Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I remember

I always find October hard... gets me in a funk.

I know we shouldn't dwell on the past but I have a hard time forgetting
those days three years ago.

A dozen days that felt like a lifetime.

From the highest of highs to the lowest of low.

It started on October 19th, 2008

I remember finding out we had a son.
I remember him being beautiful.
I remember being surprised at his strawberry blond hair
I remember commenting on his facial palsy but not thinking much of it.
I remember the concern on our nurse's face.
I remember her determination that the NICU take a better look.
I remember a neonatologist coming to tell us there was good and bad news.
I remember hearing the bad news - TEF (at the time, just a big long scary
I remember the relief at the good news - it can be fixed.
I remember that feeling, the realization that your newborn is going to have
I remember the long trip over to CHEO through halls that would become too
I remember smiling at a familiar face in a world of unknowns.
I remember surgery being postponed.
I remember being brought into THAT room.
I remember being told that there were other concerns.
I remember discovering that Caelan had a solitary kidney.
I remember learning about his different heart.
I remember the feeling of trying to hold it together.
I remember surgery being postponed again.
and again.
I remember time moving backwards while he was in surgery.
I remember the relief and fear of seeing our son post op.
I remember days going by in a blur.
I remember the questions in my head.
I remember an awful extubation.
I remember being absolutely terrified.
I remember feeling devastated when he was re-intubated.
I remember so many "what ifs?"
I remember the love on faces looking at our son.
I remember so many things.
I remember so many feelings.
I remember being brought back into THAT room.
I remember the anxiety.
I remember trying to hold it together and failing miserably.
I remember them explaining about CHARGE.
I remember trying to focus and blink away tears.
I remember them painting the worst possible picture.
I remember being held tight.
I remember looking into the sweetest face.
I remember that it was Halloween.
I remember having to go home and fake it.
I remember feeling like our world had crashed around us.


  1. I remember the call at work from my mom telling me about Caelan.
    I remember crying for you and your family and my co-workers embracing me.
    I remember the roller coaster ride of Caelan's first year, we all cheered Caelan's small successes and felt your despair with each set- back.
    I remember your courage in the face of the unthinkable.
    I remember your humour and your humility.
    You will never be alone, we are along for the ride. In time may your Octobers be full of only happy memories.xoxo Lyanne

  2. It is wonderful that you have friends who remember with you from both your support from Lyanne and friends who remember these memories just as vividly as you do. I too find these memories hard to look back on. Sometimes memories can be harder moving pass than the challenges themselves that we've worked so hard to overcome. I think we will always remember and perhaps we shouldn't forget because it makes moving forward that much more rewarding. I remember seeing Caelan getting stronger each new day despite all the setbacks he faced. I remember seeing his sisters proud smiles when they visited and the paintings of love hanging on his walls. I remember the strength and inspiration I gained from all corners of THAT room. I remember whispered stories, songs and nursery rhythmes, cuddles and warm blankets. I remember our hope was always stronger than our moments of despair. I remember our first celebrations together outside THAT room, that life continues to hold unexplained challenges for our CHEO Trio boys but that the joys continue to outweigh any hurdle we have faced to get here. I remember never feeling as alone as I had felt those first days in THAT room until after I met the Labontes and Piches xo

  3. These memories haunt us. They lift us high, the sink us low. The memories are so full of an energy that they often take on a life of their own. Some we cherish, some we want to push so far back in our brains and yet they resurface. For you Tanya it is every October. I hope for you that this funk lessens as the years go on and as Caelan goes forward, continuing to achieve so much more than some surmised. We all knew that Calean would be a boy with drive, determination and courage. It was obvious to us; especially after meeting you and Damian. I remember most of what you remember too, but what I remember most of all is the flutter I felt in my heart every time or CHEO Trio achieved something small, big, great and positive in the NICU. I rode very high on those achievements, which helps me remember, a little less, the really shitty times. Thanks for this blog. I know it takes you back and your brought Heather and I with you on this ride. We need to remember all of it:it changed who we are. Both the tragedies and the bliss will be a part of us forever. Please give your son a kiss for me.
    Joanna XXOO

  4. I remember some of those memories too, but never as Caelan's Mom or Dad. All I can say is that I was in awe everyday the strength that you and Damian had and that you were still able to smile and get through it. You guys continue to amaze me, being forced to get to know all the medical sayings but more just coping with everything, one day at a time. I can only imagine what that must be like. Thinking of you, how far Caelan has come and how awesome you are as a family!

    Love Pam XOXO

  5. We remember that all the time too. Well, not quite the same as you do - I'm sure. How much I wanted to help- somehow, someway. I remember and see everyday how incredible you and your little family were and are. You are a wonderful family that really has your sh*t together! Despite any uproars life and little ones may throw at you!