I worry. A lot. It’s probably what I do most every day. Worry if Addison will wake up and cry when I get out of bed for my shower. Worry if I’ll be late for work. Worry if I’m totally screwing things up at my new job. Worry about how much money I have in my bank account and which bills I have that are past due. Worry about all the things I need to do at home, which ones I should do first, worry about which ones I don’t get done. Worry that I don’t spend enough time with Ringo. Worry, worry, worry. And it’s not just about myself and my life. I worry about my sister constantly: how’s Anna behaving today? Did she have a good night last night? Is Melissa having a good day or is she having a hard day? I worry almost every time my phone rings: Who is calling me? It’s Melissa, or my dad, or my husband. Why are they calling me right now? Who is dead? Who is hurt? My dad has been working in Maryland for 3 weeks at a time for the past few months, and that has only added to the things I worry about.
Of course, I worry about Addison the most. When she was little, I was always worried that she wasn’t breathing. That’s one of the big reasons she slept with us: when your kid is sleeping soundly on your chest, you don’t have to worry if she’s alive or not. And I’ve always worried that something will happen to her. My rationale (okay, that’s probably not the right word, because it’s not very rational) is that Addison is perfect. Beyond perfect. She’s beautiful, and she is the sweetest, funniest, smartest, most angelic (usually…) little think on this planet. She’s barely ever been sick, she’s hardly ever in a bad mood, she’s obedient, she loves the living daylights out of her family, and she’s everything I ever dreamed of having for a child. And since she’s absolutely perfect, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m waiting for the flip side. It can’t all be perfect and wonderful forever. I joke that I’m enjoying Addison as much as I can now, so I’ll have these times to hold onto when she’s a teenager and she hates my guts. I actually worry more that she’ll never be a teenager, that something will happen to my sweet little angel and I will never, ever be able to recover from it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m overly paranoid, if it’s PTSD from the whole episode with my mom, if it’s part of being a mother, or if I am totally off my rocker.
Now, the point of this little public exposure of my insanity? Every so often, I am reminded of how lucky I am through others who are not as lucky. One of my favorite blogs is written by a woman who found out her child had Down Syndrome only after she was born. Her daughter, Nella, was born maybe a month before Addison, and they actually look a LOT alike to me, Addy and Nella. Finding her blog was like a punch in the stomach: that could have been you. Despite the scary and surprising beginning to her life, Nella is a perfect little baby, and cute as a bug, as can be seen on her blog.
Other people have children with more life-threatening issues. I found out about the Powell family today. They live in Havana, where my dad lives, and one of their 20-month twin boys has a brain tumor and cancer and is currently battling it out at a local hospital. He had the brain tumor removed, but they’ve found abnormalities on his spinal cord.
I found out about another family today, too. A family who lost their little girl, Ruby Jane, to liver failure. Ruby Jane was born 4 days after my niece, Anna, on January 5, 2011. She died on Thursday, August 11.
Looking at the beautiful pictures of her on her mom’s blog makes me feel a kind of sadness that I don’t want to dwell on long enough to describe. If I think about that kind of sadness, I can get sucked up in it, and go down in a thought spiral that leads to me wondering Why have I been so lucky? When will it happen to me?
So, what is my point, exactly? Well, that I’m a crazy person. And also, that I’m a very, very, very lucky person. I have been giving amazing blessings in my life, and I don’t know how or why, and that knowledge and the knowledge that other people are struggling, are watching their babies get sick and die, makes me grateful that I have my perfect little Addy, and it also makes me hurt for them in a way that almost totally consumes me. So, I wanted to use my voice, my tiny little platform, to remind everyone to be thankful, too, and also to think about these people who aren’t as lucky as we are. I encounter people every day that have plenty of time to complain about things that aren’t going right in their life. I hope that today, you’ll take some time today to be thankful for the things that are going right. And while you’re at it, take a minute to send your prayers, or positive vibes, or whatever you believe in to these little babies and their families. Thank you.