Hope During the Holidays (Jax Takes His First Steps)

Truthfully, the holidays aren't as bright as they used to be.

I used to look forward to this time of year. For many years, the only time I could catch a flight home was during the holidays - I looked forward to that time for months. The anticipation and excitement of seeing family and friends put a bounce in my step and cheer in my heart.

Every year, I put up my Christmas tree and lovingly unpacked each and every ornament that my mom had given me throughout the years. I would sit peacefully for hours (drinking holiday drinks, of course) and stare at the beautiful lights and decorations remembering the stories and adventures behind the ornaments. It always put a smile on my face.

This year was different. I put up my Christmas tree with a heavy heart. I did it because I thought I would feel worse if I didn't. When I unpacked the ornaments, I barely looked at them because I didn't think I could handle the flood of memories that would accompany each one. Half of them are still in the box. 

I miss my mom. Steve misses his dad.

We've been struggling to find balance. With each other. With raising Jax. With the isolation of RSV lockdown. With the grief of losing our parents. With the guilt and fear that comes with raising a micropreemie.

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But, you guys, there is one star in our life that is shining so brightly now, we can barely see past him. This little boy makes us smile and laugh every day with his non-stop "talking," singing, and learning. He is teaching us, even in the midst of grief, how to keep our hearts filled with hope.

And here's why: on December 19, 2013, jut one week shy of his 17-month birthday, Jax took his first steps!

Cheers to hope in 2014!

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Read more about Jax, a micropreemie born at 23 weeks, at anearlystart.wordpress.com.

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