Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hiding

Being home is lovely.  We slept in, cuddled with Scarlett in bed, and tried to take a day to relax.  Unfortunately, we had no groceries in the house, so this afternoon, we decided to venture out and pick out some food.  Scarlett is safe to take out as long as we are very careful of her head and stitches; however, we agreed that we didn't want to bring on unwanted attention, so we just slipped a cute hat over her head.

As we were shopping, we joked how we would respond if someone asked, "How are you?".  No unsuspecting stranger needs the drama of our recent story.  But then, the grocery checker started inquiring about Scarlett.  How old is the baby?  What's her name?  What day is her birthday?  Does she sleep through the night?  Is she eating well?  All very normal, very common questions I have received since she was born, and that I have probably asked many mothers.

We started off well, just answering the basic questions in front of us.  She's 3 months.  Scarlett.  October 16.  Then, it started building in me, the anxiety of having to, needing, wanting to explain, out loud, to a stranger, what was actually going on.  

Shehasabraintumorandwasinthehospitalandnowishavingchemoandwedon'tknowwhatwillhappen.  Like letting the air out of a balloon.

I held it in.  I didn't burden the woman with my woes.  No one should have to hear it.  Coo over her, tell us how beautiful she is, tickle her toes, but don't feel sorry for us.  We're lucky we have her, and don't want people to feel worse for meeting her. 

Until then, she'll wear a hat.

41 comments:

kaffenbergers said...

What that woman at the check out lane did not know...is that she was lucky enough to meet an angel...a miracle...a fighter. She and so many of us could learn so much from your 3 month old baby girl. I wish I was that cashier...lucky enough to meet her. She is stunning.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home little Scarlett! How wonderful to be able to something mundane like grocery shopping!
~ BBC Oct. 2010

TeeBLiterary said...

Keep on fighting little Scarlett and family! Theres a whole group of us out here thinking and praying our hearts out for you;) Glad you guys got to come home and be "normal" for a bit!

Anonymous said...

Don't think of sharing your story with others as a burden to them, but just that many more possible prayers for your precious daughter. People can't pray for her blessings and for your strength if they don't know. :) All will be well. Not easy, but well.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to have her home. Prayers for continued success with her treatments! She is a beautiful baby!

Jenn said...

Like everyone else, we are just in love with your baby Scarlett. She has such wonderful parents who are strong like her! Enjoy your days at home with her. She is so darn cute and sweet!

JodiandChase said...

And she is so lucky to have you guys as parents..i truly believe that. So glad she is home and you guys are trying to live life as normal as possible....starting with a trip to the grocery store :) We are all still fighting for your little girl!

Amy H said...

I just love your attitude! You have every right to complain and have a pity party, but you've focused on the positive side of things right from the start. It takes a strong person to do that!

I pray that the chemo isn't too hard on her (or you) and your family will stay in my prayers.

I hope Scarlett has a collection of beautiful hats to proudly wear! ;)

jellybean78 said...

So glad she is home! What a little fighter you have!

Anonymous said...

I have seen Miss Scarlett's icon in some ladies signatures on the Bump for some time now, and tonight I read through all of your posts. Your daughter is an inspiration as are her mommy and daddy. I can't begin to imagine the roller coaster you have been on since the diagnosis, but your prevailing positive attitude is obvious. I am sure that your brave girl is learning this from you and she is going to hang in there. No, not hang in there, she is going to thrive! My family and I will have your in our prayers every day, for God is listening and He surely will provide for your family in all things. I know it.
Much love, Monica, Ryan, and Ethan (10 months)

Mariah Schulte said...

I haven't yet commented on your blog, but I share it on my Facebook page frequently and my little boy (6 days older than Scarlett) wore red for both of her surgeries. While I will most likely never have the honor and blessing of meeting your little miracle, I want you to know that I would never, and could never, feel worse for meeting her. She is a true angel, sent from heaven. She has touched and affected so many lives. Every blog post you make about her triumphs over the tumor, I would say to my husband 'Listen to this, Scarlett had most of her IV's and tubes removed today' and he would pick up our son and dance around singing the 'Baby Scarlett' song (Go Scarlett, Go Scarlett) and cheering her on, from way out here in the middle of nowhere North Dakota. I've spent many nights crying and praying for your little girl, and every day that she gets better and better, my faith in God is strengthened, that much more. I thank you, Brandi and Chris, for sharing your story, and for sharing a love of Scarlett, with the world.

Anonymous said...

How nice to be able to do "normal" things like grocery shopping again! You guys must be so happy and relieved to be home, and though I don't even really "know" you I am so happy and relieved that you are all home too. :)

Anonymous said...

