* * *
I have a digital picture frame on my desk at work. I last uploaded photos to it just before returning from maternity leave when DQ was three months old (yes, I keep meaning to add new photos, but time just seems to escape me). I look at those pictures nearly everyday, but don't necessarily see them. But today, I did. I saw myself six years ago, five years ago, four years ago, even three years ago. I was young, so very, very young.
|One of the very last pictures taken of me before the Dancing Queen's diagnoses.|
I look at those pictures and I can feel how much I have aged in the last three years (most of it in the last two). I know how much more unhealthy I have become. And I hate it! I hate everything that the last couple of years have done to me, done to my face, my psyche, my stress, my butt . . .
But what's worse is that hating what the worry, stress, and fear has done to me, makes me feel like a horrible mother. I don't blame the Dancing Queen for any of this, but if she wasn't born broken, born so very sick, I wouldn't have aged fifteen years over the last couple. I likely wouldn't weigh more now than I did when I was pregnant with her.
How can I think such things? Afterall, DQ is the one who has suffered so very much. Not me! She is the one who faces the rocky future, filled with more surgeries, too many pokes, and endless tests, scans, and appointments. I am not staring down that fate.
I wish I could take all of the pain for her and I would, if I possibly could. And yet, and yet . . .
I hate how I have changed for the worse since DQ was born.
Yes, I know, I have changed for the better in so many more ways. I have changed in ways that matter more than looks, grey hair, and a big bottom. And I would never, ever change anything about DQ. How could I? She would never be the same little girl that I love with all of my heart. And I would do it all again without hesitation. That little girl is my world (along with her brother and daddy).
But, when I see pictures of the person I used to be, I wonder how much better our lives would be if DQ wasn't broken. And I hate that I will never be that person again. That DQ will never know her mom the way that I was and TRex will never remember days without overshadowing worries. And as much as I love my new found appreciation for life, I also miss the person who was innocent enough to take life for granted.