From Grief to Belief
Posted Feb 14, 2018 by Jacquie Robison
(or, a Valentine to CP in gifs)

Dear Cerebral Palsy,

When I first met you, I didn’t like you. At all. I didn’t want to give you the time of day and I definitely didn’t want you hanging around my daughter. So, for the first few days after Sofia’s diagnosis,  I pretended you didn’t exist.

Like any new parent, I had plans and dreams for my girl.  And they most certainly did not include you. I wanted you gone. 

But, you wouldn’t listen. And I got mad. I was so angry inside. I bargained and begged you to leave my family alone. 

Eventually, I realized it wasn’t hostility I was feeling. It was hurt. You broke my heart, CP. And, I came a little undone. 

I recognized this hurt, though. It was a ‘first love’ kind of heartbreak.  As an adult, I knew this heartache would go away. You would not break me.

Through the hurt, I brought my girl to physical therapy and watched how her joy never wavered. And things shifted.  I realized I needed to stay ahead of her. I was going to learn as much as I could about you. 

I was going to lead by example and be the parent she deserved. I'd keep her motivated to get stronger and be her best self. Born at 28 weeks, she has been a fighter from day one.  CP would not change that. 

Together as a family, we celebrate every new milestone and let Sofia know that she is capable of things she can not yet imagine. Her future is unfolding and it is bright.

So Cerebral Palsy, while I still wish that you had never happened to my daughter, I do have to thank you for what you have given me. You've opened my eyes to seeing the whole of a person, no matter their abilities. You've taught me that it is progress and not perfection that is magic. You've shown me that while I should remain open to all her possibilities, I should embrace everything she is, not mourn the things she isn't. 
Sofia is everything. And she is so much more than her diagnosis. So much more than you, CP. 

The biggest gift is that you have drawn me closer to my family and to my community.  

Happy Valentine's Day, Cerebral Palsy

This entry was posted in Musings