365 Days Later...
Let's compare Hudson on July 10, 2017 to Hudson today...
Trevor flew in for his annual check up which allowed us a couple of days to visit a celebrate together. All of Trevor's imaging and labs looked wonderful and he continues to be in good health!
While Trevor was here, we had the opportunity to get photos of him and Hudson together. As with everything Trevor does, the photos exceeded all our expectations.
my thoughts on it all.
Leading up to today was very similar to leading up to this day one year ago. I was cautious with whom I spoke with, what I said and who we saw because I didn't know what the day would bring. Morgan and I tap danced around each other not wanting to make any statements or emotional pleas that would set an unwanted tone to our day. Neither of us wanted to admit some of the feelings we were feeling and allow uncertainty or fear into our day. We also refused to allow ourselves to be happy or excited because allowing ourselves to be happy or excited could mean setting ourselves up for disappointment and grief later. So, we sat there. We were the Switzerland of emotions, void of any polarizing thought. It was our own emotional defense mechanism. We sat still, watching the world go about its business for 16 hours. We allowed other people to show the love, support and enthusiasm that we couldn't bring ourselves to show. One year later, I could use the same description for today.
I have been staring at this blank page for about a week. Typing and deleting. Typing and deleting. I couldn't find the adequate words, the philosophical epiphanies, or the emotional triggers that one would expect in a "one year transplant anniversary post." The truth is, I hadn't felt inspired to share anything. I was starting to go back into that emotionally defensive place - Until this morning.
I feel like this whole experience has made me a better person. There, I said it. I am throwing that out into the universe. No, I am not saying that I am a better person than you or anyone else. What I am saying is that relative to who I was before, I have evolved into a better version of myself and have learned to embrace certain things. So, in the spirit of reflection, let me provide you with some unsolicited advice based on my experience over the past year.
it's okay to take a step back.
I have been incredibly fortunate to find various communities online and through social media. Many of these families have become friends and we all share in celebrating each other's victories and all rally through each other's struggles. Every time there was a struggle within that community, it would chip away at my heart. Though I would physically log out or put my phone down, I would continue to carry those struggles with me. All of the chips in my heart started taking a toll on me. I decided it was in my and my family's best interest for me to take a step back and work on making my heart whole again. This helps me be the best version of myself for my family and most importantly, for Hudson. I tell you this story to illustrate one thing - taking a step back and focusing on yourself does not make you care any less about the people and things around you. It allows you the time that you need so you can fiercely love the people around you and dive into your life with the passion and energy it deserves.
micro v. macro.
It is easy to look back on this journey and sum it up as difficult and painful. Focusing on the challenges and struggles we had over the past two years, begins to stir up anxiety and depression within me. However, if I dissect the years into months, weeks, even days, I see that each day has brought a new adventure and something to be grateful for. This has taught me something. Focusing on each day as its own and choosing to recognize things you are grateful for is not only easier, it has given me a better perspective on my life.
The past week has been filled with things I am grateful for. We had our one year clinic visit which included labs and an ultrasound. His labs looked perfect and we were able to discontinue one of his medications. Trevor was in town so we were able to spend quality time together and celebrate. On Monday, my nephew came into this world healthy and beautiful. Today, I woke up to the news that another child on the waiting list got their call for a new liver. There are so many things to be grateful for every single day, I promise. Make the choice to recognize and relish in those things - it is going to make those not-so-great days more tolerable. I am even willing to say that as you practice being grateful for those little things each day, I bet you see those not-so-great days become few and far between. It has been the daily victories that have gotten me through the major challenges.
stop comparing your life to others.
Now that the sun is out and it is warmer, Hudson and I have been going on more walks and park dates. Hudson loves to run around the park and most recently, he discovered the thrills of the slide. Going to the park and being outside is something I look forward to each day however, whenever I am at the park, I can't help but watch other kids, around Hudson's age, talking, interacting and playing with their friends. Hudson doesn't do that. Yes, I know we have gone through hell and high water to be where we are today but I can't help but find myself being envious of those kids and those parents. I can't help but be slightly upset when I watch my friend's children dance, clap and say their first words in the camera. Yes, I am happy they are doing well because I love my family and friends but I can't help but get a little anxiety when I am reminded of what Hudson isn't doing. This is something I have struggled with since Hudson was born. Everything is measured in milestones - tummy time, grabbing for things, crawling, cruising, walking, talking, etc...and I am constantly reminded that we are still stuck on the lower end of progress spectrum. I know this anxiety is shared amongst all parents, not just those with medical issues. Then I was reading a book by Rachel Hollis and this quote hit me like a ton of bricks.
"Stop comparing yourself. Stop comparing your life to hers, your relationship to theirs, stop holding your life up against someone else's because it doesn't serve you in ANY way. Comparison is the death of joy and the only person you need to outdo is whoever you were yesterday."
I had just returned from the park so it initially hit me as it applied to Hudson however, the more I thought about it, the more I realized this power statement applied to every aspect of my life. Your life and journey are uniquely yours so stop comparing your journey with other journeys that have started and stopped in places and times different than your own. The sooner you accept and embrace this, the better parent, partner and friend you will be to others and to yourself. You can spend less time comparing your life and what it isn't and start enjoying your time at the parks.
So. Now I am to the point where I get to talk about you all. Our people. Our tribe. Our world. The old phrase "it takes a village" could not be more fitting. It truly has been our community that has lifted us and gotten us to where we are today.
Our world today tends to focus on the divisive and hateful rhetoric that exists. Despite geography, political views, religious affiliation, sport team preference, our family has seen first hand that people can come together to love and support a cause. I was reminded of that today when my social media memories showed me all the pictures of you in #freehudson shirts. To simply say 'thank you' would never truly illustrate our gratitude for each and every one of you. Please know that your support and kindness is inspiring.
Its not just a liverversary for Hudson & Trevor, it's a liverversary for you guys - our village.
XOXO - Jordan, Morgan, Hudson, Dude & Jax