Strap in, this is going to be a long one.
When the twins were born and we subsequently lost Charlize, I made a conscious effort not to look towards the future. Sounds hard doesn’t it? I was protecting myself. I was terrified to build a connection with this tiny, fragile human who relied on me every minute of every day to make the right decisions for her. To keep her alive. The fact is, you have to connect.
When she wrapped her entire tiny hand around my little finger, my whole body tingled from her touch. When she opened one of her eyes for the first time and gazed at me, her soul bore into mine. When she squealed like a kitten because she was in pain, because she was scared, because she was alone, because she missed her twin, my heart broke. Our connection was vital to her survival and mine.
But still I tried not to look forward to when she would crawl, walk, go to preschool, go to school, because what if she never did those things. My heart hurt. So instead, I embraced each day slowly and one at a time, a total blessing. Slowly she reached her milestones and we celebrated them loudly because at times it was a miracle she did them.
One day, all of the sudden, I was dressing her in a school uniform and sending her into the arms of the most nurturing teacher for five whole days a week.
Today, six months after starting school I sat next to my husband in the school hall. Both of us excited for Lucia. Both of us unbelievably happy that we all made it here, smiling, healthy, happy and full of love.
Lucia received her first medallion for ‘Positive Behaviour for Learning’. When they called her name her little face lit up (even if they did pronounce it wrong). As I shakily pinned her medallion on her collar her teacher said to me “Savour this moment”. I replied “Oh, I am” and I really did.
I didn’t cry because there was nothing to be sad about. Even when I was sat back down and stared into her beaming little face standing up on stage and my mind flashed to the months she spent in hospital, to how very unwell she was, to those moments when we really didn’t think she’d survive, to those moments of utter triumph when she learnt how to breathe on her own, when we finally took her home and as we watched this little flower of ours bloom into the most amazing little girl.
Dearest Lucia, today is a defining moment in your life, a day when you realise your kind natured personality, your beautiful manners, your curious mind and your infectious warmth all come together to reiterate how very amazing you are. I know that you are only one of many who received an award today but, no one has travelled your path. Your life journey started out a tumultuous road and the road ahead is now a smooth one.
You my darling, are a fire cracker. Keep being YOU. Always remember where you started and how far you’ve come and how much we love you and that you can do anything you put your mind to (as you’ve already shown us a million times before).
We love you more than anyone in this world. We love you so much and so hard that sometimes it hurts. When I look at you and my eyes fill with tears, I am not sad, I am overwhelmed with emotion at who you are.
You are the final branch on our family tree and we are so proud of you.
Keep smiling beautiful girl and enjoy “Medallion Day”.