Symposium time is here!
It's the one time each year we are surrounded by people from all over the world who understand exactly what we have been through. It's the week where we can let our guard down and enjoy these precious moments with our Leukodystrophy family knowing that we fit in here, that we are "normal" here.
None of us would have chosen to be in this position, to be in this "family" of such suffering and grief, but we cherish the relationships and the joy that have come out of everything we have endured.
If grief and pain were measurable, the weight of it just from these precious families here would be astronomical in size; every family here has lost – or will lose – a beloved child (or two), something which has been called the most painful thing a human can endure; and yet, all we see are smiles, joy, friendships, authenticity, and an appreciation for each and every moment. We see hope. And it's amazing.
This is our third year at the Symposium and it's the first one I have been slightly hesitant to attend, for reasons I am still deciphering.
Perhaps it's this: Tori was with us for the first one and she was cherished by all; last year she had gone to Heaven a mere four months earlier and everyone remembered her; will she be remembered this year?
Perhaps this: we now seem to fall into the category of parents who lost their children "a while ago" and it's strange. It's a different feeling being here now, a year after she went to Heaven…not a bad feeling, of course, just different.
I watch the parents with their living children and am amazed at how distant that feels. The suction machines, the feeding pumps – sounds so familiar and yet such a distant memory because I haven't heard them or thought about them in a year. Something that was once part of my daily life now feels like a lifetime away.
I'm not caring for Tori constantly now, and I'm not necessarily grieving anymore (though it will never fully be over), so it's a strange place to be. It's just Brennan and me now.
Perhaps it's strange to be here because it's a time when we're forced to remember that this was our life for fourteen months, and that we did lose our precious daughter. In daily life it's easier to move on because of distractions and tasks. Even though we talk about Tori daily and think of her all the time, it's different somehow to be here surrounded by other families going through the same thing we did.
Despite my emotions through which I am sorting (thanks for letting me process above), I am so happy that we are able to be here again. We're praying that next year we will have a new baby with us ❤️
As always, I will blog about the new research findings and everything else we learn throughout the week. So thankful for Hunter's Hope and all that they do to support Leukodystrophy families.
It's going to be a great week!