Nineteen years ago I went into labor for the very first time. I remember biting the hospital bed bars in pain, wishing it would be 20 years later. Well…I'm one year away from that wish. WOW…hard to believe.
I don't mean to wish my life away, but at that moment, I would have done anything to stop the pain and fast-forward to the future. After 13 (yes, "13" - that number has played a bigger role in our lives than we EVER could have imagined)…after 13 hours of labor, Mike and I welcomed a healthy baby boy into our lives. Jack Michael Jablonski.
He and his brother Max have been the most incredible source of joy in our lives. I never imagined being surrounded by so much testosterone would bring me so much happiness, and
years later make me cherish my much coveted girls' nights out ; )
So here I sit, 19 years after the birth of our first son, writing on his CaringBridge site. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be addressing the reality of a disabled child. Just two months after Jack turned 16 he had his paralyzing injury. Now we're nearly three years into a life that we never expected. But it's a life that we celebrate every day.
And every day brings us new hope. This week we learned about another procedure that is beyond encouraging for people living with a spinal cord injury. It's about using the cells responsible for the sense of smell and placing them in the spinal cord: http://trib.in/1rrNLqn
. Oh, the sweet smell of success. I know in my heart that we're on the verge of great things happening for Jack and others living with SCI's. I do bel13ve. I do.
Speaking of feeling optimistic, I feel compelled to share the good, okay, really good, if not great, news about our recent trip to LA and USC. As I mentioned in my previous posting (I know…quite some time ago), we flew to California for the annual Swim With Mike brunch and a week packed with nailing down details for Jack's move to college at USC in January.
And what a week it was. I have to say I'm feeling SO much more at ease with Jack leaving the nest and starting a new life almost 2,000 miles away from home. Why? Because we somehow connected with extraordinary people that can tend to Jack's needs…a fabulous care provider, doctors, nurses, the Swim With Mike organization, friends and friends of friends, and so on. Things are falling into place and now we're feeling more excited than anxious and overwhelmed. Just a few more details to finalize, but we're in a good place. A really good place. Thanks to everyone who helped us make these connections. Grateful!
I suppose "grateful" has become a staple word in the Jablonski vocab. We are truly appreciative of the endless support we've received from all of you and from everyone around us. I may not be in touch as much as I used to, but please know a day doesn't go by without us thinking about how fortunate we are for all that has been bestowed upon us.
So, happy 19th Birthday Jack.
And happy 16th birthday Max (October 17). Kudos to you on getting your driver's license. Be smart, drive carefully! Please don't make mama nervous!
All the best,