MAY 2012: This month started out pretty good, the 22nd was my birthday but also on that day we found out that we were expecting our third child. Two days later was my oldest son's, Jordan, 5th birthday, he was ready to start kindergarten in the fall. The very next day, my husband, Andrew, was out of town to help his grandparents move. About an hour away from home. I was at home with the kids, Jordan and Bethanie (almost 2) and our dog Chichi. My plan was to clean the house so that it was clean when Andrew came home. So, I sent Jordan up to his bedroom to clean it, while I cleaned up the kitchen. I was starting to fill the sink for the dishes, I heard a strange sound from outside. So, I looked out through the window on the back door, I saw a screen on the sidewalk. So I go back to work on the dishes and I felt "Go back over and open up the back door to look outside, there's more going on." So I opened up the back door and there he is, my baby sitting there on the sidewalk, legs straight out in front of him, struggling to hold himself up. Immediately, my heart starts pounding, burning even. I start thinking "what do I do? what do I do?" I knew that I shouldn't move him, I didn't know how bad he was hurt. So, I try to stay focused on how to help him, I call 911. I tell them what happened, they ask if I wanted them to stay on the phone till help got there, I said "No, I need to try to call my husband." So, I tried to call Andrew, NO ANSWER, Mom, NO ANSWER, friend, NO ANSWER, my sister in law Robin (who is a firefighter), FINALLY AN ANSWER. She comes as fast as she could, the EMTs were there checking out Jordan, and I just kept thinking "What do I do?" then "MY BABIES, MY BABIES, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO MY BABY?' I was trying to keep calm, for both myself and for Jordan, but my mind was racing about what was happening and what could happen. I think "This is great, I'm going to lose Jordan and my new baby ALL AT THE SAME TIME." I was feeling so alone. Then, in what only seemed like seconds later, I was headed to the ball field in Robin's car with Bethanie. I was still feeling so alone, I really didn't want to leave Bethie, especially when she had no clue what was going on. I wanted SO BADLY to take her with me, but I couldn't and I knew Jordan needed me. As I'm getting ready to go to the helicopter, I see my mom running across the field, I couldn't get to her fast enough. I NEEDED MY MOMMY, at 25 years old I still needed her! I JUST DIDN'T WANT TO FEEL ALONE ANYMORE. I hugged her as tight as my arms could hold her, this was when I started crying for the first time since this nightmare started. I didn't want to let go but it was time to go. There was so much unknown. I said, "What about Bethie?" they told me not to worry about her, she'll be fine. So I hug and kiss her one more time, I cry some more at the thought of leaving her and being alone AGAIN. As I'm riding in the sky for the first time, I think how this is the worst thing that has EVER happened to me. I felt so weak and helpless. My baby is laying there, braced from head to toe in protective gear, crying, "MOMMY, MOMMY!" He's just so scared, he's in so much pain. My heart was BREAKING, I'm starting to feel sick, this trauma and emotions, ALONE, with pregnancy nausea at the same time. The EMTs begin to talk to me, I asked them how long it would take to get there, they told me 15-20 minutes. I was trying to relax through his cries. I held his hand and tried to calm him, in shock (to myself), it worked, he was calming down a little. I was so baffled, I WAS WHAT HE NEEDED, this was the first time I ALLOWED myself to be ALL HE NEEDED. Being a young first time mom, was a struggle, we always had a distant connection. BUT THIS TIME HE NEEDED ME AND I WAS THERE FOR HIM 100%. I promised him that as long as he was in that hospital, I would NEVER LEAVE until he did, I never did either. About 3 days later, after so many tests and scans, he was released with ONLY a broken femur!! Now he needed a plate and screws to hold his little leg together. This was a TRUE miracle, the doctor told us that the way he had fallen, he should have landed on his head, BUT HE LANDED ON HIS FEET. There was God!!! HE WAS ALIVE!!! I STILL GOT TO KEEP MY BABY!! Throughout the days, people came and went, Andrew was in and out, people from church came (even our pastor), family, friends, and lots of Facebook comments with lots of prayers. The past few days were a blur, they flew by so fast. We were told it would be 6-12 months before he would walk again. Okay, teaching Jordan to walk again AND the craziness of a new baby at the same time... What was God doing? This next year was going to be the most difficult one yet, and not in the ways I thought it would. Jordan defied ALL the odds against him, in 3 weeks the doctor told us he could BEGIN to put weight on his leg. But he didn't stop there... in 2 weeks he was trying to walk, stumbling and falling a lot, BUT HE NEVER GAVE UP!! No matter how frustrating it got, he continued to get more stable over the next month. In two months, he was as close to his old self as he could have been, he was running and playing like he did before. He even wanted to play soccer again, but we held off for a while. The whole point was for me to ALLOW myself to love my son the way that he needed and DESERVED. I still have my struggles, I still fight to not distance myself BUT I see how important our relationship is and how much he means to me. Our connection has improved SO MUCH. I am so thankful that GOD helped me to see more clearly and have a stronger bond with my son.
