Happy 2nd Birthday!!

Dear Madeleine,

2 years ago I was a very scared mama, in the hospital while you were making one heck of a dramatic entrance. I should have known at that point that you’d have the fiery personality of the little red head that you are. 😀 Once you arrived, it was like nothing else mattered but making sure you were ok.

Today, you turned 2. It’s amazing that it’s been 2 years since that morning in the hospital. I think of the tiny, helpless little baby that you were. So little and sweet. I remember your first giggles. The first time you smiled at me and it lit up my entire day. Taking you for walks in your stroller. Seeing your dad get wrapped more and more tightly around your little finger as each day passes. The first time you rolled over and your first “real” food. The first trip we took as a family, your first Christmas and holiday season. Celebrating each month and each milestone as they came. Watching you learn to walk, learn to speak and telling us which animal makes which sounds. We have had so many firsts and so many amazing memories already, in your 2 years of life.

And then, my world was shattered on July 23rd, 2010. My sweet baby girl was diagnosed with cancer. You had lost all strength from the torso down and we were eventually told you would probably never walk. We started your chemo. Had your surgery to have your port implanted. Biopsies were taken and you started physical therapy. Not all in that order, but it was a whirlwind of blood tests and doctor’s visits with several different specialists. All I could do was focus on each day. Each hour. Each minute. Which appointment was next and when did you need your next dose of which medication? I was so sleep deprived I literally kept medication logs and notes of when you slept last and for how long so I would know when to put you down for a nap again and when to give you your next dose of each type of medicine. But I was ready. Ready to fight.

I have never felt so helpless, but also so determined in my entire life. It was my job to fight for you. To be your voice, since you didn’t have the ability to tell us what was going on. And speak I did. I called those doctors all the time. Your oncologist just loves to tease me about that! I asked so many questions. I fought. I fought for you. Because I knew then, just as I know now, that you deserve the chance to walk and run and play like every other child. I cannot even explain to you how incredibly in awe I am that everything has worked out in the way that it has. You are our miracle baby. You are so determined. You are so amazingly strong. You are so resilient.  You bounce back from everything as though nothing ever happened. Even this last surgery – we’re only 2 weeks out and you are already running around again, playing and acting as though nothing has happened – except when you see your incision and tell me about your boo boos.

Because of you, your daddy and I have a whole new appreciation for life. For health and happiness. We know who our true friends are. Who truly supports us and who is just here for the attention that a family or friend with cancer brings. It’s brought a whole new clarity to our lives about what is really important and who is really there for us at the end of the day. Because of you, we’ve seen who we can trust.

On this, your birthday, I want you to know how incredibly special you are. You are the light in our lives and always know how to bring a smile to our faces. So fun to be around, so funny, so smart and so sweet.  Really, I could not ask for a better child. 🙂 So – Happy 2nd Birthday! I hope you had a great day, and I hope you forever know how much we love and adore you. We are so incredibly grateful for your amazing outcome from your treatments and we cannot be happier to watch you walk, run and play every single day.

Keep learning, keep loving and keep being the sweet, amazing girl that you are! You have a strength and stubbornness about you that is so difficult to find. It will serve you well – it already has!

Love you so much,

Mommy

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Happy 2nd Birthday!!

  1. What a sweet note to Madeline! It made me cry. :)You all have been through so much and her 2nd birthday is certainly reason to celebrate! Happy birthday, M!!!

  2. *teary* We love all 3 of you and are so happy to celebrate M’s birthday 🙂

  3. such a sweet letter to your daughter! Happy belated birthday, M! Can’t wait to see you when we get back to the NW!

  4. Awwww…happy birthday miss M!! You are very special and VERY loved!!

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