I am a very lucky woman. I have been lifted up and supported by an entire village of friends, family, and even strangers. I was eager to write this prompt for the blog hop because lately I have found myself focusing on the negative. While the negativity is justified, it feels good to have something positive to share: I am surrounded by LOVE. Below are the ways in which I have found comfort in this trying journey. Whether I am connected to these people by blood or “business,” the times I needed an ear, laugh, or just somebody to “shoot it straight,” I have had these people in my corner – day and night.
Before we had a diagnosis, we were referred to a physical therapist. From the moment we started seeing her I knew she would be a source of support. Her natural ability to make me feel safe to vent any emotions has made her my touchstone through this journey. She adores my son as if he was one of her own and she works effortlessly to help him achieve his goals. I am in awe of her selflessness and passion for what she does. People like her make the world a better place.
After the sun sets, my backyard deck becomes a sacred healing spot where a flickering candle and a glass of wine is all you need. Ask anyone – if you find yourself on the deck with me late into the evening you are guaranteed (and quarantined, ha) to cry, laugh, and if you’re lucky…dance and sing. If there is something my girlfriends and I are good at, it’s all of the above.
I am lucky that I have several sources of comfort when I am in need of support, but the older I get the more I realize how much I need my girlfriends. I am part of a rare group of people fortunate enough to remain very close to the same group of friends for twenty years. We have been inseparable since the 7th grade, and although we are all so different we sustain a level of trust that has helped each of us through all of life’s ups and downs.
I have also been lucky enough to gain a few new girlfriends over the past decade. Even though I have only known most of these women for less than 10 years, I feel as though I have known them forever. I have been able to call them late in the night just to have someone listen as I cry. They challenge me and allow me to view the world in new ways and have filled my heart with love. They call me out on my bullshit and encourage me to dig deeper and love without fear. I wouldn’t be half the woman I am without the love of my girlfriends.
“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”
My Husband and Family.
My husband is my world. He is strong in ways I didn’t think possible and this has allowed me to have moments of weakness without having to feel guilty. We are both navigating through this journey in separate emotional ways and to some extent it has been helpful because we are able to support one another from our unique perspectives of thought. We are learning our strengths and weaknesses and slowly identifying where we personally can be more effective. Going through this has given us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and in turn is making us a team. Team Morrison!
I come from an extremely close family and if you follow my blog you already know how much support I receive from both my parents and extended family. We are an ecletic group of people and we make mistakes but if there is one thing we are good at it’s having unconditional love for each other. At times we don’t show it as often as we should but never the less it is always present.
My brother, Matthew, specifically has been there for Avery and us since the moment he came into this world. When I asked him to be in the delivery room and help me through labor alongside my husband he was honored. I think it’s rare for a brother to watch his sister give birth, but he did. That’s how close we have become. Being only three years apart, we were often fighting through the teen years and often struggled with each other, but as soon as we both grew up we became inseparable. I am doubly lucky in that my husband and my brother have also grown close. There is no better feeling in the world than to see your favorite men love one another. Matthew has grown into an amazing man, and I am so honored to have him be a role model for Avery in the years to come. He is the most loyal and honest man I know. I am in awe of his integrity and I am grateful I have him to lean on for support.
Down Syndrome Community.
It is shockingly sad when you realize just how little information is given to parents when they receive the news that their child has Down syndrome. I, for one, was given a sheet of paper and sent on my way. With multiple doctor appointments on a daily and weekly basis in the beginning, I know I am not alone when I say a panic sets in and you begin to feel as though you have been left to navigate these choppy and scary waters alone and without paddles.
As soon as I got connected with other parents I realized that our community was how we get through this. We do it together because we are the only ones who truly “get it” and can share advice and tips. I have received more help from other parents than I ever could from doctors or geneticists. We all live this life, and science paired with educated guessing can only help so much. This network is one of acceptance without judgment or comparison. It’s an incredible feeling to know I am loved by complete strangers. I have slowly become more engaged within my local community but my hope is to be very involved at some point and look forward to where my journey will take me.
I had no idea that the words “it is imperative that you do this” would begin an incredible journey into the world of blogging. Those words of encouragement, given to me by a good friend, gave me just the boost I needed to begin writing. I had no idea that compiling my list of the twenty one lessons I have learned from Avery would be the start of something so amazing. If you are new to my blog and want to read the post that started it all, check it out HERE! Writing has allowed me a safe place to be vulnerable and honest. It has also made my community even larger. It is so comforting to read someone’s post and think, “That’s exactly how I am feeling!” With every blog I read, my emotions and experiences are validated more than ever before and that is a priceless gift.
Last but not least, this guy. His smile makes it all worth it.