These are some pictures of our family doing an Easter craft last year.
The significance of these photos is that they were taken on April 3, 2012 which was the last day of life as I knew it.
I heard someone say that you know you are special needs mom when your life can be categorized into two segments: before your child’s diagnosis and after.
I relate to this. SJ’s diagnosis was kind of gradual in the way that we found out, but the first time anyone labeled her as a child with hearing loss was April 4, 2012. As we approach the anniversary of that date I am reluctantly adjusting to the idea of passing that one year mark.
I was out shopping recently when I noticed they had put out the seasonal St. Patrick’s Day displays. SJ’s birthday is right around St. Patty’s day which was part of what inspired the GREEN eggs and ham party theme. That’s when it hit me. I stopped dead in my tracks in the middle of the aisle and gripped my shopping cart as my mind took me on a rapid pace roller coaster ride reviewing the sequence of events that had transpired over the past year.
SJ’s birthday. Not talking. Doctor. Questions. To do list. ENT. Sound booth. Denial. Loud bell. No response.
She. Can’t. Hear.
My heart was pounding and I had to catch my breath.
You see this time last year I didn’t know my daughter was deaf and next week that will still be true, but it won’t be much longer. It feels like a death. For me, it was like the death of her hearing. I had this, let’s just go ahead and use the word, “normal” little girl who was developing so perfect and beautifully “normal” and I was on the edge of my seat waiting for her to say her first word. I figured she would just strike up a conversation or burst into song at any moment. Not once did the idea that she could be deaf cross my mind. Not once.
Shortly after her diagnosis was confirmed I remember packing up her little 18 month clothes and I felt like I was parting with “the hearing SJ” and putting all of those memories in a box. As the anniversary of her diagnosis approaches I find myself revisiting some of those feelings all over again. Every month, every holiday, every little outfit that she’s outgrown seems to trigger memories of the valleys that we walked through last year. I still feel like I am walking around in shoes that don’t fit sometimes, but I guess all mothers feel that way and we just need to grow into them. God knows the hairs on my head, he certainly knows my shoes size, before diagnosis