This time last year was our last night of "blissful ignorance". Chad and I, while spending the night at the local hospital, had no idea how awry our life was about to be. We had no idea that the next morning our daughters pediatrician would walk into the room and tell me, with his own tears in his own eyes, that our Piper was being diagnosed with Leukemia. That is all we knew. Chad and I spent the next few hours waiting for transport to take our sweet 10 week old daughter to Scottish Rite in Atlanta...we had no focus, we had no strength or semblance of mind to call anyone for help, we had no earthly idea what Leukemia meant for our baby. Oh, but we found out.
Neither of us were allowed to transport with Piper, so we got into our sedan and followed 4 strangers in a strange truck as they lead us into a world we were grasping to comprehend. The entire drive there I looked out the window and remember watching the rain pour and the leaves wallow and sobbing. Then I would reach out for Chad and he would sob. We spoke so very little, not because we didn't want to but because we couldn't. Simply.Could.Not.
At the hospital we were told to ask for the Aflac floor, so we did. The pity on the ladies face at the front desk was paralyzing as she pointed us down the halls. We both rushed past the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Services wall sign and reached our daughter as she was being settled into a crib and surrounded by nurses who would soon become my confidants, friends and caretakers.
I say that I do not remember the next few days. But, I remember tests being done. I remember holding her and wanting to know what was going on. I remember asking questions when there simply were no answers to be given. I remember Linley showing up and dancing around, oblivious. I remember being told to shower. Being told to sleep. Being told to eat and drink. I remember those of you who came and held me, or called me and listened to me alternate between confidence and pure hysteria. I remember the letters that flooded the room. I remember waking and feeling that gut wrenching, mind numbing realization flood my soul again. I remember walking the halls. I remember holding Piper, kissing Piper, sobbing over Piper. I remember calling Linley and feeling so very, very far away. I remember looking at my husband and being terrified at what this meant for us. I remember not having any energy to pray but dreaming night after night of my God sitting in the chair besides me sobbing as I was because I was His child and I was suffering. I thought I remembered so little.
This night a year ago I rocked my baby girl to sleep, resting myself, assured that whatever had brought us here was simply being fixed and wondering if I had remembered to take the trash out before leaving the house the day before.
I have never been one for cliche phrases but this was the day my family lost our innocence. We had very little in this world and that was what we clung to...and it was stolen. In its place I have gained Peace. Being Loved. Being Held. Faithfulness. Hope. Most of all has been the grave understanding that we DO live in a fallen world. My daughter and my family are proof. But my God has sobbed with me. And He is still loving us, holding us, showering us with His sweet Peace and Hope.
That is what has remained. For 12 long months we have struggled. We have looked at ugly in the eye and chosen beauty. I still choose the beauty that my God has in store for my family and I chose to remember the details of Pipers last day of innocence because it is there that I am strangely able to truly remember my Gods unfailing and unwavering Goodness.