One Year Later

This particular post was written so many times in my head. Each time it began to circle in my mind, it was fueled with a different emotion—all of which still violently propel themselves into my self-conscious. Some days it is pain—mental, emotional, and—honestly—physical as I am still having residual issues that just won’t go away. Some days it is anger—this isn’t fair. These restrictions are beyond burdensome and frustrating for both me as a mom, and for my sweet Samara who just wants to be a kid, and to act like the six-year-old she is. And still other days it is hope—seeing the faithfulness of God in every aspect, seeing the growth that has produced in only a year’s time, the light at the end of the tunnel so-to-speak.

My heart gets overwhelmed, but my mind reminds me of the truth of God’s words and of His promises. My emotions surge in an attempt to take over, but my soul digs deeper into the foundation that has anchored us through the tumultuous waters of emotion and stress.

the first night spent in PICU prior to surgery

One year later and there are still unresolved issues with insurance—forcing us to meet with the guardian ad litem…forcing me to relive that day over and over again…forcing Samara to have to talk about what she remembers, and hear about what she (thankfully) doesn’t remember.

One year later and we still don’t know if Samara will be allowed to play at recess or participate in P.E. We have had to tell her no to sports she wants to try out and to activities that she is invited to. Even working within those clearances, we have to be diligent which sometimes looks like running out to the pool deck during her swim lessons to remind the substitute instructor that Samara is not cleared to practice diving in head first, even only from the edge of the pool. It means helicopter parenting other people’s kids if their own parent is unaware that their kid running full-on into mine could have drastic results outside of just a bruised arm or a bloody nose. It means pre-empting events even as far out as

The ambulance ride to the hospital

Christmas with the possibility that we may not get clearances to do the fun events we hope to plan.

One year later and I still have flashbacks to that day…seeing my baby lying on the ground, not moving, looking broken and lifeless. Hearing the screams of my other two children, scared and hurt. Not even feeling my own physical pain as I try desperately to not completely melt into the helpless heap I felt like.

One year later and I still overreact to cars who roll at stop signs, instinctively terrified that they are going to smash into my car and send us hurling back into the abyss I finally feel as though we are almost out of.

one of the few smiles we were able to get out of Samara at the hospital

But in as many ways as I feel we have so far to go, one year later I see the hand of God in every facet of this pain. I see Him sending angels to surround my middle daughter—protecting her from the 12-inch protrusion that if hit only a couple inches back would have completely destroyed her little body. I see Him in the presence of friends and family who came just to be there with us as we processed so many of the unknowns those first few days (and weeks and months).

the day the halo came off

I see Him touching Samara’s neck as she confidently said her neck was healed weeks before we had a CT scan to show the beautiful image of the bones whole again, with no need to have additional, very invasive surgery. I see Him in the faith He has built in me, allowing me to receive a prayer language for the first time—offering me the freedom to cry out to Him even (especially) when I don’t have the words. I see Him in the stack of letters we received from prayer groups around the nation who were faithful to intercede on our behalf.

In the most painful and difficult moment of my life, God was there. In every second that passed, as my hopelessness overwhelmed me, His peace surpassed all understanding and comforted my soul. As we still face hurdles in the form of medical bills, insurance settlements, and doctor restrictions, I know that I know that God is here with me—with my entire family. He didn’t want this pain for us, but He will be glorified in spite of it. He didn’t necessarily want this struggle, but allowed it so we will grow and learn and be stronger because of it. I don’t know the specific plans He has for me, or Samara, or my husband, or either of my other two children, but I know that His plans are for good and to prosper us, and this piece of our story will play an integral role in that.

my sweet girl–completely brace free

One year later and I am standing on hope, believing in His promises, and looking to the future as I continue to seek to praise God in every moment of this journey.

4 Responses to “One Year Later

  • Ruth Taber
    3 months ago

    Becca, that was beautiful. I know that your words touched many people with hope and assurance. And Lord willing, brought some to know Him, and His mercy and love for us. Thank you.

    • Becca Ramirez
      3 months ago

      Thank you Ruth. That is my prayer. The hope I’ve found is life changing and I long for people to know about it.

  • Steve Collins
    3 months ago

    I appreciate your writing. I am not trying to diminish your struggle, but I have experienced hardships with my son too. He had meningitis when he was 2 weeks old. I remember his fever spiking dangerously high as I raced from one hospital to the children’s hospital at over 80 mph with my wife and son in the back of our car. He was in the hospital for several days. I had to perform CPR on him when he was 12 months old and dial 911 because he stopped breathing. We literally spent days in PCICU with him until the doctors figured out what happened. Hard to explain the feeling of holding your lifeless baby who turned blue, and realizing that if you didn’t do the right thing quickly, that he would die. Then he started losing his vision. Again, I worked as hard as I could, and within a month he had surgery on both eyes. He lost his eye sight for a couple of weeks, but it was restored before his brain completed the process of shutting down his neural pathway. Now he has great eye sight. I am haunted by thoughts of what life would have been like for him if we hadn’t had the resources and acted quickly. I now find myself with a struggling business and clinging to God with every fiber of my being knowing that the God I love has a purpose and a plan. I know with certainty that it will all work together for my good in the end and someday I will get on my knees and thank Him.

    My wife and I waited 18 years until God blessed us with our son. All of my struggles have resulted in a profound love for my son. A deep appreciation that is hard to describe, I would do literally anything for him. But I also believe that what we have experienced isn’t unique but other parents have had similar struggles.

    I appreciate your struggle and have followed you guys on FB. Thanks for your writing, it has been an encouragement!

    • Becca Ramirez
      3 months ago

      Thank you for sharing your story! I had no idea how much y’all have gone through. It is “easy” to say “I trust God in all things,” but the reality is, do we really trust God in all things? Having hope in the promises of God is the only thing that grounded me through this past year–much like you said. No matter what our struggles look like, that is the truth and the hope for Believers.
      Thank you again for sharing your story about your son! You guys will certainly be in my prayers.