I told Charlie I'd post a photo of my every day on my blog and am afraid I haven't done that due to technology/internet-access issues (some of the hotels we're at have only one computer with internet for everyone). Here I am standing beneath the Lion Gate in Mykines, which we visited on Saturday, March 13th.
I've been reading Vicki Forman's This Lovely Life: A Memoir of Premature Motherhood. I started reading the book on the plane ride from New York to Athens and it's hard to know where to start writing about such a beautiful, sad, affirming, loving book. Vicki writes so clearly and so gracefully about Evan and Ellie, who were born weighing just a pound at 23 weeks' gestation. What to say about Ellie dying at 4 days old? About the long hospital stay and the five surgeries for Evan, a child with multiple disabilities, before he came home? About Evan passing on, on July 24, 2008.
I need to finish This Lovely Life before saying much more. Except this: Motherhood---and how much more, mothering a child with many, many challenges---certainly takes us all on roads we never could have imagined, much less thought we'd be walking on. It requires courage and fortitude. It often comes with tears. It often feels like the days are harder and triumphs so very few, and it's not like we have arms like this shield, adorned with the head of Medusa, and once carried by a hoplite soldier:
Mostly what I feel we have is love and an awful lot of patience, perseverance, and some instinct that tells us, gotta do all we can do to keep this child going. No matter what it is we have to do, no matter what our own situation, or where we are.
Jim gave Charlie the phone when I called yesterday. I heard Charlie first saying "no" when Jim asked him about talking. Charlie did come to the phone and gave me a succinct "hi mom."
All this mother needed to hear.