Saturday, January 17, 2015

Never Giving Up Spoilers Ahead!!!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

I thought long and hard about this post.  In truth, I've been contemplating it for months.  But sometimes my need to share overrides every other instinct I have.  Also, you've already seen what I'm about to show you; I'm just going to give you a little bit more.

   This is my son Noah, 17 days old, in the ER after his ambulance ride to the children's hospital.

   I've gotten quite a few messages about Mattie's story in Never Giving Up, and only confided in a few that Ella and Mattie's struggles was a real life battle Noah and I fought together.  Lots of readers have commented about how real and raw the emotions Ella went through were, and I'm here to tell you that, YES!  It was every bit as emotionally draining, frightening, sad, and devastating as I tried to portray in the book.  I wasn't dealing with a trial of my attempted murderer, but still...

  (You see all the different IVs on his hand?  It came out, honestly, every single day.  My plight with the white-coated lab people was VERY real)

 The only difference in my actual story and Ella's is that when this happened to my family, I also had a three-year-old daughter who needed me.  Also, unlike Ella and Mattie's story, Noah's trauma from this medical scare had lasting effects that tested me as a mother and a wife, and probably as a person if I'm being really honest with myself.  The two years following his hospital stay are some of the darkest times of my life and I'll never be able to get that time back or get a do-over with my kids or my husband who was and remains a saint for everything he's ever done for our family.
   But, the good news is, when Noah was about two things started to change and everything started getting better.  Both with him and with me, and It's no coincidence that everything started getting better for me when I started writing.

   Telling Noah's story was supremely therapeutic and even if it makes the story not 100% fiction, I don't really care.

   I guess I just wanted to give a thanks to anyone who has read the book and felt even one smidge of the emotion I put into the book, because honestly, every time one of you experienced that heartache while reading, I felt it a little less.

  Today, Noah is almost 4 years old and pretty much a normal kid.  He has some setbacks, but it's hard to know if they're because of the terrible infection he had as a small baby, or if it's just one of his sparkling personality traits.  I'll take him any way I can get him.