Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Two Years

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Two Years

Two years ago today my life without Williams syndrome took one last dying gasp and faded into my personal history. Time of death: 2:15 p.m. I was absolutely devastated, and the tears began to fall. I continued to cry for nearly an entire year. This past year was much easier than the first, and I am thankful for that.
It's funny. I can't really remember exactly how life felt before that rainy afternoon in a stuffy examination room at the children's hospital.
WS makes its presence known to me daily, whether I want it to or not. Because of it, we struggle in so many different ways, but I notice I smile through a lot of it now, even when things are extremely unpleasant or difficult. Either I can handle it, or I'm going completely crazy. Either one is okay with me. For example, I noticed yesterday the way I loudly announced each and every time I blew my nose or flipped on a noisy appliance, whether Erik was visible in the room or not. This habit apparently developed unnoticed over the last few months. I previously avoided making much noise around Erik at all, but now that he is adjusting to how noisy life can be, I simply give him a courtesy warning, as if I am yelling "fore" before chopping at a golf ball with a long iron. This practice may seem bizarre to others, especially if Erik isn't even home, but I seem to have forgotten to care anymore. I do believe that's what we call progress.
If you visit our home, you may hear me yell --
"I'm going to blow my nose now!"
"I'm brushing my teeth now!"
"I'm turning on the garbage disposal now!"
"I'm chopping walnuts with the food processor now!"
If Erik is near, he will react by turning my direction, dropping what he has in his hands, and immediately covering ears with his palms.
I just don't think about how I felt before D-Day much anymore.
There's no point.
Because life should and does go on, even if we clamp our hands tightly over our ears.

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Blogger Julie said...

I agree. The woman I was before Williams Syndrome is a distant memory. I don't even recognize her. Scott actually told me I am funnier now. Whatever that means. I think its because I am more sarcastic now. Noah doesn't have the noise issues to much anymore, unless we go over the rumble strips on the highway and he just holds his ears. When he was younger though I would have to smile at him before I ran any noisy appliance. I am glad you guys are making progress in this department.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Nancy, it is amazing how similar our lives are. We do the same thing with Payton - announce when we are going to do something. She drops everything and covers her ears. Funny thing is, now when she 'pretend plays' she will say "cover your ears" before she uses the toy vacuum. It melts my heart. You're right - you're making progress!!! And, thru your blog - you've helped me move past a lot of things and I thank you for that.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

To borrow from Vince Vaughn's character in "Old School", "Ear muffs!" So what do we get one on a 2nd anniversary? A bigger bottle of wine or just move onto the hard stuff?

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gue says
We'll never forget that day. Our good friend, Kaffie Ding Dong (named by Erik, because she rings the doorbell) knew we were waiting for what could be horrible news, but she stuck with us and we went to dinner together. I got your call and retreated to the women's room at our favorite brewpub to talk to you.

We had breakfast with Kaffy Ding Dong this morning. Boy, we treasure the wonderful people we know. When I wake in the morning, sometimes I wonder what it was like to wake over two years ago. I can't remember. But I do know that day I could never have imagined the positive things that have happened since. Keep it up, my love. You have made a difference in our lives and in the lives of the incredible women we've met through your blog.

Much love to you,


6:39 PM  
Blogger Lizard Eater said...

And now, it's all about "the new normal."


8:49 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

When Ari was diagnosed someone told me the first two years are the hardest...she was right..each year it gets a little easier. I still have flashbacks in the early fall - around the time she was diagnosed - or I'll just find myself tense for no reason and then I remember ...oh, this was the week. The day of diagnosis will never leave any of our memories, every detail is etched in stone, the weather, the clothes I was wearing, the words coming out of the doctors mouth....etc..We too live with our hands over our ears, but we are better for it.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Lisa R said...

I think the person I was is very much still here, I can say that yes I view things differently now but for the most part I am me at least back to me. Sure it is a challange but That pre WS lady did not die with the hope of a normal kid. THese are our kids for a reason. If Eric were not yours maybe his life would not be as amazing as it is. I am going with Who cares this is me my life and if ya like it love it if not take a hike...I knowwe are all different but as I have said before WS is worth it just because I now how you and Tate and Erik are a blast!! XOXOX

12:13 PM  

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