Born @ 27 weeks
2lbs 7oz

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I Refuse To Grow Numb

So, I've been absent. It's been a while since I've written.

I'd like to say that I've been 'busy'. 
It's true.
But we are all busy and I've found time to write when I've been busier.

It's just life. It happens.
Right?

Or does it...

I know I have jotted endless notes on my church bulletins and on the back of my checkbook (yes, I still have a check book). I've even attempted to save a few blog posts that have remained unpublished...

I can't put my finger on it, but my heart hasn't been in it and when I read what I've written, it's apparent. It sounds false or like an assignment.

Hence, the hiatus.

I am growing numb.

I know this much: Writing for me is cathartic. My husband has shamelessly harassed me that he sometimes learns more about my feelings through this blog than sitting across from me at dinner or sleeping in our bed.

Writing is my safe place. (metaphorically safe). When I'm writing, I'm overcome with emotion or fortitude or passion. Sometimes, I feel so overwhelmed with something to say, I feel stifled until I can get it all on a page. It's emotional regurgitation.

So, the question remains, why haven't I been writing?

Here is my impenetrable fear:

I REFUSE TO GROW NUMB.

You see life is accelerating at an unappetizing speed.
We had an extraordinary summer...


A favorite summer tradition
Scalawag Richter and Ruthless Richter on their quest to find the ghost pirate ship.


Just a few of our favorite people (and doctors and nurses!)


Celebrating Aunt "Chow's bday"
Favorite HHI pasttime. 





Nash has started Kindergarten.



The Weatherman and The Rock Star (or TSA Agent depending on the Halloween event)





We survived Halloween (my favorite holiday).








Bee Mighty is soaring, funding our 100th baby!!!!!!!!! And another extraordinary Bee Something for Bee Mighty event.


BeeCause of these amazing people:
Stacey Bookmiller, Marjorie Bridges, Page Gatewood, Stephanie Reynolds, Sara Linn, Molly Loyd, Miller Smith
Not pictured: Katherine Daly and Jonathan Swope.
Bee Mighty Fund Recepients

Bee Surprised
Janie Reynolds, responsible for SO MUCH pertaining to Bee Mighty (hint: the Bee Mighty launch was in her living room!) This mighty lady graciously (and beautifully) wrapped 75+ Bee Surprised gifts for this incredible display.

You see, life has exponentially improved for Team Richter this year.

Most recently, I had a conversation with Shaw's Pulmonologist that went something like this:

Candace - "So, what's our plan through cold and flu season this year?"
Pulmonologist - "At first sign of illness, you will use xxx and xxx and xxx meds."
(Which is slightly different from last year's response which was, "At first sign of sickness, you will use xxx and xxx and xxx and xxx and xxx and if this happens then xxx  and xxx (and call 911) and xxx and ..." 
Pause. 
Candace (so certain) - "Okay. So, what do we do for his asthma?"
Pulmonologist, reviewing his first asthma exam, "Shaw doesn't have asthma. In fact, Shaw is skewing more towards 'typical' 4.5 year old lungs."
Pause.

Long pause. 

Tears. (For me, not the Pulmonologist).

Pulmonologist (can't say I love her curtness) - "Ms. Richter, one day you are going to have to embrace that Shaw is going to be on the 'healthier' side than the 'waiting to call 911' side." 

And then, I cried.... Big, Embarrassing Tears.
I would have hugged her (but she didn't seem like the type)

We talked about the next appointment and said our goodbyes. 

All in all, I don't think the Pulmonologist got it.

She kept giving me those looks that say things like: 
"Lady, why are you so emotional?"
"Let's cut the small talk, I have some place to be."
At one point, I was in fact making small talk since I knew she had a Kindergartener and asked what neighborhood they live in...She made it sound like that was classified information.

So I assumed I was overreacting. 

Then,  I called Michael. 
He got it. (Of course he did. That's why I married him!)

The boys and I met him immediately from the airport for dinner to celebrate. 
I was still in tears.
By now, he was, too. 

We had champagne. 
The boys colored (cluelessly). 
While Michael and I giggled and grinned and toasted and relished and embraced: we both knew that the doctor (without knowing) gave us the tinniest nugget of hope that one day Shaw's lungs would be... okay. (I refuse to use normal, average, etc).

Pause for applause.

So back to 'Why am I not writing?"
Here is my prophecy: I am big believer that "People Grow In the Valleys." 

Humans seem to coast through the peaks in our lives.
Those moments that really count.  Things are good... even great. We are in love and making plans, having babies, our careers are irrepressible, friends are healthy, wandering the world, dreaming...

During these times, our worries are consumed with, "How do I squeeze in the gym?" or "What continent shall we hit for our next vacation?" even "Shoot. How will I ever find a sitter?"

And somehow, during the peaks, these things actually seem important!!!!! (I'll never forget sitting in a Women's group years ago as we were going around the table and asking for prayer requests. My prayer, "May Shaw make it through the weekend without going into the hospital." My neighbor's prayer, "May my son with Downs be welcomed by his peers with his new working dog." And another, "May we have a successful Fall Carnival." (Insert middle finger, knife and wide-eyed emojis).

In short, I don't want to worry about the Carnival.

It doesn't mean I don't want to do a good job and take responsibility and ownership for all the little things that are very much important. It just means, I want to remember what it was like to pray that our son avoids the hospital or breaths on his own. I want perspective.

Bottom line:  I Don't Want to Grow Numb.

Confession: I re-strung the lights on the Christmas tree 3x last week. I was sweating and flustered and cursing to myself before anyone could hang ornaments.

That's a sign of growing numb (forgetting what's important).

My feelings can get hurt from my life-long friends because I have too much time to analyze their choices.

That's a sign of growing numb  (Perspective - does it really matter? NO!)

There are people in crisis that I want to reach out to, but haven't.. because I'm busy.

That's a sign of growing numb (If I have learned anything in life, I know the importance of reaching out to those to let them know you care. It is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!)

So when, 
I secretly roll my eyes (or bitch just a little) when the dishwasher is full and my husband pretends it doesn't exist OR
I shamefully scream at my children about their manners or wrestling OR
I judge because my hands aren't as full OR
I (may have) given the 80s-double-bird to my husband when we don't agree in parenting (which makes him laugh out loud at me, only to infuriate me further) OR
I loose patience, perspective and light.

You see, I don't WANT the hard times. I just want to focus on the things we learn in the valleys.

Contrary to the peaks, in the valleys (the truly hard times), we pause.
We question.
We fight.
We love.
We ignite.
We grow.

These are the moments in life where we are defined.

I think I've been afraid to write because I'm at a peak (which is a blessing) but I am writing now because

I Refuse To Grow Numb.

The Momma in me...
She hears a whisper inside that says, "Don't forget."
And it sends chills down my spine. 

I know. 
I remember. 
I won't forget.
I may not walk it every day. But,

LET US REFUSE TO GROW NUMB.