9.2013 – Isn’t he a big boy? Where did all that hair come from? He plays soccer now.
I don’t look at old baby pictures of myself often. But when I find a picture of myself before I got sick I scrutinize myself carefully. I managed to avoid being on camera as often as possible. (To quote JJ: We’re sure Ning’s camera was in Burundi, but we’re not sure if Ning herself actually came.) So it was very shocking and appalling when I woke up and I was suddenly the subject of almost constant camera time (or at least is seemed constant). In my parents’ defense, though, I could have not woken up at all, or I could have been MUCH worse off, so it was very natural for them to want to document and celebrate my “achievements,” e.g. swallowing, sitting up, first steps, etc. after over a month of inaction when they were just waiting next to my bed. I, on the other hand, saw absolutely no reason to be celebrating the current situation, and when I was aware enough (it took a while) to know that I was being photographed or videoed, protested.
My first word, however, was “video.” I only mouthed the word – there was no sound – but Mom and Dad understood that seeing my children would make me feel better. And it still does. I’ve found videos of me playing the piano or helping them outside with their tricycles or something – even those don’t make me sad, just a little wistful. Still pictures, though, offer me more time for reflection, and I’ll just stare at myself and try to remember what it felt like to look in the mirror and see a smooth neck, and to wear my favorite short necklace with the “o” in it. I don’t know where that necklace went. I think it might be in storage in OR, but it doesn’t matter, really, because it’s too short to slip over my head and fastening a necklace isn’t something I want to spend energy on. Plus my skin has been itchy lately so I’m trying not to add extra irritants. So the only reason I’d like it back is because I have spent “nap” time on planning out appropriate jewelry gifts for my girls from now until age 21.
Hannah and Karine both remember what I was like before I got sick. So does Josh – I asked him this summer. But Ezra is too young to remember me before April 2011. He was still a baby when my brain bled, and I remember skyping with Ernie and the kids at Vibra. The kids would be climbing around his chair (I think Ruthie was in the kitchen) and we’d blow kisses to each other. Mommy says I think about Ezra a lot – I think that’s because I have such a strange relationship with time now. Just like I keep on writing the date as X/X/2011, Ezzie remains a baby in my mind, until I remember that he’s getting to be a big boy already. He was the first child to be born when I wasn’t at home, so of course I was anxious that he would know me and I would be able to be a part of his life.
See what I mean? Ezzie is such a baby here. I was super tired bc I had taken the red-eye home on Friday night, had breakfast with Mom and Dad so we could talk about Africa, and then we drove up to GWH for the Labor Day conference 2010.
Okay, I wasn’t so tired that I couldn’t squeeeeze my baby when I first saw him at the Chatterbox.
3.19.11 – I had just gotten home from Africa and Mommy sent Dad and me to pick up Kpop and Ez and bring them home to Maryland since Ernie and Ruthie were going to a wedding. Karine fell asleep in the car and then Ezzie perked up like, “it’s my time to SHINE!!”
He was still a baby, although he had slightly more hair, when I got sick – this was 4/29/11.
Now he’s so big – ALL of them are (except Peter, pfewf!) – and they help me navigate This Disabled Life by holding my hand in public, making me laugh, and teaching me life skills like how to kick a soccer ball:
“You see how I did it?”