Update: 07/08/16 Two weeks ago we were on the coast, in the most magical little beachy town on a FAMILY VACATION.
We made our way down to Emerald Isle, North Carolina and we were able to spend a whole week in the sand with the Atlantic Ocean at our toes, surrounded by family and friends – we LOVED it.
We had a very crazy Saturday with the Transplant Games in the morning and then Harper’s Dance recital in the afternoon – we decided we would drive straight through the night. We left around 630PM from Cleveland and arrived the next morning at 530AM in time for a sunrise and doughnuts by the ocean (we couldn’t find cake – for those of you DNCE song lovers)!
I mean. There was a time (or many times – if I am being totally honest) this past year where I thought we may not be able to go on a vacation again, ever. How could that be possible? For us to go through this and then be able to go on a vacation? Well maybe we would one day, but it might be like in five years…
These thoughts typically happened in my very crazy Mama moments. I am sure it was like at 3AM in the PICU while I was listening to machines beeping, watching breathing and telling myself it is okay over and over….
And then. Here we are eight months post liver transplant. I am very happy to report that my very tiny dreams did come true.
Not only were we able to come down south – but my parents had rented a house for our ENTIRE family – so the whole Robinson Gang, Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and sprinkled with cousins were all under one amazing roof for a week of “Adventuring”.
Brodie loved the beach. He was hilarious. He seemed to have conversations with the ocean as it rolled in and out over his toes sinking in the sand – he would raise his fist and yell and then burst into a fit of giggles a second later.
Big sister Harper as always had boundless energy and no fear. She tossed herself into the waves with reckless abandonment - every time they rocked up she dove in – we had to keep like 10 different eyeballs on this wild child.
With three other little cousins in tow under the ages of 3 we had our hands, eyes and muscles busy the whole week!
All week I literally watched as images took place in front of me that I had made up in my mind in some of my most darkest times to get me through those moments.
Visions of what I told myself “one day – one day Tra this can happen. Just believe. Just believe.”
So that is what I chose to do. Believe.
As the week progressed there were so many amazing moments – one night as our day was ending - I watched Harper sprint down the shoreline in front of me – sandy and salt whipped – laughing like a madwoman, while Russ held on to Brodie’s little hand and patiently walked him down the shore all the while a fiery sunset danced and decorated the background.
It took all I had in me not to crumple into a ball of exhaustion and emotions and become a blubbery mess - we had made it - we were here – this was real!
I stood on my tippy toes and let the ocean wind whip through my hair and the salt in the air blend with my tears and watched as this image blazed its way into a forever memory.
This. This life. Is so unpredictable, it is so unsteady, it is unforgiving, it is relentless. The ups and downs and sense and non-sensicals is never-ending and sometimes mentally and physically exhausting.
In our little liver tale world - Brodie, he is doing very well – liver levels are fabulous – functionality is on point, blood clot is looking busted and everything looks great – so I was a little taken aback when they extended his shots of Lovenox (twice a day) for another three months.
Instead of finishing July 18th like we had initially planned the new plan of action is October 18th – one day before his new liver birthday. My heart sank when they shared with me that we would be on this course and there was not another option.
It took me a couple hours to pull it together – but like I told you all before – suck it up buttercup and move on there are worse things we could be dealing with. This will just make the one-year celebration THAT much more amazing.
There is a lot going on in our world right now. There is a lot going on in your personal world right now.
The only thing I could think to do is to share with you how when my darkest moments were dark, I reached inwards and created visions of where I hoped we one day would be.
When my days were long and bleak, I allowed myself to believe that hope filled dreams may be possible. Hope is being able to see the light despite of darkness.
Look for strength in people, not weakness – for good, not evil. Most of us find what we search for. Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel.