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my nine


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i'm not entirely sure how to get this out without coming across as overly dramatic. i might not be able to do it, but i'm going to try. if it happens to be touched with drama, well then, i guess that's just who i am, and this is the way i feel.
i'm very frightened, because i love her so much.
in my family, everybody - my mom, dad, sisters, nephew, neice and me are all either born on the 9th, 13th or 16th of the month. my dad, my sister kristen and my nephew dylan were born on the 13th of april, july and january, respectively; my mother and sister megen were born on the 16th of june and january, and i was born on the 9th of april. my niece mckayla grace was born on the 9th of september. she's my nine, my little princess grace.
she turned six months old on the 9th of march, just a few days ago. also, just a few days ago, she started having seizures. she's possibly been having them for longer than that, but that is as early as anyone realized what's been going on. my sister kristen, gracie's mother, noticed she was doing something that didn't seem quite right; she'd stiffen from about the waist up and her eyes would glaze over as if she were staring, wide-eyed; her arms would go stiff as well, and this behavior would sort of pulse repeatedly for several seconds. when my family started noticing, the episodes became longer. the first time most of my family were witness to an episode was on saturday when my sister megen was holding gracie and playing with her. gracie was sitting up on megen's lap when gracie started seizing, but megen didn't realize what she was doing for about ten seconds or so, nor did anyone else in the room. at first it seemed just like something toddlers do; flailing their arms and sort of bucking under the hand that's holding them. when she didn't stop, it became apparent that something was wrong. she seized continually like this for nearly five minutes as megen held her securely, and everybody tried not to panic. then, it was over. while everyone else in the room tried, some unsuccessfully, to choke back tears, gracie went on playing as if nothing at all had happened.
that was the first time she seized with everybody looking on. she's seized many times since then though, including yesterday when her mommy took her to her doctor, and today, when she saw her neurologist. her neurologist said it's seizure disorder, or epilepsy. she has to have testing that's going to scare her next week, probably here in temple at scott & white hospital, possibly at children's hospital in austin.

tonight i went over to my parents' house to spend a little time with my mom and dad, my sister, and of course, gracie. i sat on my sister's bed while my neice lay on her back, playing with her feet, and trying to get her socks off. she nearly got them. it was just the two of us in there on my sister's bed. i sat there while she just looked at me. close to fifteen minutes. i just talked to her and touched her little pink cheeks and her little button nose and played with her tiny fingers. all the while, she just looked at me. a few times she cooed at me in approval when i brushed her little cheek. i made sure she knew how much i love her. i must have said it a thousand times, a thousand different ways. the way she looked at me; i don't know how to describe, exactly, the way it made me feel. i don't know if that's the way a mother feels towards her child but i imagine the feeling i had sitting on that bed while she looked at me - really looked at me - must be what it feels like to be a mother and know that someone loves you without question, and to know that the love is returned, completely.

i can't have children of my own; something about my little gracie just feels like, well, mine.

i promised her that she'd be just fine no matter what her doctors told her mommy.
she has to be alright. she's my nine.



gracie sleeping while her grammy (my mother) held her.

if I needed you
would you come to me?
would you come to me for to ease my pain?
if you needed me
i would come to you.
i would swim the sea for to ease your pain.
well the night's forlorn and the morning's born
and the morning's born with the lights of love.
and you'll miss sunrise if you close your eyes,
and that would break my heart in two.
if I needed you, would you come to me?
would you come to me for to ease my pain?
if you needed me,
i would come to you.
i would swim the sea for to ease your pain.
baby's with me now
since I showed her how,
to lay her lily hand in mine.
who could ill agree,
she's a sight to see
a treasure for the poor to find.
if I needed you,
would you come to me?
would you come to me for to ease my pain?
if you needed me,
i would come to you.
i would swim the sea for to ease your pain.


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  • I'm melissa mcgee
  • From Temple, Texas, United States
  • photographer. singer. soapcrafter. herbalist. dogmom. godmother. fantastic cook. i kiss better than i cook. [all photographs on this blog copyright melissa mcgee unless otherwise noted.]
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