We've hit what I think is one of our biggest milestones yet - Lillian's first birthday. Getting a heart is the only other major contender, but this day in particular is specially because we were never sure today was going to happen. It was almost surreal seeing Lillian in that seat today, especially since I remember pictures of Annabelle that look exactly like the picture above (note that I'm having problems finding them right now, otherwise I would have posted them; I blame my shoddy picture organizing). It's a huge mental milestone for us to have hit today.
I realize as I write this that I have forgotten to post about another important milestone. I'll give you a chance to figure out what it is first: go look at the pictures of Lillian in the last post, and then look at this one. I'll post one more to help:
If you're still guessing, we've removed her feeding tube entirely. I must admit this isn't entirely with the blessing of Seattle Children's, but we reached a point about 3 or 4 days ago where Lillian simply refused to leave the tube in any more, and we had to choose between antagonizing her by placing it constantly, or just accepting the ineveitable and moving on. So the tube is gone. Lillian is eating and drinking entirely by mouth at this point, although we have to bribe her to drink with apple juice and chocolate milk. And yes, we know she is far too young for this, but when you have medical conditions as serious as Lillian, it's ok to pack on a few extra pounds at this point in her life.
It is both encouraging and difficult to write this post. On the one hand, the last remaining reminder of Lillian's condition that others see are the scars, and those will fade over time. I cannot tell you what a blessing that is, and how unreal it is at this point to be able to walk into the store and not having people walk up asking what is wrong with Lillian because they can no longer tell that anything is wrong. Now we just get looks because we're in the low 20's and we're carting 3 kids around. I can't remember the last time I was able to do that. On the other hand, as I write this, I can't help but think about a Seattle family who lost their 9 year old today due to a 15 car accident earlier in the week, another transplant family in Tennessee who are at the hospital with complications that they don't yet have a cause for, and our own transplant family, who are spending today without their child while we spend today celebrating ours. Yet another family still waits for a donor after spending over a year on the list. I would ask that you keep all 4 families I mentioned in your prayers, as they either still have reason to worry or are in one of the darkest periods in their lives. Even as we finally have a day to celebrate, we have not forgotten you, or the families that we have lost touch with, yet we know are going through similar situations. Today has been a humbling experience.
|Lillian with Aunt Kim|
|I swear Annabelle is smiling in this picture.|