Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"How is she doing?"

I struggle with how to answer that question. I've been trying to come up with an answer that is better than "she's ok," but isn't more than people want to hear. How do I convey the reality of the situation without going into the details? Does it matter? Do people just want to hear that Maia's great? The question is just like "How are you?" 99.9% of the time, I will answer "Fine, thanks" or "good" even when I'm not. Because really, it's a courtesy question. No one expects you to be honest.

Now... let me preface what I'm going to say with this. I am being honest here. I understand that this may open me up for negative responses. I don't expect everyone to "get it" and that's ok. But, this is how I feel and where I'm at right now. So if you wish to judge me, you may want to skip the rest of this post.

From a health standpoint, yes... Maia's doing well. Her body is healing, she's strong (believe me, I know that from her pushing me away). Her surgical incisions look good. She's eating regular food, we aren't using any nutritional supplements at this point. Those are good things and I am thankful for them.

But... (gotta be a "but") remember, my warning above. It's hard for me to say that Maia's doing ok. Because she's NOT ok. She can't walk by herself, she can't turn herself over in bed (although she can and does spend much of her time sitting herself up), and if we sit her on the floor, she will scoot herself around a bit but doesn't seem to move with much intent. Maia is not able to communicate, she is not grasping things, not able to feed herself. And it stinks - plain and simple. It hurts me more deeply than I ever thought possible to see the things that Maia has lost. It hurts to not hear her voice talking to me, to feel her hands touching my face or holding mine. It breaks my heart that she can't play in her kitchen and make daddy coffee, eggs, and pizza (her favorite meal to "cook" for him). In reality, I know that these are not things that are going to come back overnight. But my heart still longs for that magic wand to be waved and for the "old" Maia to be back with us.

I don't mean the above to sound negative and as if I am giving up on her. That's not the case. I am grieving for those "cant's" while trying to celebrate the "can's" and praying for God's help with that. I think part of my struggle with the "How's Maia doing" question is that to say she's "ok" feels as if it diminishes the significance of what she has gone through and the long journey still ahead for her. And I'm not quite sure how to reconcile that. I suppose it will come with time and the healing of my heart. For now, I will continue to seek  the right words (for me) to answer those who ask about her. 


  1. I much more value your stating the reality of the situation rather than minimizing it. I was wondering just how Maia is day to day and it's good to know. This is probably a bit like your having PTSD, isn't it? What could have been more traumatic for you than Maia's experience plus all the side issues happening at the same time? It's an occasion to take things "one day at a time" or the very thought of what could happen is overwhelming.

  2. Melanie, All of our hearts grieve for you and your family. I don't know how I would cope with what you are going through. All we can do is pray that God gives you strength to go through each day thanking him for all the good things in your life and for the courage to accept what HIS plan involves for your life.
    Our lives are in God's hands and only he knows the 'whys' but please remember it is his plan and he has great things in store for your family. He never lets us down.....
    Marlene G.

  3. Melanie- I don't find any part of that post negative. You are telling the truth and the onus is on us, the people who read this blog and love your family to deal with the feelings that come up within ourselves in reading about Maia's current limitations. You and Mark give US an honor to love and grow with you, even in the face of such pain and loss and uncertainty about your daughter's future.

    So thank you for the update. You give me a chance to wrestle more with my faith and reality, in being present and realistic and hopeful concurrently. Much love to you.

  4. My heart aches for you Melanie, and most especially for Maia, and Mark and Matthew too. It is all so very, very hard and it just doesn't make sense and we want it all better now. I know, I understand. You are the ones living with the changes day in and day out. Everything is so different, and you want your old Maia back. I get it. The first year is absolutley the very hardest. Although I didn't have to deal with non-communicative and that is a huge different challenge. Thank you for this honest post, because your past posting sounded like things were going ok. Now, I can pray more honestly to the Lord and ask specifically for healing in these areas.
    I know it seems like a long endless road that is never going to get any better, that is what the evil one wants you to believe, he wants to defeat you, and wants you to stop trusting, believing and keeping your eyes on the Lord. Look at the title of your blog, hold onto God's promises, He will carry you through this very dark, hurting time. I know your heart is breaking I understand. 2 years ago tonight my husband was in surgery, we didn't know if he would live, we didn't know if there would be brain damage, and we didn't know if he would be a complete quadraplegic. He survived the 11 1/2 hour surgery, his brain injury is minimal, and he is an incomplete quad. The first year was a very, very long hard road. Miracles happened but not all in an instant the way we wanted it. It took months, and months of long hard work. He has come a long, long way. I believe Maia will come a long, long way too, it will take months, and months of hard work. I am believing for miracles, healing and progress for Maia, and for you and Mark and Matthew too. I am still and will continue to be your prayer warrior. Nothing can seperate you from the love of God, through Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Big Hugs to you all.
    Jacquelene L.

  5. I do know what you are saying....I know EXACTLY what you are saying. Regardless of our circumstances, I always say Kris is okay because you are right, it is what people expect and want to hear. Long ago I also asked that question and didn't think twice when someone answered okay. Trust me when I say that you will never mindlessly ask that question again. Some days you just want to tell the truth about how it is going and you can see in people's eyes that they cannot stand to hear the truth, so you go back to okay. I am sorry. It is one of the things that isolates you when you are in the trenches.

    On to how Maia is really doing. "If only" you could turn back the clock, you would. I know that was what I wished. I felt guilty for all the times I had been busy and the normal chatter and carpooling frustrated me. I felt guilty that sometimes I had my mind on what I needed to do and was not 100% present in the moment. I do understand. I wanted a "do over". I also know those feelings are one of the things I needed to step over in order to make a positive difference for Kris. You will get there but honestly the grief never completely disappears, it is just beaten down. It is your faith that carries you on the days you feel like you are walking through deep water. Some days my only prayer was "Help." My heart is with you. I care.

  6. Thank you for your honesty. Praying for you and your family.


  7. Real is not negative, it is just honest. I will be praying for Maia's complete restoration, and my heart feels your hurt.

  8. I don't think you need to be worried about what other people think of you while you are going through this. It chokes me up to think of you feeling guilty for grieving. Of course you are thankful that Maia is alive. You were in no way prepared what what hit your family 2 months ago. When disaster strikes, you do go through all the stages of grief. You can't help it. What you don't have to do is give even two seconds of mental energy to worrying what someone else thinks about it. They don't have to live through it.


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