Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What's your Happily Ever After?

This shot is for Russell.....great idea hanging out in the laundry basket...(-:
I have an extreme weakness for fairy tales. Damsel in distress, prince comes to rescue her, they have an amazingly sappy kiss, get married, and everyone lives happily ever after in the prince's giant castle.

Almost every book you read has some sort of unresolved conflict, suspense, big blow up, resolution, and then everyone lives happily ever after. (I realize that I am seriously over generalizing here, but kindly go with me)

When you are faced with the fact that you are having a baby that is going to be different, the suspense and unresolved conflict within yourself is immense. You fight inwardly as to how you are going to handle this- how your life is going to change.

You remember all of those stories that you used to love so well, and for the first time in your life, you realize that your story doesn't hold the promise of a magical ending. There's nothing magical about looking down the road 5 years, 10 years, 50 years and realizing that nothing about this problem is going to change. It's going to be staring you in the face every day and weighing heavily on you for support every step of the way.

This concept is devastating. This problem is something that is never going to go away, never get better, never find a "cure".

What then? What is your happily ever after?

I have spent a lot of time thinking and pondering this lately. I have gotten to a point of acceptance with my daughter's diagnosis. Even though there are hard days still, a lot of the pain and grief over the initial diagnosis has faded.

But what if someone were to write a Cinderella 6 where Cinderella had a baby that was going to be different? After the unresolved conflict and and the big emotional battle......

.....what would they write as the "happily ever after?"

I may not be making any sense at all, but I am honestly struggling through this.

If I were to describe it, based on where I am now in our journey, I guess my answer is that my happily ever after is today. and tomorrow. and the next day. one day at a time.

My happily ever after includes unconditional love for my baby. My day to day work taking care of her brings me such joy and happiness as I marvel that she is still alive and that she is so beautiful.

My happily ever after includes holding my warm and cuddly baby who places her chubby arms around me and smiles mischievously at me after trying to take off my nose with her curious little fingers.

My happily ever after includes tickling Chubbs under her chin and listen to her belly laugh and watch her valiantly try to kick herself away.

My happily ever after includes day after day of doing what I need to do taking care of a somewhat fragile 10 month old and loving every minute of it.

But then again, I am only 10 months in. I don't feel qualified to define "happily ever after" for even myself because I have only really just begun this.

When I look back in 50 years, will I have a different opinion of happily ever after?

What do you think? To my friends who are in similar situations:

What is the happily ever after of having a baby with special needs?

What is your happily ever after?


  1. Okay,Chubb's Grandpa just killed me with his letter to Lily on her blog/comment section. sweetest.thing.ever. You are one blessed lady, Deanna!!!!!!

  2. Ahh, lets start out with a hug! And than to say, that I honestly believe that your happily ever after is going to end up happier than you ever expected! FOR REAL! K, so if you are interested, I would love to mail you a book... I think you would LOVE it! If interested email me your address and I will get it to you "hopefully" before Christmas! And keep smiling, Your little princess girl is Chubbalicious! Just like mine!

  3. Oh, my email is kathyehlert@hotmail.com

  4. My happily ever after is the realization that no matter how difficult things might be in my life, I wouldn't become someone else if I had the ability.

    I have pondered this many times and have wondered whether given the option if anyone would really trade in their life, their family, and everything that they do love about their lives to become someone else that seemed to have that perfect fairy tale life if they had the opportunity. I don't believe that very many people really would. The fact of the matter is, no one really does have that fairy tale life that we all see and desire. Underneath all the layers everyone has pain, difficulty and frustration, but everyone becomes semi-comfortable with their own. They learn how to cope with their own difficulties but would anyone lay aside their own to take someone else's? I think maybe someone in the worst situations imaginable might, but most of us find that God has given us the strength to handle what He has placed upon us and would rather bear our own load than take upon ourselves another's load.

    I guess in a nutshell, my happily ever after begins with acceptance of my circumstances here on earth both the good and the bad and ends when we lay it all at Jesus' feet to exchange it for the perfectness that we will one day have in Him!

  5. I have a screaming 2.5 year old who wants down from the table so I don't have much time....but that pic of Chubb's in the laundry basket is beyond cute...no really, CUTE!!!! I love those duck pj's, Sutter had them when he was little and now I wish I would have bought them in a bigger size too!

  6. Russell and I LOVE the picture :) Addison is the sweetest!!
    I wish I had something uplifting to write...But I guess I dont really. I am finding myself kind of in the same spot you are right now. Yesterday in a store there was a group of handicapped children with their workers, some with Ds, some with other issues...It just looked so cayotic and out of control...The workers looked like they had to many kids out at once and were chasing them around...I went out the my truck and burst into tears...The truth is some days I dont believe any of this is true, that this is my new reality. Of course I love Russell more than anything in this world...But really I just dont think alot has set in with me just yet.
    But I have to say the way you talked of how your happy ending feels, by taking it one day at a time...Thats how I feel. Its the best way for me to go right now...Today I am happy...

  7. none of us are guaranteed "happily ever after" as in the fairytales....happiness (joy) is a choice we make everyday. Only we have control over our attitude and mood. It's a choice we make on a moment by moment basis. Our ultimate happines is in serving and loving our Savior and trusting him for the day-to-day life for which He's blessed us. You can't worry about the future, cause none of us knows what our future holds! Love Addison for who she is today and don't worry about the possibilities of tomorrow.

  8. I met a lady at the zoo this past summer who's daughter with DS was in her 30's.She told me her daughter was such a blessing to their family and they all cherish her.She told me to show my daughter love and she would return it.
    That's my "Happily Ever After" loving my daughter no matter what.

  9. My happily ever after is enjoying, no loving!, every minute of every day with Claire. I find that my worries and doubts creep in the further down the road I look. And since we never know what the future holds, I am focusing on now. Ds is so different from what I thought, that I'm sure the future will be different than I think it will be too...


Thanks for reading about my Everything and Nothing. I would love to hear from you!