Last year, Kate and I were in Playa del Carmen for a wedding during the first weekend in November. I was thinking of this trip just last week and I momentarily refused to believe it had almost been a year since Kate and I strolled along on the beach during a midday thunderstorm. That walk and the rest of that trip are so vivid and crisp in my mind, we could have been there last month. How could those memories be a year old?
Less than two weeks after we returned from Mexico we went under contract on our first home. The next 12 days I was busy with the purchase of the home and making sure we could move out of our apartment before the lease ended. Then we were off to Wyoming for Thanksgiving. Then we drove back. A few days later we flew to Orlando for a week. Then it was a week of last minute Christmas gatherings and preparations before we traveled to New Mexico. There for nearly a week, we drove back and closed on our house that Monday, December 30th. I started painting throughout the house that afternoon. We moved furniture on January 7th. The house was a mess and there was still more painting left to do. We then had a relatively calm three weeks (as calm and restful as settling into your first house can be).
Then the night of January 29th arrived and Kate had painful contractions at 26 weeks. The next significant date in my head is May 19th, the day London came home. And then a summer spent on edge as London slowly strengthened and we traveled to weddings. And then fall arrived. And now we’re almost back where we started.
From January 29th to May 19th, it did not matter what day of the week it was. It did not matter the month, the holiday, the weather, the time. It only mattered that London was doing okay and getting better. These days are curiously recalled in my mind. There is so much held within the borders of them that it will take years to process just how much we changed during that time and how it affected us. Yet, at times, those days seem like one really long fast day. And then it was summer and our girl was home. I recall pausing during my walk out of the hospital one day in April to take in the weather. “My God, it’s spring,” I mumbled to myself. Where had winter gone? I was actually dumbfounded. I can easily remember the cold night we arrived. That was the last day I cared about the weather.
Living on edge makes life go by very quickly. That is one thing I have learned in the last year.
London is home now. She is strong and happy beyond our wildest hopes and expectations. I do not call her a miracle baby because I never want “miracle” to be a term I casually use. But it is true. She is a miracle. And she is not the only miracle of the last year. It is a miracle all three of us made it through. At times it did not seem possible. It did not seem possible that time would slow. But it did. And I care about the weather once more.