Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dear Hazel

By Rob Berry

Dear Hazel,
I haven't written to you in a while and for that I apologize. Life has become super busy again and that makes it difficult to find the time and motivation to write. This new level of activity really does signal that life is becoming 'normal' again.

You have grown  up so fast. It is hard for me to believe that you are now almost 14 months adjusted (18 months actual). Just this morning while watching cartoons with you, your mom and I were talking about how you are no longer a baby, rather you are a little girl.
How is it possible? It seems like yesterday that we were at your bedside in the NICU, spending countless hours saying our prayers and doing any little thing we could to help you get bigger, stronger, healthier. At that time you did not know what quiet was. There were people constantly in and out of your pod, machines whirring and monitors blaring. Every moment of the day, something was happening.
Last July, we were able to bring you home after four months in the hospital. What a glorious and terrifying moment that was. We got used to it pretty quick. Your mom and I worked as a team and attended to your needs as best we could. At that time it felt like you would never come off of your oxygen. It took longer than we thought but as I hold you today you have been off for 7 or 8 months.
Fast forward to today. All of those noises, all of those worries are gone. I sit in your bedroom watching you sleep. The house is silent except for the faint sound of your mom preparing dinner downstairs.
This day has been filled with laughter and smiles. You started walking three weeks ago and today you spent the morning walking all over the house, following your mom and dad around like the world's most adorable puppy.
You are so inquisitive and so determined. Once you set your mind to something, that's it.  We have no doubt that these traits served you well early on in your life and have helped you to become the little girl you are today. Don't ever lose that fire.
I just wanted to let you know that not one day goes by where your mom and dad don't stop and think about how lucky we are. You are our little miracle. Watching you go about your business makes us realize that there is nothing we can't do as a family.
One bit of advice before I sign off. Always remember when life gets busy that it is important to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. Be the best person you can be each and every day.
If life gets tough, which it surely will, don't forget to feel grateful for all of the good things in life. Surround yourself with friends and family who love and support you and forget everything else. Your mom and dad will be there to offer a kind ear and support you through life's moments. Never forget that you have the strength to conquer anything that stands in your way.


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