When anniversaries are coming up, we tend to think about that moment in our lives that define that anniversary. If it’s a wedding anniversary, we think about the day of our wedding and the memories made. On birthdays of our children, we remember our labor and delivery. The first moment we held our child and heard their cry. When anniversaries of the death of a loved one draws near, we think about the day we lost someone that we dearly loved. Anniversaries are place markers in our lives that have significant meaning. Sometimes these dates changed the course of our lives forever.
With the anniversary of the accident fast approaching, I have spent a lot of time in thought. I have contemplated every decision that lead up to that horrific day. A day that will forever be considered the worst day in my life. My life was forever changed. Our children’s lives were forever changed. It was literally my worst nightmare, only one that I couldn’t wake up from. I had to live it. I had to face it. I was mom, and failing wasn’t an option. I had 5 children who needed me. I remember thinking, “I have to do this. I have to be strong for them.” And on the tail of that thought, “God, please give me the strength to do this.”
The last week has been extremely hard for me. The memories sometimes take me back to that phone call. Being on the side of that road, hearing my children scream. The helplessness that I felt. Seeing them in pain, and not being able to take it away. Those first days in the hospital when we didn’t know if Alex or Jackson would live. The moment when the doctor told us that Jackson would never walk again.
But there are also good memories. The strength of family. The outpouring of love from strangers who supported us every step of the way. The miracles, time after time, that God bestowed on our babies. The opportunity for us to grow as individuals and lessons learned, like humility and faith.
This anniversary will always define the day our lives changed. It will be, according to doctors, the last day that Jackson will ever walk again. There will always be sadness and “what ifs”. Yet, God reminded me that in this too I have a choice. I can choose to dwell on the heartache. I can choose to remember as a mother the overwhelming fear that I had. Or I can choose to remember the good. I can remember the love and support we were shown. The moments when God showed up and showed out. Our front row seats as He showed us what faith and prayer can do. I can be thankful that all of our boys are here. And I can cherish every single moment I have been allowed to share with them. Each smile. Each laugh. The chance to be there for every single accomplishment they have achieved on their journey, because these boys of mine are strong and they are fighters.
So as the anniversary draws near, I will remember the good and to be thankful for what God has done.