Friday, June 17, 2011

9 Years Post Apocalypse

It's been nearly 9 years since that fateful morning that Mr. Weasel and I awoke to find our entire world crumbling down around us.  In one brutally swift moment in time, life as we knew it was over.

It was apocalyptic.

Just one short week prior, all had been right with the world.  The doctors had given our brand new baby girl a clean bill of health and we would take her home from the hospital the following day.

Mr. Weasel and I left the NICU during the evening shift change to have a dinner at home with our other children for the first time in a week.  A week that had been filled with fear, anxiety and many more questions than answers.  Yet, we had emerged from that week victorious; I had 5 healthy children, a loving husband and father and a happy home that we would soon bring our newest addition, Claire, into for the first time. 

Anxious to be away from Claire's bedside, I headed back into the car, after a simple meal and a quick visit, for the 40 minute drive back to the hospital.  The sun was shining, the sky had been almost as beautiful as her blue eyes and a warm June breeze drifted through the air.

I was possibly the happiest that I have ever been.

I cranked up the radio in the minivan and sang along with a smile that you couldn't have smacked off my face as Steven Tyler belted out words that surely had been written for me and this exact moment in time. I couldn't wait to get back to Claire and I sure didn't want to miss a thing.   A song that unbeknownst to me, was foreshadowing what was soon to come, the theme song to Armageddon.

A mere 8 days later, it happened.  Death, like a thief in the night, had stolen our beautiful baby girl away from us.  Our world ended.


However, 9 years later, I am here to say that we have survived.  We lived through the trauma, crawled through the rubble, hid in the trenches and sought refuge with fellow survivors.

Though not nearly as stoic, triumphant or glamorous as Hollywood blockbusters with end of the world themes,  We Have Survived.  

Starting from scratch, we began to rebuild our world amidst the fallout.  We slowly regained hope and kept our family huddled close.  There were countless dark days before we ever felt the warmth of the sun on our faces.

Yes, I still long for the world that once was; the innocence, simplicity and luxury of naivety that we once lived, but that world is gone forever.  We live in a new world now.  We've found a 'new normal', and for all of the negatives that we have come through, it's not without positives.  We love deeper, cherish stronger, prioritize better, and appreciate everyday together more sincerely than we ever have before.

Tomorrow, I will bake cupcakes and buy balloons.  All of the Weasels will pile into the minivan and we will head to the cemetery for a somber birthday celebration, as we hold tight the gifts that Claire left behind for us.  Gifts that were tools that carried us through the worst of times; Love, Hope and Joy.

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