After we got home, I worked my hardest doing hours and hours of therapy with him in hopes that this would bring my little boy back.
Then and only then could Zach and I have the joy that he brought to us back in our lives! We missed his bright smile and sweet voice so much…it was our true source of JOY!!
The first year was so very difficult. The only expression Dakota had was sadness. He looked different and acted so different. All he did was cry and so did we. I often found myself asking God, “Why did you let him stay, if this is how it is going to be?” I couldn’t bear to see him so sad and miserable all the time and I begged…just let him be happy!! I know none of you can comprehend this…but we often thought that maybe it would have been better if he would have passed away.
As he continued to progress we first saw a hint of a smile and that was SOOOO exciting. Since that day Dakota has continued to progress in so many ways.
These last couple months we have seen even more change. It is always hard to describe these changes and progressions because they are so subtle and gradual that they are hard for me to even detect. But he has been more happy, more responsive, more alert, more interactive. I feel like we are finally understanding each other…even though he still can’t talk. I can ask him questions and get more responses either with a smile, a look, or a cry.
He uses those big sparkly eyes and sweet smile to tell us what he is thinking and needing and Zach and I are finally understanding him better and better. Don’t get me wrong…we still have our frustrating moments where neither one of us is getting the other but they are becoming fewer and far between.
This last week as Zach and I have had a lot of time to spend together since his work is slowing down, we have been together as a little family a lot. I have found myself several times just watching or listening to Dakota’s happy laugh, his sweetest smile, and the happiness in Zach’s voice. As I was listening to the happiness in Zach and Dakota while Zach gave him a bath…I felt that PURE JOY once again and I realized…it is back!! Dakota isn't back to his old self, but he is bringing us a source of JOY that I never knew. As I watch and listen I am completely content, happy, and my heart is full of JOY!!
I caught the very end of it so it was toned down a bit. (Don't mind the nudity!) ;)
The saying on the top of my blog that “Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful” is SO true!!! Dakota’s body and mind is still not perfect, Zach is still blind, day to day life is still hard for us…but we are happy and life with these two truly is SO wonderful!!!
Zach and I have had several conversations lately about how much we love Dakota this way. We still miss him and the boy he once was but he is SO much fun and makes us so happy in different ways. We talk about how much we love him and his unique little things that make him so different but so sweet. There truly is a piece of heaven that I can see in his eyes when he smiles. They sparkle differently then they ever did and he has shown me what true JOY is!!
After almost 3 years of coping with life with a brain injured child and mourning the loss of what once was…I can honestly say…I can feel PURE JOY again!! Heavenly Father in His own time and in His own way has answered my prayers! It took a lot of heartache and a lot of tears to get to this point but that is what this life is all about. He knew I needed to experience the loss of something so great and wonderful to learn to appreciate the simpleness and sweetness that life has to offer. We will never find happiness in the things we can buy…it is found right in our own simple little homes with the people we love!! If Dakota who can’t do much of anything on his own and truly deserves to complain can feel and show real happiness and joy…then we ALL can feel it!!! Find the joy in your life and SAVOR those moments!!