"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." - Shel Silverstein

Thursday, November 27, 2008


As I sat in my daughter's room before she woke up this morning, I thought back to when Jeremy and I first learned of her existence.

I had just recovered (physically, not emotionally ) two months prior from a miscarriage. Even though we only knew for two weeks before losing the first baby, we felt we were already parents. We found out we were pregnant with Marissa on July 29, 2006. About two weeks later, the drama of having a high risk pregnancy began. I won't go into all the problems I experienced during my pregnancy right now, but we weren't sure if she would hang on long enough to be born, let alone be born healthy.

At the beginning of November we decided to have an amniocentesis. The doctors were telling us that if we found anything, we had the choice to terminate. In my mind, we weren't having this procedure to make a decision to terminate or not, my control freak brain just needed to know what was going on with my baby.

The day before Thanksgiving I got a phone call from the Maternal Fetal Medicine center at our hospital. They said the results came back negative for certain syndromes or problems, but they could only test for so many problems and there still were the existing issues. We knew she didn't have Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida, but other than that, we didn't know much more than before the test. The next day I sat at the Thanksgiving table with my husband and sister and thanked God for the little life inside me. I knew right then that even though it was going to be a long bumpy ride with many unknowns, Jeremy and I were up for it.

After Marissa was born we spent the first two months watching her fight for her life, coming close to losing that fight many times. There is no doubt in our minds that the tracheostomy and g-tube that were placed on May 9, 2007 saved her life. Even though this is not an easy life by any stretch of the imagination, Jeremy and I are so thankful that Marissa is here and is as healthy as she is. She has changed our lives immensely and we would be truly lost without her.

I am thankful for many other things too.

I am thankful to have a husband that puts up with me (which is an amazing, almost impossible feat at times!) He is my best friend and such a good husband, father and provider.

I am thankful for Jeremy's job. Even without the help of Medicaid (which still has not kicked in yet) Jeremy works hard enough that I don't have to work outside the home. I don't know what we'd do if this were not the case. Marissa can't just go to any regular daycare!

I am thankful for my sister Michelle who has saved my sanity more than a few times. Having her here in the same town is such a blessing, even before she became Marissa's babysitter. :)

I am thankful for the rest of my family. We have our moments, of course, but they are the world to me and I am thankful that the majority of them live in this state.

I am thankful that Jeremy's mom is healthy again and was able to come out and meet Marissa for the first time in May. As Marissa was fighting for her life, Jeremy's mom was also fighting for her life at the same time. We love you Grandma in Utah!

I am thankful for the way our families treat Marissa. They have embraced her and accept her the way she is. They don't look at her as different, just special.

I am thankful that with as large a family as I have (four parents and six kids between them), that we are all happy and relatively healthy. I do not, however, forget that we used to be a family of seven kids. We miss and love you Scooter!

I am thankful for friends, old and new and even friends online that I have never met. I would not be the same person without them.

I am thankful for my new "trach family". You know who you are. I am so blessed to be able to get together with such sweet spirits that "get us". I love you all.

With as long as this list is, there is still much more I am thankful for.

I hope and pray that you are able to see the blessings in your lives and can be thankful for them every day of the year.


Anonymous said...

Wow! A lot to be thankful for! Love you guys too!

I'm greatful for you too!

Auntie Chelle

Nana and PaPa said...

You know, Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time; not only to get together with family and friends, but to give us a chance to pause from our busy, hectic everyday lives, to do what you just did Alicia; to sit and contemplate ALL the blessings that have touched our lives over the last year. I'm thankful and grateful for: FAMILY-I am so proud of each child and grand child. We are SO blessed with a loving, healthy family. LARRY-Through the hardest of times and the best of times, he has been the steady provider for the family, making sure that the basic needs of life were always there. HOME-Larry and I are SO blessed in a time when most families can't even make ONE house payment, and we make TWO and still have enough to live on. LARRY'S JOB- which has allowed us to live the life style we are living in a wonderful little community of peace and quiet, full of caring, helpful neighbors. HEALTH-which, even though there have been a few health challenges this year, we are still blessed and thankful for our overall good health. NATURE-our pets; 2 dogs, a cat and 2 (possibly 3 in the future) llamas, 40 acres of wide open space with bob cats, mountain lion, dear, bear, owls, rabbits and jack rabbits, as well as sage brush, pinon pine, wide open skies and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. How BLESSED we are! I could go on and on, but I've already written a book! We love you all so much and are truly blessed and thankful for all God has provided and blessed us with. Have a thank-filled Thanksgiving.
Nana & PaPa

I was inspired by my sons nurse, so I became a nurse. I'm momma to 4 boys one with RTS, one with T1D. I get my therapy and strength through crossfit and take each day as it comes. said...

you have so much to be thankful for, all of us special mommies do!

Anonymous said...

I have never thought she was special...she is Magnificent, smart, Beautiful, kind, and a huge blessing in my life too!!!! And that is just a few! She has drastically touched my life and I wouldn't be who I am today without her!!
On a funny note...did Marissa take that picture?? I told you she was smart (and apparently tall enough too)!!
I love you all so much! Happy Hollidays!
Auntie Booger

Dana said...

Beautiful! We should all count our blessing every now and then

Tara said...

Life is indeed good. Happy Thanksgiving!

We love you....even that rascal Jeremy.....:p

Janice said...

Each special needs child is a hugh blessing in the disguise of imperfections. Marissa teaches us more than we will ever teach her. She takes the whine out of stupid things that don't really matter. Her tenacity speaks when her little voice can't. She's oblivious to her circumstances because they aren't cirumstances to her - it's her normal. So why do we even put a definition on normal. If you want to know what blessings look like then take a look through Marissa's blog. And if you still don't recognize what I'm talking about then you aren't normal.

Janice (Utah Grandma)

Anonymous said...

I am thankful that I found you again and that two of my best friends are now part of my life again. I am thankful that God made them so strong and so in love that they are the kind of people who can love somoene as special and wonderful as Marissa.

Love you guys