a new birth

Mother’s Day 2012 and I sit at my computer – kids up and down the stairs to my little basement office – another hug, another kiss, another “can I have…”, and another “I need…”. The chaos of another Sunday night as we prepare six busy kids for the week ahead and I will be boarding a plane again! Throw on Mother’s Day and it seems like a crazy night to take on another project. But here I am, typing a few words and dreaming of many more to come. Just five short years ago I did not know what a blog was! Then my life changed – seven short days after I birthed Peter the words no mother wants to hear – “he took a turn for the worse, and we don’t know if he will make it through the day”. That night blogging started – Peter was in the careful care of the staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver when I was encouraged to start a “CarePage” as a way to keep family and friends updated on Peter’s progress. What started as updates rapidly became personal therapy – a few minutes a day to assess what was happening, re-set my thoughts and feelings, and focus on the next step to take. Over the years the CarePage evolved into family updates, and ebbed and flowed with frequency. I played with other tools (yes – loved my “webme” until Apple took it away! I still love you Apple!!), and today I start afresh! Hello world!

Why do this now? I love to write! I may not be eloquent, or grammatically correct, and at times probably a bit boring – but it has become my sharing, my healing, my memory keeping…..the minutes I take to write are like emotional cleansing. Recently someone told me to not fall victim to chaos but to navigate it with focus on what really matters. Wow! Really?! For so many years I’ve complained of not enough time to do what matters, what I enjoy, what is good for the family. The word “navigate” spoke to me – I can’t control so much around me – but I can navigate it with my compass to what matters. And this matters! If nothing else, one day my children will have my memories when they may have slipped from my mind.

My Mother’s Day wish? ….to spend time as a family coming up with our “purpose statement”. No longer do I want to fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants! No longer do I want to be re-active, but rather purposeful – navigating our lives with our own northern star. Why you ask?….because as Alexandra said best – “we are Krause bears!”. We lounged around my favorite room – our family room with scattered toys, warm fireplace, and barn wood on the walls – the little extension to our house that makes me feel like I have run away to our cabin in the woods. It started off with my sharing a quote recently that spoke to me – “the greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important” (Charles E Hummel). I can’t stop the urgent, but I can navigate the urgent, with the important as my guiding star. We talked about what is important to us, when we are our best and when we are our worse. We talked about what we wish we could do more of and what we could do better. We talked about home environment, principals, and purposes. We talked about what makes us unique as a family and as individuals – and what we each hope for in life for each other and ourselves. We shared stories, thoughts, tears and of course laughter. The common theme coming from my little bear cubs was compassion, love and respect. What they want is more time to celebrate, to have fun, to enjoy each other…..to create memories and traditions together!

What is our purpose statement after all that? It is still in progress!

This creative outlet all began with a baby bear…my Baby Bear – now grown into a 5 year old Peter Bear! So while I hope to share so much more, maybe bring over the past as I record our future, share our reflections, laugh some and share some more – I am wrapping this entry up with a Peter update. He turned 5 this last week – and was preceded by a week of extreme emotions for me. Rationally I knew it was a time to celebrate, but emotionally it was a week of letting the cracks appear and be healed. Birth, NICU, flight for life, more NICU, kidney failure, liver failure, oxygen tubes, feeding tubes, pumps, monitors, nurses, therapists, pulmonary hypertension, cardiologists, open heart surgery, hearing loss, poor vision – that covers Peter’s first 7 weeks. More oxygen tubes, feeding tubes, monitors, pumps, nurses, therapists, doctors, appointments, charts, tracking, worry, fear, love….smiles, rolling over, learning to sit starting to crawl – that gets us to a year. More tubes, more specialists, more charting, and throw in some aspirating..more smiles, more milestones, first laughter, and first plane trip to Peru – that covers Peter’s second year. Less tubes, less oxygen, more movement, more milestones, more laughter, more fun and finally walking – that covers Peter’s third year. Pre-school, pain, discomfort, leukemia, chemotherapy, more drugs, less hair, grumpy pills and saving pills, more doctors, more nurses, more scares in the hospital, more transfusions, more doctor visits, more loving, more tears – Peter’s fourth year. Less cancer, less oxygen, more good days, less chemo, more hair and pre-school again….then a very scary hospital stay – 9 weeks and another “he took a turn for the worse, and we aren’t sure he is going to make it” – followed by miracles, healing, more laughter, three pairs of glasses, pre-school again and lots and lots and lots of love – Peter’s 5th year!

So how did we celebrate? Quietly – no performing, just embracing. Peter had chemo that day, he stayed home from school and then played outside. He had his favorite pasta with home-made alfredo for dinner. A birthday cake, a Mr. Potato Head, a whistle and some fun fridge magnets……none of which replaced what he really wanted – time, love, laughter, fun and playing. Then we went to the hospital again – this time for a visit. We took a cake that simply said “Thank you!” and visited the PICU. It was hard to see Peter’s room again – but I am so thankful it was empty – no one having to go through what he did for so long. And as we handed them the cake we said there was no where we would rather be than with them, because they are the ones that gave us another birthday with Peter.

Happy Mother’s Day!

catherine….xoxoxo

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