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Letting Go…

March 10, 2010 by Victoria Strong
Thank you all for the nice birthday wishes. Bill was sneaky and posted about it and put it on Facebook without me knowing and so I woke up surprised by all the lovely well wishes and birthday greetings all day. And it really made me feel special. I was being a bit quiet about my birthday this year (something unusual for me). I think I am just so humbled by the kindness and support so many show us on a regular basis. I feel I ask so much of people -- post this, vote for that, sign here, go to this event, donate, donate, donate... Everyone is always telling me they are glad to help, but I am a person who doesn't like to ask anything of anyone. I'm learning to adjust, however, because it takes a lot of support just to survive SMA, let alone campaign to create change. And we are so very fortunate to have such incredible support and constant help. When they say, "It takes a village..." -- I can attest to how much the help of a village can truly change the life of a child. Gwendolyn has a full, rich life because of the love and support and encouragement of so many, many people. And for that, I am forever indebted.

And I did have a great birthday. Bill and Gwendolyn treated me to a spa-cation at the luxurious Bacara resort on Saturday. Ooo-la-la! It was wonderful and I felt truly relaxed and fully pampered. In fact, during my day of pampering I had a sense of calm wash over me that I am still holding. For the first time since Gwendolyn became sick, perhaps even since she was born, I was not anxious being away from her. I was not checking my phone every 5 minutes just in case. My mind was not half in the "what if something happens" thoughts. For the first time in two years, I let it go. I felt an acceptance that I will never be in control of an uncontrollable situation. And while driving out to the Bacara I couldn't help but reflect on just how much has changed and how Bill and I have grown.

You see, Bill gave me a similar gift almost two years ago for Mother's Day, my first Mother's Day as a mommy, and I wouldn't accept it. In fact, I got mad at him for even suggesting I travel 30 minutes away from my baby. (I'm a jerk, I know and I promise I have since apologized.) At the time, it felt like he was asking me to go to the moon. We had only been home from our month-long stay at Stanford for a week. We had been through hell and back, we were suctioning Gwendolyn every 5 minutes, I couldn't pick her up without her massively choking, and I was certain I was going to lose my baby any day. To now reflect on that terrible, awful period, I realize for the first time that it seems distant. I held on to the trauma we went through all those months for a very long time -- I am still scarred by it -- but I feel like I am letting it go. And that leaves me feeling calm. It may be fleeting. I know we are only one common cold away from the life we've adjusted to and created to come crashing down. But, I will hold this feeling of peace in my heart as long as I can...and perhaps I will get to be surprised by how long it lasts.

This is a picture of the wonderful cupcakes and card
Gwendolyn and Gramma made for me today. Love them!

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