Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Cards and Emily Too

I wanted to take a moment to thank several people. We didn't do Christmas cards this year for obvious reasons. I would normally send out cards every year with out family's picture on them but this year I just couldn't. Anyway, I have received some cards at my house and I have noticed that people have gone out of their way to go get cards that do not have pictures. I am grateful for any card, but I still thought it was so thoughtful. They took the time to realize that seeing a bright shiny happy family with younger children could hurt during the holidays. I was amazed at the thoughtfulness. I could see some of their cards on their regular Facebook but our card was hand selected, how kind. I just sat there in tears each time we received one just amazed that people are so thoughtful. Some had even been handmade. 

This morning I had another adorable picture of Jude on my Facebook memory feed and it made me smile. 

Sometimes I wonder if Emily has truly grieved for Jude. Being a teenager I think it's hard to remember just how very close they were but I am sure she deals with her emotions in her own way. Emily was so incredibly excited when I was pregnant with Jude. When he was born she couldn't wait to hold him, feed him, change him, and do all the big sister things that come with being a member of a family. I know a lot of that was stolen from her. In fact when Emily talks about the day Jude was diagnosed it rips your heart out. She will tell you how she came home to a very dark and quiet house and how she realized our lives would never be the same again. We all know that Emily ended up turning a negative situation into a positive but what most don't know is all she did behind the scenes. Jude LOVED Emily, he would literally track her voice around the room until he spotted her and give her the biggest smile. You could sense he just trusted her and knew of all people Emily would never hurt him. She would never stick him with needles or force him to do anything the adults had to. They had an unbreakable bond between them. She would sit and sing to him for hours when they were little or read him books until he fell asleep. She loved giving him bath's and would talk to him in her little baby voice. As Jude grew his care became more complicated and Emily learned all she could to help him. I could literally leave the room to go take a bath and Emily could handle seizures, feeding tubes, oxygen level issues, vomit, and more. As she got older I could leave her at the hospital with him while I worked or ran home to shower. She could tend to him and accurately update nurses on his situation when they did their rounds or signal them in case of an emergency. Recently we were all in the car on our way home from eating and I began thinking about Jude and tried to fight back the tears.  Emily asked me what was wrong. I told her it wasn't just losing Jude it was the guilt that her childhood was ripped from her. She said, "Why on Earth would you feel that way? Who else can say that they had someone so amazing as their brother. Someone I would want to be exactly like?".  After that Mike and I were both wiping away a few tears. I have no doubt this Christmas is difficult on her too but she doesn't let it show. She insisted we continue marching forward with normal traditions, she is like our Christmas cheerleader.  Thank you Emily for being you! As you always say,  

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