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 usual...it 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.