So happy that you got to bring your baby girl home and take her out to do something as simple as grocery shopping. You and your husband have to be beeeming!!!! I have been tearfully reading your blog and keeping up with Scarlett, I learned of your family from BBC. Thank you for sharing your story. We will keep praying for you in springfield, mo
I too feel it would be a blessing to be able to meet your little princess and just to see her and what a little trooper she is!
You should have fliers made for her concert and hand them to people who swoon over her, tell them its for her.~Little Mrs. Sutt~

Malory, PA said...

I am so thrilled that Scarlett is home with the two of you and that she's able to go out and do "normal" things like grocery shop :) I'm sure your hearts are bursting with love having her home and have gratitude for this bit of normalcy compared to the last couple of weeks. Baby Scarlett is in my prayers every night and I am so thrilled that she is doing well, it seriously makes me so so so so so so so happy to read positive updates on her journey, and I will continue to wish the best for all three of you <3 <3 <3
Thank you so much for updating as often as you do!!

Anonymous said...

Heather told me Scarlett is home, so I had to visit your blog and catch up. I'm very happy for all of you, and will continue daily prayers for this precious little girl and her brave parents. Thank you for the great updates!

Sandy said...

I totally understand. Since my surgery I find it very tempting to go into details with strangers as well. Especially when I am super tired and would love a bit of sympathy/help from that stranger.

Hamblenarmywife said...

Little miss Scarlett is a very unique,wonderful,beautiful,and a very precious little girl!! Im sure she has alot of pretty hats (that ive seen in her pics) that she can wear as long as you need her too..only tell your journey to whom you feel like telling it to!! WERE JUST THE LUCKY ONES THAT GET TO READ ABOUT HER EVERYDAY!!!!! You two (Brandi and Chris) are amazing loving parents!! Im so glad to have found you on here and to have somewhat live this journey with you not physically but emotionally!! xoxo As always thanxs for the updates!! {{hugs}}

Tara said...

Yay for being brave and getting out! We are inspired by you, chris and of course Scarlett! Inspired, amazed, overjoyed, brave are just a few of the words that come to mind when I think of you guys. Never feeling sorry for her. She has this amazing second chance for life and all 3 of you have been so brave to embrace the unknown, the hope of life, smiles and laughter. Keep posting pictures and updates. We LOVE to read about her progress and see her beautiful little face!

Lissa said...

I'd wear a hat, too. But thats just because I know I'd run into people that feel the need to ask questions and make comments that were SUPER insensitive and way personal. I don't think its any of their business. I'd rather not listen to their horror stories of their cousin's boyfriend's brother... There are too many negative people in the world and I would want to surrounded by as much positive as possible. She deserves to get loving attention, not pitty. Good call ya'll.

Anonymous said...

Just think of Scarlett as a movie star and she is going out incognito...because she is a star! :)

We are so happy that she is pushing through this scary situation and you as parents are even stronger then ever!

heather said...

How fun to do a mundane chore with Scarlett! Every time I think about you guys I am amazed at the story. The strength all 3 of you have. If you told me that story on the street I would not feel burdened but delighted for you and what you have overcome. You are an inspiration.

Stepper said...

We're so glad you're back home Scarlett. We love you! God is Awesome, so we keep talking to Him about you. Keep playing and making those big stinky diapers!

Kelly from Cleveland, OH said...

Hey Mommy - Don't you mean, "She_HAD_abraintumor"? :) Keep fighting, Butterfly!

Anonymous said...

Wow You are amazing. I pray for your family everynight. I love the hats, it adds to her personality. Keep up the good work.

Lisa G said...

Love seeing the new pictures of your beautiful baby warrior. She fights and fights. She will not give up. Our prayers will not stop either. Bless your family and your beautiful survivor. She has a very long, wonderful, adventure filled life ahead of her.

April said...

How wonderful to go grocery shopping with your beautiful little girl. She would draw attention no matter what... She is too cute not to comment on. Never feel badly if you need to let the air out of your balloon. Sometimes it's a wonderful tool for keeping yourself sane in times like this. If nothing else, it will keep that grocery clerk from asking too many questions next time. ;-)

P.S. I hope you bought some real, grown-up food and not chicken fingers and fries. I'm sure you've eaten your fill of that!

Jamie said...

So happy to see that Scarlett is doing well! She looks so good in the last few pictures. What a miracle that God has given to you. He is awesome and it is good to know that he is in control!

Linda said...

I'm so glad to see that you guys are all home! I love the little hats on her in the pictures you have posted. I'm glad to hear that she's doing so well also. :) I can't wait to hear more updates.

Anonymous said...

Holy smokes I couldn't be more happier for you guys. Enjoy being home again! We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers big time!

Anonymous said...

I think that the woman at the checkout had no clue that she had come into contact with an angel! I also think that you Brandi and Chris are 2 immensely strong people! I think that anyone who comes into contact with The Little Butterfly are the LUCKIEST people in the world!! I want to cry seeing Babygirl's pics, SHE IS GORGEOUS!!! God Bless her! And you too Brandi and Chris.
We are all sending you guys prayers from Boston, MA! : )
Love,
Noelle BBC July 2010

Autumn said...

