One of the good things about returning each year to this community is that they help me recognize Daughter’s progress. A friend gave me a picture she had taken last year of Daughter and me. It is obvious that Daughter was not in a good place. You can see the tension and stress in her face (and mine, too). A year ago when we came here, Daughter had just finished her second psychiatric hospitalization in less than 3 weeks. She would have a third hospitalization before the summer was over. This year she’s much happier and more relaxed. You can see it in the way she interacts with people and her willingness to leave my side.
Daughter's going to be one of several adults who are with the children this evening while the adults listen to the keynote speaker. She’s participating in the prayers in worship, and asked me to help her find a Bible verse she wants to use in her scrapbooking class (I am the vine, you are the branches....).
I had supper with a woman who hadn’t been here in 4 years. She complimented me on the growth and progress she could see in Daughter. I get so tied up in the day to day challenges. I forget to look back and see how far we’ve come. I forget that a year ago voices were telling her to kill me and it was impossible to reason with her. This year we successfully negotiated a compromise regarding the talent show and what it is and isn’t appropriate for her to do in it.
Not only am I being renewed, I'm gaining perspective and celebrating the growth and progress of this past year.