Back in 2005 something amazing happened. Death Valley was in bloom. The desert had record rainfall that year and seeds that had been laying dormant for years, some said as long as 100 years, bloomed. It was all because of the rain.
When we lived in Washington it rained. A LOT. Those scenes in Twilight where it's lush and green with moss on the trees and overcast. Yep, that was our life.
We have a good friend that always tells me, "bloom where you are planted". He is meaning, be happy where you are. But I think it can be much more than this.
(Go back three years) We had just come back from our trip to Utah. Back to the cold and rain of Mt. Vernon. On day in August Avery told me she was seeing double. Her eyes were crossed. I thought she was being a silly eight year old. So I didn't think much of it and went about getting ready for the day. Until about an hour later I noticed her feeling her way down the hall. Then I started to panic. There was something really wrong.
The neurologist we say at Seattle Children's had since moved to Oregon. We really didn't have established with any other doctor there. So I emailed him. He immediately called me and instructed me to take her to the ER at Seattle Children's. He would call it in so they would be ready for us. Traffic was pretty bad that day and being new to this, I didn't pack a bag, or eat anything. It was about noon when we got to the ER. The doctors wouldn't let her eat anything until they figured out what was going on, just in case they needed to do a surgery. I didn't want her to feel bad, so I didn't eat either. We were both starving. After about four hours they decided to admit her and start her on steroids. We had been to opthomology by then and saw there was damage to the optic nerve. They then where deciding what to do until tumor board the next Wed. This was Thursday. I remember because it was a gorgeous sunny day and the weekend was coming. I didn't want to spend one of the very few sunny weekends stuck in a hospital. So I begged the doctors to let us go home. They consented. We got to spend the weekend together outside as a family. It was my next blessing.
In order for things to bloom you need not only the sunshine, but rain too.
Since then I have learned a lot about a deep dark place inside me. Before I didn't know it even existed. Sometimes it comes out as depression. A dark place that I go, for no reason at all. Once we moved back to Las Vegas, on rainy days I would turn on all the lights in the house all day long to combat it. Even one day would bring me back to the seasonal depression. After living in a crisis mode for a few years, my adrenals were burnt out. (Self diagnosis). Even if I over did a workout, I would be out of energy for two days. Literally doing laundry was huge. I almost stopped working out. Just a 10 minute a day yoga or light pilates was it. There were some days that I read a book, did the dishes and that was about it. This was a harder transition than I expected it to be. As when we go through different phases of life, you have to adjust. When each baby was born, I had to redo how we did things. When the kids all got in school, that was another adjustment. And now, as we go back to "normal", just about a doctor appointment once a month is all!
I think a lot of the reason we needed to move to Arizona is so we could feel like a normal family. If we had stayed in Vegas, we would always be the cancer family. Avery would always be the sick kid. Here no one knows her as that. We will always be the cancer family, but here we get to decide how to share that. If we didn't tell anyone, they would never know. It's allow me time to heal and not have everyone's first question, "how is Avery?".
In the last few months I have really felt my energy come up. I can do almost a normal workout. Jillian Michaels and me spend quality time together 5 to 6 days a week.
The flowers the desert don't last long. They have very short roots from the little bit of rain they got. When life gives you trails that are like torrential downpour that last for months or years, it helps you roots reach to depths you have never knew where there.
I now feel things on a level I never thought possible. When I read or see other families in treatment or in a hospital, I can actually feel what they are feeling. I can not only sympathise but empathise with them. I can be in that moment with them. Kind of a blessing and a curse.
I try to find purpose in it and use it to be able to in some small way help to lift another mother who is in the middle of the storm with her roots being pushed. Bloom where you are planted.