I've been trying to write this post in my head for over 24 hours. I'm sure that it won't come out the way my heart wants it to but I've got to try.
Last year, we were in the hospital over 40 days with Grady. 10 days in January, 5 days in Feb., 25 days in March, and then 2 days in August. During our Feb. stay (which was one of the easier ones but still hard and scary) the Riley Radio-Thon was going on (we were at Riley Children's Hospital and the radiothon was raising money for them).
Yesterday, while driving to eat at "Crapper Bears" (as Taylor refers to Cracker Barrel) with my inlaws, we heard the Riley RadioThon on the radio (duh!) Now, this radiothon ALWAYS makes me cry (even before having a "Riley Kid") but I knew this year would be harder. So, we're listening to some of the stories (I only made it through one before bawling and having to change the station and this was a "good ending" story!) Anyway, we're listening to all that Riley does for kids and all that kids go through and we're thinking back to all that Grady's been through and my Grady Boy is in the backseat hollering, laughing, screaming, spitting, to beat the band. I mean, you couldn't have asked for a better "Then and Now" moment. Last year at this time he had been vented and very sick but the worst was yet to come (March) and this year he's appearing 100% (well, don't count the unclear xray, lack of weight gain, and bad ears....we'll get past those too). I was sad to hear about the "sad ending" stories and even the "good ending" stories got me choked up but it was the fact that we'd been through some of the same stuff and more (or less) than many of these families and now we were driving to eat with a perfectly happy healthy baby in the backseat that really got to me. Do you know how very blessed we are? There were one or two times when Grady's future looked bleak but our God carried him and us through it. I don't know what God's will is for us or for Grady but I do know that I will be thanking God every day for healing our son and giving us this perfect baby to love on and be amazed by every day.
I know in comparison to some we don't have a "Riley Kid" or a "Riley Story" but those 40+ days of watching my baby be poked, prodded, drugged, vented, tested, etc. were the hardest of my life so far (and hopefully ever) and I'm so very thankful to Riley and the drs./nurses (well, most of them anyway) for helping Grady recover and come home. I'm so thankful to the OT and PT ladies who helped Grady this summer. The videos/pics below of that 14 month old boy playing outside weren't something I thought possible this past summer. I knew he'd walk and play but before his OT and PT we (and they) had concerns about his development. Man, look at him now!
Like I said, I knew this post wouldn't get the thoughts and emotions of my heart out but I had to try. It's not eloquently written but it's the best I could do.
Thank you God for our Mister Grady.