My mind has already raced with thoughts, and connections, ideas, good and bad, dark, and light.

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If life had turned out differently last fall into the winter would we be here now?

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Is this all my fault?

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Is this genetics and puberty and a year that won’t quit for anyone all rolled into one?

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They need their friends. They need human interaction. They need to see things outside of their four walls.

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I have this thing I do… crisis strikes and my mind starts rolling in a million ways of how to change my entire life, how to run away on vacation, how to make everything better.

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I need to slow down.

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“We’re going to take this one step at a time, Mom, ok?”
The ED nurse said to me. Him sitting on the bed, me perched on the edge of the chair, I nodded dumbly, tried to quiet my mind. Taking in the empty room, stripped of everything familiar to me during a hospital stay.

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It’s hard for me to take things one step at a time.

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It’s easy to assign the blame to me.

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It doesn’t feel right, though. I’ve tried it on.

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“This is not your fault. When you are lying awake at 2 in the morning staring at the stars, tell yourself that this was not your fault.”
Dr. Werner said those words to me over 9 years ago when Gavyn was in the PICU. They come to me often. They come to me now.

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Some days feel like abundance, or plenty, or manna. I cling to the manna in these moments.

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Manna tastes like sweet messages from family, friends, neighbors.

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It tastes like gift cards for coffee and Bread Co.

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It tastes like sitting in the sun on the porch.

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Like painting with my 8-year-old.

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A hug.

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It tastes like words of encouragement in shared stories.

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Like pastors and elders.

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It tastes like teachers who care who are so much more than manna. Teachers are abundance, resilience, fighters…

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I watch as the light shifts and changes in the backyard as the sun rises. It continues to rise. The light is golden and green as it filters through the half changed leaves. It illuminates the swing that hangs, twirling, turning, in the tree branch on the breeze. It looks like magic… it looks like childhood. It reminds me of your energy.

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I am hoping you will come home to us healthier and happier. You’ll be glad to see us but overjoyed to see your dogs. I’m ok with this. You’ve always connected with animals in a spiritual way. The connections are deep and thick and rich to watch. I can hear your excitement when you will reunite with them. It keeps me going through today.

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I tell myself to slow. To not change the world. To not reinvent the wheel that is our family. I give myself space to hold what is and see what should change. We will need to change and adjust. We need to shift our gears and move towards something new and healthier. I know we can. I know we will.