JUNE-SEPTEMBER 2012: During this time, my life started to spin out of control. I didn't know what was going on or how to stop it, I got caught up in the craziness of it all. As time went on, I became more and more angry and exhausted. I distanced myself from EVERYONE, especially Andrew. As time went on after Jordan's accident, I continued to neglect my marriage; I didn't know how to deal with it all. It got to where it seemed too far gone to try to fix our marriage and our love that we had for each other.
SEPTEMBER 2012: I chose to walk away, I walked out of our home and the life that my children knew, I tried not to look back. I felt broken, like I lost my best friend, the person who mattered the most to me. I lost what we tried SO HARD FOR SO LONG to build and strengthen in (almost) 6 years of marriage, it was gone.
OCTOBER 2012-APRIL 2013: These months were the hardest, most emotional and most painful months of my entire 25 years of life. I felt torn between what my heart wanted and what my mind was telling me I needed. During the first few months, the kids and I stayed with my mom and her husband. I was so thankful that they let us to stay there. Trying to find a place for us to live seemed to be impossible. I didn't know why God wasn't providing a place for us to live. Finally, the perfect house came! It was a 3 bedroom house, walking access to a lot of town, EVERYTHING about it seemed perfect. We could even walk to church!! There was ONLY one problem, we couldn't keep our dog chichi. Our landlord didn't allow pets, It was such a difficult decision to let our loving dog go, but it was a decision that needed to be made, we needed to be out on our own. Through all of this change and uncertainty, I started to turn to God more, I wasn't letting go. But I still felt alone!! In January, Benny was born. He was SO PERFECT! It broke my heart even more now that my marriage was still broken and the tension was so heavy it seemed impossible to carry it all. I felt so sad for him, I felt like he would never know his daddy like the older kids did. I knew he would need him! During this time of being a single mom to my 3 children, it really got difficult to do it all on my own. I tried to trust God and put all my faith in Him. God wanted me to tithe, so I did! One week I got the child support, there were things we needed and bills to pay, BUT Benny needed a baby swing. I found him one online for $15, which was ALL that I had, BUT it was my tithe. So I told myself "God would understand, Benny NEEDS this swing." I was to get it later in the week. That Sunday at church, I fought with God, He wanted me to trust Him and put my $15 into the offering plate. It was after the offering was already taken, I couldn't go up all alone. No matter how much I WANTED to trust God and put all my money in the plate, putting ALL my faith in Him, ESPECIALLY taking something away from my child, was difficult. I remember hearing, "walk up, put the money in, sit down, I WILL PROVIDE, YOU WILL BE BLESSED!" I remember thinking " BUT GOD... I can't, I can't walk ALL THE WAY up there, ALL BY MYSELF and plus I am supposed to meet that lady with the swing. How can I do that with no money?" He responded "I WILL PROVIDE, TRUST ME." This was the first time I ever had an argument with God. Not knowing what would happen, I decided to TRUST GOD! Trust Him MORE than ever before. I got up, walked up with my baby, so I wouldn't be alone, and put my money in. I felt like I ran the whole way. I can't remember how long after, no longer than a few days, Andrew and I needed to talk about some things. We fought, argued, and yelled, like normal for us now. I started crying, him still caring, he asked why. "I said because I can't do this anymore, I can't do this all alone, I can't fight anymore, I don't want to feel alone anymore, we need to work together... FOR THE KIDS." He said "WOW you're finally admitting you don't want to be alone." So we decided to get together alone the next day to talk, so I found a babysitter. I had resisted what my heart wanted for so long, I needed this. When the babysitter showed up, we left. We decided to try out being together again, for real this time!! This was a new start for us!!There was no pressure, we both knew, it was the right time!! At this point no one knew anything, except Tiffany, who watched the kids for us. When we told everyone, we got happiness, fear, and anger. None of it mattered, it was just us, that was all that mattered. Now, we have been made stronger by our separation, we needed a chance to step back and REALLY see what we wanted out of life. I realized that I wanted my marriage back!!
APRIL 2013-PRESENT: Since we have gotten back together, pain and trials have been put in our path, but we've fought through them... TOGETHER. We have gone through tragedy, again, when Andrew had a severe allergic reaction, was hospitalized and on life support. We've gone through the heartache of a difficult mental health diagnosis, and of course the normal everyday life of a married couple. Through all of it we have ONLY been made stronger, we are willing to fight for what we KNOW we REALLY want. God always knew, but we didn't. He has ALWAYS BEEN WITH US. Even when we weren't following His path, He ALWAYS LOVED US and was ON OUR SIDE!!