Another birthday has come and gone. It wasn't an exciting one, but it was peaceful....and sometimes that's better than exciting anyway.
I still can't help but reminisce on all the things that have changed since my 33rd birthday. It seems most days that a lifetime has passed since then, instead of a single year.
One year ago, I thought that my world had crashed down around me. Open heart surgery was a scary ordeal looming on the horizon and Down's Syndrome was the most terrifying thing I had ever had to accept. A year ago, I was no where near accepting either one, and I was praying fervently that it had all been a bad dream that I would wake up from. I was one kind word away from bursting into tears at any given minute, I was consumed with guilt, with sadness, with fear, with overwhelming pain. The only things that I knew for certain were that I loved you beyond measure and that I would do anything, deal with anything, just to have you safely in my arms.
Now here we are. A mere 365 days later. Down's Syndrome ISN'T the worst thing I have to deal with. Open heart surgery wasn't the scariest thing I can ever imagine. And while you are still so small in size, I have learned from your amazingly big spirit....
20 Lessons From My Daughter
1. Live each and every moment as if it's your last. Hug those you love every chance you get, and tell them you love them on a regular basis.....
2. As Garth Brooks once said, sometimes God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
3. A gummy, toothless smile can brighten even the very worst day.
4. Be thankful. For every single little thing.
5. Always dance to the beat of your own drummer.
6. Look for miracles. They are every where, if only you take the time to see them.
7. I don't have to change the world. All I have to do is change the way I look at it.
8. An extra chromosome doesn't change who someone is. It makes them who they are.
9. Lydia Anne is perfect. There are no flaws in her. No errors. No mistakes. She is EXACTLY the beautiful creation that God intended her to be.
10. The scars she carries now are a constant reminder that she is whole. She is healthy. She is here....I never thought I would ever be so grateful for scars.
11. Her scars are visible to the naked eye. They will fade. Mine are invisible, but they'll fade too.
12. Love unconditionally.
13. I've cried enough to fill rivers and oceans....but each one released has made me a stronger person.
14. Faith isn't a two way street. God sometimes has way more faith in me than I do in Him, but He never lets that slow Him down.
15. You'll never truly appreciate Heaven until you have stumbled through the fires of Hell, with the Devil himself breathing down your neck.
16. Dreams come true. But sometimes you have to work extra hard to help them along.
17. Choose your friends wisely. True friends love and support you even when you're ugly and mean, through your highs and lows, and know all your dirty secrets but still love you anyway.
18. I am capable of so much more than I ever give myself credit for.
19. This little DS club wasn't one I wanted to join. But it's pretty darn awesome just the same.
20. Holland is absolutely breathtaking.........
It's funny. Just when I think I have it all figured out, I learn something new. I think I can easily live through the next 34 years and still be finding out that God still has oodles to teach me.
I know I couldn't ask for a more precious teacher than you, Liddy. :)
I love you so much. You leave me wide eyed in wonder every single day.