I spent time looking through old photos albums the other day before my girls birthday. Some might see this as a self-inflicted torture for an already emotional momma, but it was really a great form of grief therapy.
Through pictures I was able to recall so many moments in time. The moment of birth when thoughts of future struggles where nonexistent. The sweet little being that chose me knowing that we both had much to learn.
As I flipped through the pages I was transported back to a time when she was infant and the crying never ceased. The screaming, the painful cries and the complete inability on my part to comfort her. The helplessness that I felt attempting to soothe her was heartbreaking. It was the beginning of our journey.
The journey to understand her and to connect with her. The learning that would be required to parent her. The challenges that raising her placed on my already strained marriage. The awareness that her brothers would need to understand her. The changes that would occur in me. The opportunities for others to open up to difference.
The moments of time captured in photographs tell the story from infancy through childhood. Packed full of memories and growth. There were pictures that included laughter and long forgotten times of pure joy. The favorite toys and the fascination with water. The silly faces and fun with her brothers. Each photograph telling a part of the story.
As I closed the last photo album, I was quiet with the knowing that this journey has not always been easy and yet it has been the best experience of my life. The bittersweetness of realizing what has been lost and accepting the beauty of what was given.
Sixteen years. I am grateful for the journey and the many many lessons along the way.