in this new light. I'm hoping to God I'm reading you right, that I'm seeing you clearly, and as you see your world?

Honey, I want you to know - I finally know why you are here.

I know why you were spared that day.

I know why you didn't die.

I know why you survived.

I love that you're here.

I don't want you to go anywhere.

I love you so much.

I don't care that you can't do anything.

You do all that you need to.

You are everything you need to be,

And more.

In your short life, you've taught people more than some will ever teach in all their years.

I thank you my little.

You've made me all I ever wanted.

With you, I wasn't proud of who I was before.

What if this never happened?

And you and I walked this whole life together,

Never fully arriving where we are today?

That would've been a far greater tragedy than this ever was.

Because if you died that day in June,

I would have died too.

Because I would never have been able to prove to you,

Or your birth mother,

Or your foster mother,

That I could love you, like you deserve to be loved.


  1. Oh, Jen, you are the wisest woman I know. I wish you had been on Oprah. There's so much you could teach the world about love and acceptance. I know I've said this before, but I really, really hope you write a book.
    See you soon,

  2. Ditto. I peeked onto your site, not even expecting to see an update....but hoping nonetheless :-) I certainly was not expecting to be totally blown away by what I found...but I am. Your ability to attach words to feelings that are so hard to identify in the first place is mind-bogglingly phenomenal.

  3. Like always your truth, honesty and love just, not oozes out, but GUSHING out. I love you. You are so amazing. I'm so proud and fortunate to have you as one of my best friends.

    I love you.

  4. From your heart, straight to Aviana's. You wrote an amazing post, Jen. Since we are all so human, we think life is about the here and now. You have worked through all those very difficult emotions and thoughts and more than you mentioned, I'm certain. And, as you suggest, it's not over yet. I'm sure there are still questions and emotions that will come and go for you. But to read your thoughts and how far you've come through all of your sorrow and pain is very encouraging. It's hard for me to think of such a young couple dealing with all that you have (anyone, but especially a young couple). Your honesty in your posts has surely helped others in similar situations, as well as those of us who can only try to imagine. I'm blessed to know that you have seen such important things in your relationship with Avi and for yourself. May God continue to bless you with great courage and such amazing and fierce love for your family.

    Nancy in the Midwest

  5. wow.
    for once....I have no words. never thought that would happen ;)

  6. I love you friend. You are a wonderful mother!

  7. I love this and I love you, girl. One of my favorite posts you have ever written. You have done Avi proud.

  8. "the kitty song from Big Bang Theory" ... this needs filmed and shared ;) ..."soft kitty, happy kitty...purr purr purr".... smile

    Jen - I find it ironic that God gave humans the ability to read and write. Honestly, it is not an ESSENTIAL element of our survival. Telephones, meetings, retelling of stories/history/experiences.

    BUT...the written word is amongst us and your post proved why it is so valuable.

    I could have HEARD you say those words - I would have loved them, cried with you as you talked, held Avianna as you finished...BUT....WRiting SUCH THiNGS DONE gives a permanence to them that talking does not.

    We can see your mind working the beautiful and important words out as you work your way through this post

    It starts as a plea of sorts and ends as a promise.

    I adore the fact that you can find the good out of the horrible. There always is. That's a God Promise. It may take awhile (I'm still waiting on a few ;) but, eventually,as you have woven with words, the good shows up.

    Praising God for she is NOW. Giving you a "holla" because you are a fighter with heart-shaped boxing gloves on....


  9. Oh Jen....I don't read blogs much but when I think of you I come to your blog....and cry. Although I haven't walked in your shoes, I "get" your pain. I've often wondered...what if we were you. What if Gabby survived just like would life be. Each second of the day is different than it should have been...for both our families...Love and Hugs to you! Becky

  10. Your words are such an inspiration and a blessing. I think it is incredible how accurately you are able to convey your feelings in your blog. The love you have for your Aviana is more beautiful than words can describe. Thank you.

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