This past Sunday was a huge day for our two (and a half) year old daughter, Kayci. She has been to my favorite place in the world before: Ocean City, NJ but was unable to appreciate its greatness until now. Driving over the bridge to get to the beach Kayci was astounded by the boats, water, and seagulls. Once on the beach she was amazed by the huge ocean also known to her as “big pool.” This child is a water bug just as I was/am and is quite fearless. The water was warm but the tide was rough as was the wind making it difficult to hold her and the breeze made it very cold. She did not want to get out of the ocean and was adamant to stay in there no matter what it took. Once we were finished on the beach we took her to the boardwalk where I have more memories than I have anywhere and all happy ones. Ocean City has been my happy place since I was the age of two and my grandmother, La La had an apartment there. We played some arcade games and quickly realized she is way too young to understand or have fun playing there so went to see “Wonderland” the land of over-priced but memorable rides. Kayci is quite attached to me and gets nervous doing things alone. I did not think for one second she would go on a ride alone. She is barely tall enough for the rides as it is much less apt to go on without Mommy. I was stunned. This is her first ride ever alone as it was my first ride ever alone. The boat ride for mini people is simply five little boats that go in a circle over a tiny bit of water for about five minutes. She marched in there like she was a pro at driving a pretend boat. We walked her in and she sat down to take her shoes off as she thought it really was a boat due to the little amount of water under the ride. She was not afraid one little bit. She loved it and as odd as it sounds it was one of my proudest/happiest moments as Kayci’s mother. She was so proud of herself and I truly saw myself in her more than ever. She went on three more rides and probably would have gone on for hours more but it was time to head home.
It has been a long couple weeks with many ups and downs and this past week was packed with activities. Sometimes it is beyond hard to manage my pain levels when I cannot stick to my schedule and incorporate all the components I need to manage pain naturally. This past Sunday was one of those days and when I awoke I honestly (for the first time in my 33 yrs of life) did not want to go the happiest place in the world (for me that is, others would definitely not feel the same.) This is where I came when I left the Mayo Clinic and was learning to manage chronic pain naturally on my own. I drove there every day on my own just to meditate, practice relaxation CD’s, read, and swim. Some people find peace in the Mountains or with nature. I find peace and happiness by the ocean. I was shocked that I did not want to drive down to my happy place that morning but I am so happy we did. Was it a difficult day? YES. Will I remember the pain I was feeling off and on: NO. I will remember how much joy I saw in Kayci and how happy I felt to share Ocean City with my daughter. As the quote says: “We do not remember days, we remember moments.”
As my readers know my biggest fear due to my bike accident and chronic pain was that I would not have a family and be a mother. I knew I wanted to be the best mother in the world and never thought I could control chronic pain instead of it controlling me. When things get difficult for me physically or emotionally, this little two year old reminds me of why I never gave up and why I never will. Managing chronic pain and motherhood and family can be more difficult than I can express however, it can also be the happiest distraction.
There are great things ahead of us, we must not lose faith. I write this because I also need this reminder daily.
“Is it not the greatest thing that some of the best things have not yet happened to us yet? A bad day, week or even year does not determine your future. Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift. That is why we call it the present.