Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This Too Shall Pass

I usually walk around for a week with a particular subject brewing like a Keurig in my head on what I want to expand upon for my next post. I’ll pick out my Flavor of the Week cute pint-sized bag of coffee that I want to share the with the world (this week it’s Christmas-spiced Holiday Noggin – so freaking delicious). 2011-01-07 Jan Home 002 copyLike a coffee maker saturating those fresh java beans with steaming hot water for a few instances before frantically pouring out that first jet burst of chocolate liquid, I’ll let the aroma brew in my head to just the right point before it needs to explode. And I don’t know what it is about a shower, maybe it’s my own personal coffee maker, but I call that tub my Think Tank. There’s just something about the white noise of steaming, refreshing water that will make your mind go into deep thoughts overdrive.

I’m going to buy a nice camera and get into photography.

I should start another business doing it. Not because I need to make $$, but because I want to be a known artist for it.

Man, my stomach looks sad. I’m going to be Jillian Michaels tomorrow morning at the gym.

I need to be a better housewife this week – cooking, cleaning, get all Martha Stewart on this bitch.

It’s 2011 now…What am I going to do this year that’s profound?

The thoughts flow and flow as the water dribbles over, until I eventually wind up to my blog topic of the week I’ve stored at the end of the hot water tank. I’m usually throwing open the sopped shower curtain, jumping out soaking wet, trying to get to my laptop to spew out the words over the keyboard before I forget about these enlightening blog thoughts I’ve had in my Think Tank… but remember I need not ruin my recent $800 investment and dry my hands first. The coffee pot is filling up with my humble ideas on everyday instances we seem to pass by too easily. 2011-01-03 Jan Home 011aThis thing called life sometimes puts us into fast forward when we just need to press pause, and I hope for my blog to be that pause button for some. So I write, and write, and write. The clear glass is disappearing as the dark caffeine is taking over, slowing it’s pace into a gentle chocolate stream of a conclusion, and then trickling out those last few adjectives to clearly see into my head’s images just right. I let it sit for a few moments before realizing the right time on a quiet night to enjoy that invigorating cup of coffee, and hit Publish.

2011-01-05 Jan Home 016a2011-01-05 Jan Home 020aLyla discovering just how cool sun beams are.

I’ve had a particular flavored pot brewing of “This Too Shall Pass” in my head the last couple of weeks. One of my favorite reassuring sayings that I’ve found myself repeating quite a few times in life already. I forget where I heard it first in my teenage years – maybe on something wise like Forest Gump with it’s one liners that you could live your days by. But whatever it was, that saying stuck like a piece of gum to the bottom of my New Balance sneakers.

In times of grief when you must say not goodbye but “See you soon” to a loved one who’s closed their eyes one last time, with tears leaving glistening trails as they stream down your face, remember This Too Shall Pass. When a senior boy has crushed your 10th grade heart into 100 pieces and your na├»ve soul thinks it’s the end of the world, it was my first lesson of This Too Shall Pass. And boy did that pass. When your baby wakes up at 11pm, 1am, 1:30, 2:30, 4, and a sun-rising 5:30, you MUST remember This Too Shall Pass. The day you have to pull your forbidden fat jeans out of the closet - This Better Freaking Pass.2011-01-05 Jan Home 002a

I had been percolating these thoughts all week, when I found myself atop the red-cushioned balcony seating of Boston’s Colonial Theater for the theatrical show of Jersey Boys. The dance-in-your-seat musical was just as it should be – bad Jersey accents you could barely understand, slick 50’s hair greased up more than Paula Dean’s cast iron skillet, mobsters, gambling, and the music made from gods. Oh how those catchy tunes resonated in our heads for days to come… ‘Bii-iiig Giiirls, Doooon’t Cry-yi-yi”. Epic. But in one particular scene, Frankie Valli pulled the line straight out of my coffee pot.

“A da possa a nuttata. This too shall pass.”

Eureka, it’s a sign! The Broadway gods have said, Go write my child.

