2013 has proven to be a trying yet tremendously rewarding year thus far. We're just one month in but I've already had my share of ups and downs. As the new year began, seizures were in full swing. We had tried for more than a year to get them under control and nothing was working.
One night in early January, I lay quietly in my bed, the glow from the streetlights casting shadows on my closet door. The steady blinking of the smoke alarm visible out of the corner of my eye. Tears slowly but steadily streamed down my cheek. Some days felt seamless while others were a constant struggle from beginning to end. I was at my wits end with medications as I felt like I was pumping my daughter's body full of poisons for naught.
And then, after a few hours of sleeplessness and sadness, a rush of comfort overwhelmed me. The tears continued, but the peace and comfort I felt was indescribable. "Every day is a gift," I thought. "Every day is a blessing."
In the past month, we have begun to control Leah's seizures. Other trials have presented themselves, but we're working through those as well.
As I was thinking about all of this again today and how much has changed in a month, I looked at two pictures taken in the past week or so. The first of Leah, bursting with joy, sunshine streaming through the car windows. Sunshine so bright she had to wear her sunglasses. And, looking at this photo, I feel that joy. So much joy my heart could burst.
The second picture is of Kate. A very sick and sad Kate last week. But in a moment of respite, she found her shadow for the first time ever and was completely entranced. She spent a good ten minutes following the cherubic figure on the wall. The crazy hair, the chubby fingers, the pacifier, the mile long eyelashes. I just sat back and watched. And I again felt that joy.
As I watched, I thought, there's sunshine here too. Even in the shadows, sunshine has to exist, and even the shadows can be beautiful. The tears will still come and the days might still be hard, but the sunshine and joy are there. We just have to look a little harder for the beauty through the darkness.