Friday, November 26, 2010

Under construction.

I just got home from the gym where I was dodging coughs like they were gunshots in the ghetto. I always try to park my bike in the 'least susceptible to germs section' but which direction one chooses to spread their sickness in, or whether or not one practices 'the rules' to coughing and sneezing is beyond my control. Cover it, contain it, keep it to yourself, perhaps use a Kleenex, or, if none are available to you, cough or sneeze into your arm or shoulder people. I've mulled it over many times about whether or not I should just quit the gym in the winter, but i just can't. And it's not because I don't love Charlie enough to do so, it's because I love her SO much. I need the gym to stay mentally fit, it's my anti depressant...if I go a couple of days without it, I can feel myself slipping into a bad place. I've actually heard too that physical activity actually helps build your immune system, so as much as I'm putting myself in harms way with all of the shared sweat and germs, I think I'm counter acting that by staying active in the first place and building up my immunity. So, I need it, and Charlie needs me to be mentally and physically fit for her too. So we both win. There. So go away guilt!

Canuck Place was such an amazing break for all of us. It was so nice to relax and spend a week in such a positive, happy, relaxed and upbeat atmosphere. This was our second long term stay, and the first time I really realized something that Canuck Place gives us...a sense of normalcy. Matt and I are so used to feeling 'different' 'ostracized' 'left out' 'misunderstood and 'abnormal' and not because people try to make us feel those ways, but because we don't
really know or spend time with people like us. All of our friends are great, but their healthy baby dreams came true, life had other plans for us, and it's nice to be able to spend time with other families who's life course took an 'alternative' path as well. I think Matt and I neglected to notice this important detail last time we were at Canuck Place because both of us were still sort of in denial and we weren't ready to accept the fact that we were 'those people'. We're ready now, and can appreciate the support accepting it gives us.

So, we're home now and it's back to life, back to reality. Mine and Matt's reality is currently under construction...a couple of months ago, when Charlie was sick for the first time, and we got the GREAT news that there was a good chance she'd be around longer then they had initially thought, Matt and I both (individually, not shared at the time) had an epiphany...up until that point Matt and I had been putting our needs and our wants and happiness on hold...and putting Charlie's needs and wants first and foremost (which any parent would and does do) but because we were initially told that she was going to die soon, and were putting our individual happiness and needs aside, 'until after', we both realized that we hadn't really been 'living' while Char was alive. Later, we talked about, got upset about, and discussed some more, our shared epiphany, and we decided to separate. Our relationship had cracks before Charlie's diagnosis, but add to that the stress and pain of a terminally ill child, and you have all the ingredients for a terminally ill marriage as well. We are still figuring out the details, but we both feel/know it's the right thing to do.

Yesterday we took Charlie to hang out in the Vancouver Canucks dressing room and get pictures taken with the Sedins from the Canucks, and we did an interview for an upcoming Canucks/Canuck Place/children's telethon, it was an amazing day! Charlie was so good! She was just melting every ones hearts, as per was one of those moments where Matt and I kept looking at each other, beaming with pride, with smirks on our faces that were saying, "isn't she the best?! look at everyone eating her up and loving her." And, She is, and they do.


  1. I don't think I've ever met a couple who are so amazingly in tune with everything going on and have reached a level of honesty (obviously with respect) to embrace 'all' parts of the relationship above and beyond. Sounds like you two have turned a page and this is what it looks like 'right now, as is.' It's not right or wrong - it just 'is.' I hope all those around you can support your decision, knowing this is 'your' reality right now, as is. You are three individuals as well as a family, and you need to take care of yourselves as well as each other. Sending hugs your way, hugs of acceptance and prayers for peace, love and friendship comfort as you walk this path.

  2. ♥xo♥xo♥xo

    So, so, SO proud of you, Cher. The baby steps are turning into giant leaps. Sweet Charlie is very lucky to have such a wonderful Mommy. XO linds

  3. WOW...under construction indeed. What courage....amazing.
    We are all underconstruction in one way or and your family are close to the flame, and have to do what is best for you in this very "hot" situation. That fact that you can come to a place of mutual pride and joy around your daughter is huge!
    Like Heather I hope you get the support from those around you during this amazing time of your life and for everything to come, as none of us know what is around the corner.
    So glad for places like Canuck play that can let you live in "Normal".
    Love the picture of Charlie in her jersey...could she be any cuter???!!!!

    love and light

  4. You are truly amazing people with beautiful daughter!
    All the best

  5. I too know what it feels like to not "fit in" although my Hayley is healthy we can't take her out in public or around other children. We just can't allow her to get sick. She was a 25 weeker and has alot of lung damage due to being ventilated.

    We can't even have a family dinner due to the fact our nieces and nephews will be there. And sometimes I feel my friends and family just don't understand! There's always questions like "can't we just keep the kids away from her?"

    But I know it's all for a good reason, I don't want her back in the hospital!

    You are an amazing Mom, god only gives the special babies to the strongest parents! God bless you and your little Charlie!

    Lyndsey and Hayley

  6. hugs and prayers. adorable charlie in the jersey pic and so smart to keep up the gym for stress :)

  7. That's the cutest little Canuck I've ever seen!! Charlie is too adorable for words!! What a neat experience for you all. I know Canadians love their hockey. I'm in Pennsylvania and we love the Hershey Bears (ahl hockey). We live right next door to Hershey. I like the Red Wings and my husband likes the Sabres too (but don't hold that against us!!) Anyways, the Canuck Place sounds like an amazing place as well. Keep going to that need it and Charlie will benefit from you being in a good place too. We all need a little "me" time that's fro sure. I'm so glad Charlie is better and I pray that she continues to be well. Hugs to all of your family........Kris

  8. I have been following your blog for a number of months now. I have a daughter who is 5 days older than your Charlie. What a beautiful little girl Charlie is and with so much personality. You can just tell from her photo's that she is full of life. I am awed by your courage. May God's grace be on you and your family.

  9. Just found your blog and I am amazed. Your strength as a mom is so evident and also as a woman...Charlie is so very lucky to have you and from her smile in every picture it looks like she knows it! Canucks jersey + pigtails + thumbsucking = adorable.

  10. You inspire me. Thank you.

  11. You're wonderful and so is your daughter.