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Making the Steps Small Enough

Jan 20, 2014 | Uncategorized | 18 comments

The best advice I think I ever received was because of the tiniest person I’ve ever loved.

That’s usually when you get the best advice ya’ know; when you’re going through a tough situation.  Maybe it’s because you are willing to open your heart and hear from others.

My tough situation was the birth of my third child. She had birth trauma when she was born- leading to seizures and developmental issues.  She was tiny, but beautiful. So sweet and cuddly in her pink blanket.

But I learned quickly not to take the small things for granted as I had with my other children. Kimberly spent almost half of her time crying, with a wailing sound that nothing seemed to help.  By the time she was 6 months old I was sure that the crying wasn’t really connected to wanting anything.  It was just part of who Kimberly was.

I worried about Kimberly. Would she be able to do anything like a normal child? We were lucky and lived near an excellent hospital with many services.  They immediately setup a visiting nurse, Anna.  Anna’s job was to train us how to encourage Kimberly’s developmental growth. So when Kimberly came home from the hospital, Anna started visiting weekly. Her advice? “If you make the steps small enough- anyone can walk”.

Of course we knew she wasn’t talking about walking.  She was talking about the steps in learning. So, if Kimberly couldn’t track things with her eyes the way a normal baby could, we’d make the steps smaller.  A smaller step would be to catch her attention.  And she’d have lights, sound and touch to help her do it.

One day, Anna was holding her, trying to get Kimberly to follow the blinking lights with her eyes. Kimberly wasn’t having it and was wailing her head off.  Finally, giving up, Anna looked at Kimberly and said “Oh, you probably want Mom” and handed her to me. I took her of course, the wailing little bundle of blanket with a scrunched up face.  And in a moment, I realized things got very quiet.  Kimberly had stopped wailing and shut up. I caught my breath and started to tear up as I realized my daughter finally recognized me. My daughter, Kimberly Gail knew that I was her mother. It’s a wonderful thing that I had taken for granted with all my other kids. But not this time.  I knew for sure Kimberly knew I was her Mommy.

Kimberly only was with us a brief few months. Seizures finally overcame her one night and she slipped away from us forever. And still over 35 years later, I think of the advice I got long ago from Anna. And that advice has stayed with me to this day. No matter what I want to do, and no matter what I have to deal with- I break it down into tiny enough steps, and try to move forward.

To be grateful for the small things in life is something I learned from the time I spent with my daughter. And how to move forward no matter what is what I learned from the people who touched my life because of her.

This post is part of a BlogHop- click below to see other fabulous bloggers talking about the best advice they received!!!

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  1. Marcia Cipriano

    I never knew what you went through, Virginia, and am so sorry. You sure have been handed many obstacles in your life to overcome. That surely is what makes us stronger individuals. I admire what you have done with your life and enjoy reading your blog and getting to know more about you. You’re an amazing woman and I’m sure you are affecting other women’s lives in positive ways.

    • Virginia

      That is so good to hear from you Marcia. I am glad we have become good friends after all these years. I say friends because you’re more than a relative to me! Your words in the early messsages to me that you did about your life were inspiring to me. Virginia

  2. Dawn Biocca

    What great advice and I need it this morning. I remember all the stuff with Kimberly. She was in and out of our lives so fast. Chris and her would have been the same age. Miley Cyrus has a song called “It’s The Climb”. It is says “It ain’t about how fast I get there, it ain’t about what is on the other side it’s about the climb” It is about the climb or the journey and the small steps we take to get there. This is my second week of classes and I have three that are overwhelming me but your post this morning make me change my way of thinking of it being a mountain to it is just one step at a time and I will be over that mountain. Thank you for this.

    • Virginia

      What a wonderful song Dawn- I love it! Thanks for the inspiring post. Virginia

  3. Karen D. Austin

    Thank you for sharing memories of Kimberly with us. What a sweet little girl. How wonderful that she recognized you in that tender moment you shared together. My best to you.

    • Virginia

      I know it may seem like a small thing, but I remember that day like it was yesterday. Thanks for the kind thoughts. Virginia

  4. Connie McLeod

    Thank you for sharing a story that is so personal. Some never move past the pain of losing a child. You honor that life by sharing the lessons and gifts you received with your precious daughter. Hugs.

    • Virginia

      What can I say connie- your friendship means so much to me. V

  5. Lois Alter Mark

    Virginia, I’m so sorry for your loss and really moved that you shared this story. It will help a lot of people. You are so strong and so inspiring, and I wish I could give you a big hug right now.

    • Virginia

      I feel your hugs across the miles Lois- thanks so much for sending them. You ladies are a lifeline to me. Virginia

  6. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    Thank you for sharing this, Virginia. I had no idea the sorrow you suffered. I’m so sorry for your loss and so inspired by the joy you exude despite such loss. xoxo

    • Virginia

      Thank you for your kind words Lisa- they mean alot to me. Virginia

  7. Sharon Greenthal

    To share your story is so generous of you – and your pure and fierce love for Kimberly is clear in your heartfelt words. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child, and yet you’ve been able to take such a wonderful lesson from it. Kimberly is surely an angel in your life.

    • Virginia

      Thank you so much Sharon. I’ve heard your love for your daughter come through in your writing that I feel you are a testament to the love of a mother as well. I believe it is what knits the world together. Thanks so much also for sponsoring the blog hop, I’ve had such a wonderful time reading such inspiring blogs. Virginia

  8. Kathy @ SMART Living

    Hi Virginia! this is such a sweet example of the power of advice. I can only imagine the heartbreak of such an experience so I can only express my sympathies in that regard. But taking small steps is an excellent lesson that applies to everything big and everything small that all of us face all the time. Thank you for that very great reminder. ~Kathy

    • Virginia

      Thank you so much Kathy, I am very glad that others are on the same page with taking small steps. It has helped me in many ways and I view it as a gift I received so long ago. – Virginia

  9. Shiquanda

    Real, valuable, touching…Thank God for Kimberly Gail and her big life.

  10. Johanna

    Touching and very sad. What a great piece of advice though and one that we should all heed every day of our lives. Thanks for sharing your story.