Mary’s “CHEO anniversary”

Mary_Tutu

It’s hard to believe, but this past summer marked one year since Mary’s accident (see her CHEO story here – http://cheomoms.com/cheo/my-cheo-story-mommys-kiss-couldnt-make-it-better/). Maybe it’s strange, but I wanted to celebrate Mary’s “CHEO anniversary” to remember how far we’d come since that day, and to appreciate the struggles along the way that drew us ever closer as a family.

When Mary had her accident, I was out of the house and my husband was watching her. I came home to an emergency situation that needed to be dealt with immediately and there was no time to lay blame. And there was no reason to that day, or in the weeks that followed. Friends and acquaintances have remarked that they might have felt angry with their partner over the accident happening. But I never did. I understood that it could have just as easily been me in that position. Or anyone. Jon was hard enough on himself. He didn’t need me reinforcing how badly he felt. Rather than crumble under the pressure of a major stressor like this one, we were blessed to be able to grow stronger as a team.

Mary, for her part, has no recollection of the accident. I continue to put vitamin E on her face most nights and am strict about sunscreen and wearing hats, but I am happy that she’s blissfully unaware. She has a small scar on the corner of her eye. Most folks wouldn’t even notice it unless I pointed it out to them. But I see it every day. It’s no longer a distressing reminder of a scary event. It’s a reminder that there’s nothing more important than the health and well-being of our loved ones. I think it makes her even more beautiful.

To support CHEO, Mary and I sold drinks and cookies at our community garage sale the weekend of her CHEO anniversary. All proceeds went to CHEO. I hope that this introduction to volunteering for a place close to our hearts will be the first step on her path to a life that includes community activism and volunteering.

Everything begins with a first step….

How do you volunteer in your community?

Samantha lives in Stittsville with her husband, Jon, and their daughter, Mary. Samantha works full-time for the federal government and also enjoys writing part-time. She is a contributing writer for Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine and Ottawa West End Living.