This title has been hanging here, lonely, for entirely too long. I didn't mean for the title to post. I was trying to write, but I just didn't know how to say it all. We were still at the hospital, in the thick of it, and I couldn't settle on any words. How could I say how very, very sad I was and still sound faithful, hopeful, acknowledge that the Lord is in charge? Exhaustion and worry hung in the air, clawing at my emotions. And so I didn't write, couldn't write.
Now we've been at home for nine days, and I'm drawn to write. She is doing beautifully, recovering faster than anticipated. Her headaches are controllable, which is a major improvement. She smiles, paints Brooklyn's nails, hangs out with Conner in his room, laughs with Amber, and asks when she can go back to school. Prayers are being answered and I am grateful beyond words. So why are there moments when I still feel like exhaustion is weighing down on me; the worry permanent, constant and sometimes paralyzing?
Braelyn doesn't remember much about being at the hospital. This is a blessing because Pain was a large portion of her time there. But she does remember hearing me cry that first day when I was calling family. She remembers me crying when they told us she had a 6-7 inch fracture in her skull. She wonders why I was crying. Seriously, she wonders why I was crying? This is my girl. My first baby, my only daughter for 12 long years. From the ages 2-5 I spent collective hours tickling her back, playing with her hair to help her fall asleep at night. Now I was spending hours every day stroking her hair, softly touching her face, legs and arms (while Amber spent literally hours standing behind her hospital bed massaging her head) to help her stay as relaxed as possible when the medicine refused to offer the desperately needed relief.
I need to say that I do understand that while this was difficult, heart rending, and emotionally/physically/spiritually draining, it wasn't tragic. My girl came home. My girl will still grow up smart, beautiful, talented and righteous. She may have a few bumps in the road, but her goals and dreams are all still within her reach. There was a little girl brought in to the PICU while we were there who had been pulled out of the family pool. Her room was just around the corner and I could see her parents standing vigil at the end of her bed for three days. On Friday morning when I came back from one of only two nights away from Braelyn (thank you Amy and Melissa), the room was empty. That little girl didn't go home. Not too her earthly home. And my heart ached for them. Prayed for them. And I prayed for my girl.
I prayed because I believe. I believe in the promises, love, and comfort of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe that my Heavenly Father knows me, knows Braelyn, and is always listening. I believe that atonement offers balm not just for the sorrows of sin, but for all of our sorrows. I believe that while I can have my moments of worry and sadness, those emotions don't say who I really am. Who I really am, or who I am truly striving to be, is a disciple of Jesus Christ. I love Him, I try and follow Him, and I put my faith and trust in Him. When trials come, I know that I am being given an opportunity to show where I stand. Fear or Faith. Trust or Doubt. Love or Anger. I believe that our family is being given an opportunity to grow, to be shaped and molded, to learn more about Him and grow closer to Him with the deeper realization of our personal need for Him.
Braelyn sustained a severe concussion, a fractured skull, contusions in both of her temporal lobes and her right frontal lobe. The one in the frontal lobe will leave a scar on her brain, which may cause seizures at some point. There are several other small bleeds throughout her brain. Her kidneys were bruised and bled for several days. Some problems with her short term memory and impulse control could be a part of her life for a time while her brain heals. Her sense of smell may be diminished (really, if you had to choose a sense to be impaired....). Headaches are probably here to stay.
And yet, she will heal. For all the small moments of worry, there were long hours of peace and calm. Reassurance came through priesthood blessings, priesthood leaders, and personal revelation. I am so thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the fasting and prayers by so many people, some we know, many we don't. I am thankful for amazing ward members and neighbors who stepped in and took over daily tasks so we could focus on Braelyn. I am thankful for friends and family who came and sat with me, cried with me, and cared for Braelyn with me. I love you all.
I am thankful to Jody for being my rock, for being the one I get to lean on and cling to. There is no one I'd rather have by my side.
Braelyn got the clearance today to try and go back for half days and see how she does. Her faith is amazing. She keeps telling me that she always knew she would be fine. She moves forward with faith, trusting in the Lord. I want to be just like her. Just like my girl.