Monday, January 23, 2012

LiftOff

Last night I got a phone call… I was lying haphazardly on the sofa with a blanket sort of half-watching the football game, according to what I saw on Facebook it must have been a big game. Whatever. In the midst of this, my phone rings with a number I don’t recognize from out of state. I almost hit ignore but decided I was curious about who was on the other end. “Is this Lindsey?” the voice was kind and sweet so I answered cautiously (I’m always leery of numbers I don’t know)… after a round of somewhat awkward introductions I learned I was talking to a woman named Alana, the wife of one of my co-workers, Evan.  Evan isn’t a co-worker that I know well, we work in different departments and he is very quiet (this may surprise you, but I’ve never in my life been described as any form of “quiet”).  I was about to experience the most inspiring & intriguing 45 minutes of my life as a parent (so far). I guess I’ll back up and explain how this all came about…
Back in September, my co-worker Melissa was attending a U of O football game (I know, I know… but I still like her anyway) and on the shuttle to the game she ran into Evan and his soon-to-be-wife, Alana. On that Monday Melissa came to me and said “I met Evan’s fiancĂ© this weekend, she was lovely, outgoing and had the most unique eyes I’ve ever seen.” I looked at her for a minute, wondering if she was going where I thought she was… “I think she has the same eyes as Olive. I think you should go talk to him.” After a few rounds of figuring out how to bring it up to someone that I’ve barely said ‘Hello’ to, I was off and running… and he was off on his honeymoon for a few weeks. Argh. I checked out all the photos in his cubicle, she was beautiful but she was wearing sunglasses in every photo. That made perfect sense. When he finally came back I fumbled through an uncomfortable conversation with him. I was really scared of offending him, and I think I was just about to until I told him about Olive. I asked if he would ask if his wife was willing to talk to me. I didn’t hear anything from him again. I approached him again a couple weeks ago and left my number with him, really hoping that she would call…
After getting through the start of the conversation, I explained what Olive had and learned that Alana has nearly the same thing. It sounds like there may be a few differences, but in general… they are pretty close. Close counts with a condition this rare. From here, I just asked her to tell me about her life, I could have listened to her for hours upon hours. The entire time I was talking to her, Olive sat on the floor, staring at me without moving or making a sound, it was like she knew something big was happening.  With every word my heart getting lighter, letting go of fears that I didn’t even know I had. Alana told me that her vision is definitely affected but she can drive, she played sports,  she loves to ski & snowboard, graduated from college & has a great career… The kids in school thought it was awesome, it was the first thing Evan noticed about her; she doesn’t like fireworks and can’t see 3D.  Trivial things to most people, but I went to bed and slept soundly, for the first time in exactly 10 months & 19 days.  

5 comments:

Karen said...

What wonderful news and also a great resource for you and Sean. I am so happy you made this connection.

Sheila said...

Ohh!! That is soo awesome! I'm happy for you! I'm SURE it HAD to have helped to hear it from someone who has been there - and came out on top!! I know little Olive will too :)

Lyndsay said...

Oh! I could CRY! I love this! I'm so, so, so thankful that she took the time to call you.

{sniff}

Jenni said...

That's so awesome and certainly not a coincidence! We have also connected with a family whose son (now 30) has the exact same condition as Griffin. It is such an amazing resource. Very happy for you!

emp said...

such a wonderful and great news you have shared. thanks

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