I am so happy that little scarlet got to come home I haven't commented much but have thought about her since the very beginning. You are amazing parents who are much stronger than I could ever imagine. Morning snuggling is my greatest joy as a new parent and I am thrilled that you get to enjoy it with scarlet. As Chris has said many times I am not all that religious but this is a reason to believe. My family is with you on your struggles ahead. Thank you for sharing your story many babies are held closer because of it.
Autumn, BBC August/September 2010

Jill said...

Hi, This is the first time I am coming across your blog. ANd first of, let me say that your daughter is absolutely BEAUTIFUl and I LOVE her name. Just precious. I am going to "follow" your journey if that is okay. I am sending MANY MANY MANY hugs & prayers your way. Bless that sweet baby girl of yours.

Jessica said...

I didn't read the other comments but if you told me Scarlett's story, I would not feel burdened. I would feel touched. Touched to know just what a special little miracle I had just met. My friend's daughter almost died when she was a year old (it happened this summer). That little girl fought her heart out and is still here with what seems to be minimal permanent problems. I am so thankful to know that little girl and her momma - to know the strength and love that someone so little has and can create. Your daughter is a miracle and everyone should feel blessed to meet her :)

Kalee said...

I am from the bump and just had time to catch up with Scarletts story. Your daughter is such a strong girl! I am in awe of how wondeful people can be when you need support. I live in a completly different state, and have never met you , and yet, I pray for you , ask my friends and family to pray for you and can't wait to see the updates on the progress Scarlett is making. I will keep sending thoughts and prayers your way.

Anonymous said...

I don't know you except that my niece Grace O'Duffy is in your class, and my sister Marion told me your story. That's all it took, and now you're part of my life, and I check every day to see how you are, and how little Scarlett is, to celebrate the little miracles with you, and to hold hands through the hard parts. Traveling this road with you is a great, difficult honor, and if you feel the need to tell the bank teller or the grocery clerk or the person behind you in line, I think you'll find more often than not, you'll get a very similar response. People are uncomfortable around difficult stories--true enough--but seeing you and Scarlett doing something as normal as shopping for groceries, as normal and as heroic, if you know what I mean, might help someone else put something in their own life in perspective. If they can't, IT'S NOT ON YOU. You're doing absolutely the best thing you could possibly do. You're finding a way to define normal that allows you to live your lives, to love your baby, to enjoy each moment as it comes, and NOT spend every moment in abject terror. No one can take that from you, and I can't tell you how impressed I am. I'm praying and thinking of you every day.

Love,

Caroline Briggs

Christina said...

Caroline Briggs said it perfectly!
Oh Kaitlyn and I would love to have a play date with Scarlett when she feels better.
I am still working on finding a cute enough hat for adorable Scarlett - it is had to find something even close to the cuteness of that monkey hat! I will continue my search and when I find the perfect one I will send it your way. The Owl one is looking like a contender...
Be brave, Be strong, Keep fighting
lots of love
Christina and Kaitlyn

Anonymous said...

I am in love with the very first comment on this post. That person is right, that checker met and angel, a miracle, and didn't even know it. Lucky her!! :)

Jessica and Katie said...

I'm so glad to see Scarlett is home and now you can resume life with some normalcy. I pray that chemo goes well and she keeps fighting! If I were ever to meet your darling little girl I would feel blessed to be in the presense of a true miracle.
lots of love, Jessica and Baby Katie
Sept 2010 BBC

Jessica and baby Kahlan said...

I am so glad to hear that you were able to take your precious baby home!

My daughter is only 9 days older than sweet little scarlett, and I had to take her to the ER a couple of days ago for a fever of 103.7. She ended up having a UTI and tested positive for influenza. Watching them try to stick an IV for 30mins into my sweet little girl was heartbreaking. But then I had to think... I cant even imagine how you hold up though all that you have been though. I would be a mess. I just want to throw some admiration out there to you because you are so strong. I know... you hear it all the time... and the comment has probably lost it's shine... but I wish that I had half of the strength you both have. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, Jessi, and baby Kahlan BBC Oct. 2010

Instant Karma said...

I can really relate with this. My daughter was born with a congenital nevus on her scalp. They can be dangerous and malignant and are associated with a type of spinal cancer that is incurable. Thankfully, she is okay, but she has had two surgeries to remove the growth and she is set to have another (the last one) after her first birthday.

Anyway, going out with her with a big huge incision that is the entire length of the side of her head can be pretty hard. People stare. Sometimes I want to tell them. Other times I wish they'd just stop staring at her.

Andrea said...

Beautiful post. You have such a way with words. Thanks so much for sharing Scarlett with us.