A year ago Mia's life changed forever. It is hard to believe it has been a year since we packed our bags and headed to Cincinnati, hearts filled with fear, sadness and anxiety. At the same time, it's hard to remember that a year ago Mia was still in pull-ups and we were administering her enemas rectally. For Mia, her life before has become a distant memory. In fact, she recalls nothing negative from her surgery and recovery, or she has blocked it out. Either way, she often asks to go back! She wants to see the the doctors and nurses and take wheelchair rides that she apparently loved. She remembers friends from the Ronald McDonald House and all the fun things I had to force her to do!! I can never forget how much she protested all of those things, yet her recollections contradict mine. We are so grateful time has healed her physical and emotional scares.
Time has also allowed Dave and me to heal. I remember researching Mia's surgery and reading posts from my Spina Bifida group. It was unanimously the worst surgery had by those who went through with it. They also wrote it was the most life changing and, as painful as it was, they would do it again and would not have waited so long to do so. I can honestly say, my feelings echo theirs. Having the surgery at such a young age has allowed Mia to forget the immense pain, become more independent and increase her ability to partake in activities like her peers. It has taken me almost a whole year to say it was "worth" it. We pray that one day Mia will feel the same!
As we put last year behind us, we will never forget. Never forget the pain. However, we will always remember the bonds we formed with new friends and the ones we strengthened with old friends, the generosity that surrounded us then and still does today, the strength of the human spirit, the presence of God in our lives and the immense beauty of others. We look forward to a year of new beginnings!