Ninety-seven days ago, I was driving on the dark streets of Wichita Falls, panicked and distraught. Somewhere close, a plane, carrying my husband and our 11-day-old son, was taking off for Cook’s Children’s hospital. I pulled into my driveway and flew into the house.
The remnants of a party– my sister’s college graduation celebration– were still visible, with empty party platters stacked on the counter, too big for the trash can.
My mom came in from around the corner, carrying my overnight bag, as well as a smaller one for my husband. We talked in hushed voices, as not to wake my daughter, about what was happening: yes, he was being medically flown, while I would meet them there. We weren’t exactly sure what was going on… but it wasn’t good.
I grabbed a few extra toiletries, my pillow, and my pain medication– I had just had a c-section and wasn’t fully healed; technically, not even cleared to drive yet. But, we do what we have to do.
And, then I turned, and left. I backed our of my driveway on May 10 at 4 a.m., and drove off. It would be the last time I was at my own house… until tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I will step through the front door again to that house I drove away from, frantically, nearly 100 days ago. I will not be the same person I was before, either.
I have changed; I have emotional scars.
I am a little more cynical, a little more jaded.
A little less naïve.
My son has changed since he last saw his home, as well. He has only changed for the better, though.
He is no longer fighting to oxygenate his body.
His heart is no longer working triple-time to keep him alive.
He is pink.
He is alert.
He is ready to be a part of a family, our family, and grow and mature. He’s ready to move on.
Our daughter is ready to walk through that door again. She is ready for a routine that involves both of her parents, that involves her room and her things, that involves seeing her puppy each day.
She is ready for some normalcy. We all are.
Now, “normal” may mean “chaos” for awhile. Our little boy’s feeding and medication schedule is slightly overwhelming and keeps me on my toes… as if having a 3-year-old doesn’t do that already.
But, it’s time. It will be emotional walking through that door, as I remember leaving last time in absolute terror. But, in order to create new, fresh and wonderful memories to replace the scary ones… I have to take that step.