We have started a little tradition of doing something special on August 1 to recognize Mairead and how amazing she is. She suffered her stroke on August 1, 2007, and in the five years since that horrific day, she has been nothing short of a miracle. She is strong, beautiful, smart, loving, funny, determined, talented, and kind. Most of all, she is happy. It's hard to see her meet with frustration, but 'happy' is definitely the word that best describes her. I hear it from her teachers and from other parents. No one would know that she is working so hard all the time; she is always smiling and is just so sweet. Instead of letting August 1 be a date that has us thinking about how bad things were, we think about how lucky we are to have her with us, and how wonderful she is.
This year, she and I went to The Butterfly in Westford (https://butterflyplace-ma.com/). She loves butterflies, bugs, and nature in general, so I knew she would love it. I have pictures, but none of them captures the sheer joy on her face when she stood surrounded by the butterflies and beautiful flowers in the garden. She was just so happy to be there.
It was really nice to spend some 'mother daughter' time with her, especially on a day that has such significance. I know it's corny to point out this comparison, but I felt that spending the day surrounded by butterflies was so appropriate. In order to break out of their cocoons, butterflies have to show patience, then hard work and determination. They end up being creatures that have great beauty and that inspire awe in others. I think of my little girl like that, and I hope she always knows how amazing she is.