It was a year that seemed to go on forever. So many surreal, unbelievable moments… the world facing terrorist assaults, race issues, political issues, and just people issues. Negativity wherever you looked. Conflict, inequality, anger… It was rather difficult to put on the news each day- NO matter which side or viewpoint you had. It really made me sick, but to tell you the truth- it really doesn’t matter. It’s what happens to you in your own small, little world and day to day life that fuels or frightens you.
Our world is small. Our Batten life is moment to moment. Bridget, making it through 3 rounds of pneumonia (January, October & December), where time stands still, was remarkable. Bridget turning 12 years old, despite what the finality of that number means, is incredible. The loss of 3 special souls- 2 Dads of close friends and the sweet son of Jen & Tracy, was devastating. The numbers and moments make time cease to exist. It seems to pause and not care to go on. Maybe it’s good that way, more opportunity to live in the moment. To enjoy and relish the good there is around us. Sometimes it’s not desirable and we want time to go quickly, to get out of a hardship. We welcome each of the days because it’s going to get better, we hope.
Either way- we don’t really have a choice to slow time or accelerate it. It just is.
So, we choose to make the MOST of our time in our little world. We went on a family vacation to Kiawah Island, SC. Bridget went on a boat ride to find dolphins, a horse and buggy ride to experience Charlotte and a stroller ride to feel the ocean air in her face. She was a trooper on our road trip and finished 4th grade on a high. Summer was amazing with baseball games, 4th of July parties and the summer party to end all parties, A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream hosted by our lovely friends, the Tepas’. Such an outpouring of love and support for our family, especially our girl. Flowers, fairies, butterflies and a candle lit HOPE. It was all around.
The final year of grade school began in August and Bridget was ready. She has an amazing team at Countryside School. We’re fortunate for each and every person caring for our daughter. There are many. Despite a week away in the hospital, she remained in touch with friends and staff with her iPad that had photos and video collections. The hearts of these students are larger than life and we witnessed it again during her birthday celebration. Bridget is extremely blessed with their caring attitudes and love.
Having our annual fundraiser, A Fifth Season~ A Night in Napa was another magical moment for Bridget and our family. We raised even more money than the previous years to help provide necessary funds to those who are working in our tiny little world of CLN2. We sang, cheered (the Cubs) and witnessed an artist do amazing things. Yet, our hearts were heavy with the absence of our sweet boys, Ethan and Noah. They were Bridget’s true companions in life- the same age and the same childhood. Thinking of them makes it difficult to breathe. I hold the sorrow in my heart that I know their parents feel. How do they and so many others who have lost children wake up to each new day and face the loss again? How can they relive that moment day after day?
When Christmas came, it was with mixed emotions we set the plans in motion. Bridget was very sick and needed to stay home. Our family understood, coming to see us when they could. Every time we had company, it was a joyful experience. Excellent food, delicious wine and loving family & friends was how we made it through each moment confined at home. I relished it because it was a break from work and from real life. We had the chance to spend so MANY wonderful moments with our girl. I treasure the time I have with my daughter, wishing I could pause it a little longer. But, alas, the days must keep coming. I will embrace the little world I live in because it has her.