I can remember the early days of Lyla. Being in the hospital, so so happy, but dazed and confused. The words Down syndrome haunted me. Hell, I couldn’t even say them without a tear leaking from my fake strong eyes. Those two words lingered in my head like chicken wing bones stuck at the bottom of your garbage disposal – you know they’re not supposed to be there but you can’t get the damn things out for the life of you. Piles of literature took over all the end tables where stuffed animals should have been, adorable but “different” looking kids leaping from the pages and onto my hospital bed. There was just too much to read. I gave it all to my Dad. I needed the Cliff’s Notes in order to inhale the sweet smell of new baby, because I knew that This Too Shall Pass.

We got home as a new family of 3. Just what I had been waiting for during those impatient months of pregnancy. Except that every time I stared into my baby’s eyes, pathetically all I could see were those damn new words again. Why is this happening? What does this mean for her? What does this mean for us? It was a crazy, crazy time. Did I put up a fake front and pretend that everything was ok? Absofrickinlutely. I had a new baby to nurture and a husband to comfort. But somehow I endured knowing that This Too Shall Pass.

Sleep studies after suspicions of seizures with 50 electrodes hooked to her scalp and face. Countless EKG’s. Cardiologist appointments that will scare you to hell and back. Open heart surgery on your teeny 7-month old. Yeah, that one deserves to be repeated. Open heart surgery. This Too Shall Pass.

And pass it did.2011-01-05 Jan Home 046a2011-01-05 Jan Home 035a2011-01-05 Jan Home 042a2011-01-05 Jan Home 040a 2011-01-05 Jan Home 030a2011-01-05 Jan Home 039a

Each week the letters D and S started to disappear from her explosive eyes more and more. Eyes that are marbled with brilliant hues of gray, cornflower blue, emerald green, hazel, and bursts of ice white. We sit at 9 months to the day, and I say the words Down syndrome only once a week versus once an hour where we started. The focus is leaving the diagnosis. 2011-01-10 Jan Home 014aIt’s amazing how something consumed my thoughts in such a negative way, and has now turned into a special key that unlocked a better soul inside myself. Time has allowed me to see all of Lyla, including a small part that’s made up of a measly extra chromosome. No biggie.

2011-01-05 Jan Home 025 copyTrying with all her might to make that dragon fly.

The bad passes. And just like Frankie stated, the good will pass too. Trust me, I have my hard times and worry sessions after the good takes a dip. But I’m up for it. Bring on the rollercoaster called Life. I have an amazing daughter who is the heart of our family. She has shown us that the sweet ain’t as sweet without the sour (there we go again with the epic life quote from Vanilla Sky). So sour her medical world is, but so sweet that 17lb ball of curiosity that fills my day with warm love is.

Please hold onto this phrase when bad times arrive. This too shall pass for you as well. Don’t get a flat tire from the sour potholes of life. Simply dig into that rut with appropriate feelings, and let that car coast you through to those smooth new roads ahead that will take you places you’ve never seen before…but you must have your eyes open to get there. A da possa a nuttata.2011-01-05 Jan Home 037a

Dedicated to my dear friend Andrea. This too shall pass sweetie. Hugs.


  1. Tell Troy Boy you want children's bath crayons for yourself to keep in the shower. It sounds silly, but they're useful (and fun!) for adults too.

  2. I so look forward to every one of these posts! :) You're the best...love you!

  3. What Kendra said! But they actually have notepads: http://www.myaquanotes.com/ for the shower!!! But I agree, bath crayons would be way more fun!

    As you said, I do not recognize a baby with Down Syndrome when I see Lyla. I see you, her beatiful mommy, in those eyes, her button nose and best of all her smile!

    My Dr said this same thing to me at my appt yesterday! Ahhh, said with a deep breath it really puts things in perspective.

  4. Jessica,

    This is so beautifully written and well put. "This too shall pass" is a quote that has resonated with me since high school. I believe it was Lisa Hess that wrote it on a note to me during a difficult time senior year.

    Thank you for your comforting words. It really helped to put things into perspective these last few days. We are so thankful that Nick is doing better and we look forward to meeting Lucia <3


  5. Jess - thanks for sharing Lyla stories! You are an amazing writer!!

  6. great post. I seriously think it would take me a year to write one blog post that well.