October 29, 2010


For the past 123 days, J and I have been driving the same 15 miles back and forth from the hospital, often twice a day or more.  Most of the time we decide to take the back roads, instead of the highways that may save us a few minutes (or cause major delays based on DC area traffic!)  Many of the drives are completed with no conscious effort, the route is automatic now - we know where to look for the local police force, where traffic backups may occur, etc.  I often spend my time on solo drives reflecting on Andrew's progress, catching up on phone calls, or mentally making to-do lists.  Drives with J usually involve us catching up on the day, as it's often the only real one-on-one time we get these days.

The other night, we were driving in for our night visit, and we passed this:

I feel like it was a message just for me, given the name of this blog!  On our way home, I pulled over and made J take a picture for me.  I've been thinking about this sign the past few days - where am I finding joy?  I realized that I've been going through this process in such a daze - everything has been "on hold" until Andrew comes home.  And that is just pointless.  Andrew's homecoming is going to be stressful - it's not like he will all of a sudden be "all better" and the life that I imagined will begin.  No, he'll still be premature, have lots and lots of doctors visits, and most likely be on oxygen for awhile after arriving home.  We'll still be on lock down for the winter, we'll still need to find alternate daycare arrangements than what we had imagined, and we'll still have bills to pay and life to live.  Don't get me wrong, he'll be home with us, and we can begin to figure out our lives under one roof - and that will be wonderful!  But, there is really no sense to postpone or put off appreciating life until that day. 

So, I made a pact with myself to begin searching... to look for joy in every situation, what ever it may be.  And not to "wait" for life to begin.  Take our daily rides to the hospital.  The past few days I've turned off the radio and just looked around.  It's beautiful here.  I love the fall - the colors are just so gorgeous and vibrant.  This picture doesn't begin to do it justice (I took it through my windshield as I was driving), but trust me!

Back road to the hospital

Deer hanging out along the road - we see some
almost every night, but rarely catch them during the day

In regards to Andrew's journey, all along we've found joy in each of his major milestones.  Those are obvious to celebrate.  [Note - he is four months old and 6 pounds, 9 oz now!]  But, there are quiet moments too that have often just brushed by without notice.  I'm now trying to pay attention to those as well, and have found my heart light the past few days.

Fast asleep, curled up in Mommy's lap.
I love that he calms down when in my arms.

A rare happy and content moment before a diaper change
(usually he is screaming b/c he is hungry!)

Perfect little fingers and toes always make me smile!
Just a little reminder for all of us to keep looking for joy in unexpected places.  I know I'll keep searching.


Anonymous said...

I love your reading your post and thank you for allowing us to see your beautiful Andrew grow. You , John, and Andrew are such an inspiration.

Wit Love,
Jen Morales

Gabrielle in PDX said...

Great post. Six and 1/2 pounds?! Yay!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written once again. You have such a fantastic perspective on life. Andrew is lucky!

So happy to hear his weight gain!!!!

Nicole Pritchett

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful and oh so true. Andrew's progress is inspiration to us.