Time is a funny thing. For the past few weeks Jess and I have been constantly reminding ourselves that “time heals” – we knew that we just needed to give Lily and her body some time to get over this bout of…well, whatever it was. And of course we were right, but those weeks felt long and it was sometimes hard to keep focused on the light at the end. But, as all of this was happening, I woke up one morning and realized that, for the first time, I had missed the anniversary of Lily’s cardiac arrest. Although I will never hear the date “July 15th” without knowing what it means in our lives, July 15th came and went this year and it wasn’t until it was over that I realized that it had passed us by. And that’s the joy of time – sometimes it really does begin to heal you.
I feel that a lot of this year has been spent moving forwards. Not only has Lily’s development moved in leaps and bounds, I think that this year has given me the chance to start moving forwards as well. In April we had an event at work where a patron died suddenly and being involved in that situation threw me for a bit of a tailspin. It brought me to the point where I questioned whether staying in my current career was the best decision for me, if I would ever be able to be involved in the kind of situations that we deal with and actually do my job without it causing this same type of reaction. I felt weak and humiliated. But then someone said something that truly and completely resonated with me; she said, “things may not get better, but that’s okay.” For the first time, I began to accept that I may never be able to react the same way to an emergency situation: I may always get anxious and I may always have a day or two afterwards that are really hard, but that’s okay. This may just be who I am now and that’s okay. For all of the times that I’ve said it about Lily, I’ve never given myself permission to accept it about myself. We’re not perfect people – our past experiences shape and define how we react to future events and for me, this means accepting that while I can deal with an emergency while it’s happening, it’s more than likely that I’m going to have a rough reaction once it’s done. By knowing and embracing that fact, I can now focus on how to get through it the next time – showing myself the same kindness and patience that I show Lily. It may not get better -it may just be different, and that’s okay.