What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Each year in the United States alone, medical treatment is sought for an estimated 1,400-1,600 babies who have been shaken. Don’t let your child become just another statistic! Tell everyone who cares for your child “Never shake a baby!”

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Putting Things In Perspective…

This time of year is particularly difficult on me. Although Spring is just around the corner, and with this season brings the promise of things new and fresh, the anniversary of my daughter’s attack is also accompanying it. I cannot enter into this time of year without reflection on the past, and continued hope for the future. I remember Riley three years ago…playing carefree in the snow on our days off, licking cake batter from a mixer, staying in our pajamas all day, dancing to her songs, coloring and playing play doh. I think about how much our lives have changed in the past three years…our once seemingly carefree lives have been traded in for one engrossed with plans, appointments, and follow-ups. There is always something on our agenda…a letter to write, a phone call to make. We no longer drop things on a moments notice and go…any outing takes careful planning and preparation, even a trip to the store. Some relationships have sadly diminished over time…with our lives “normalizing” (as much as it can be considered “normal”), and the “drama” of the attack and trial fading, some relationships have ceased. I think it is hard for people to understand that we cannot be same people we used to be, because our daughter, and family, takes precedence over everything else. We physically and mentally cannot always be there for others, because everything we have to offer always goes to Riley first. Luckily, we still have wonderful people in our lives that offer us support, understand, and accept this reality…
Even though it is painful to think about who Riley once was, and how our life used to be, in the same thought I realize how lucky we are. Our daughter is still here, and she has made some amazing progress in the past three years, far exceeding the expectations of her doctors and therapists. She never fails to surprise us, and continues to be a source of inspiration, strength, and perseverance. I feel that I have grown as a person and I have accomplished things that I never thought would be possible because of her. As a result of this experience, I feel that I now have a true purpose in life. I am full of hope, and believe in miracles, because I have witnessed one first-hand!!! It amazes me that Riley’s story has touched so many lives, I am so proud and blessed to be her mother!!!
This was not the life we imagined for ourselves when we became parents- the commercial variety, complete with the white picket fence. But, for some reason, this path was chosen for us, so we will embrace it and move forward. My hope for those who know Riley’s story and read my blogs is simple- always appreciate your children, continue to have hope, and know what is important in life. Life can change in an instant, as I experienced first-hand three years ago. Each day is a gift...take each moment and challenge as it comes, and make the best of it.


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