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Strength

August 12, 2012

Hello everyone, Tim here. I stole Alex’s phone while she sleeps to post this, but I cleverly wrote it in advance with a warm, soft and sleeping five week old boy in my lap.

Let me tell you all about strength. Not the kind of strength that is my hobby, but real strength. Picking up something heavy and then eating a steak is nothing compared to the life of my family this summer.

Throughout it all my wife has been astonishing. Since Alex had the ultrasound where something first appeared wrong she has had to carry a boulder made of fear. Picture a pretty blond Atlas pushing a stroller and walking a chihuahua. To all the moms out there I don’t need to explain to you the love and worry that comes with being a mother. For the rest of you, I cannot explain it. She has carried the fear that her baby was seriously ill with her all day, everyday, and she didn’t let it crush her.

For the last five or so weeks Alex has been stronger than I am sure she realizes. She sits by Oliver every second she can, through all of the alarms, all of the episodes and all of the set backs. Through all of this she was able to be a wife to me, a mom to Poppy and then write a blog post before bed (a blog I bet she thinks I don’t read). Sure, she had cried, but she carried on. There have been times when I was feeling pretty tired and scared, but I always looked at Alex and thought “she’s keeping it together, so I can too.” I borrowed her strength when I was weak.

I have not spent more than a hour or two with Alex since Oliver was born. It seems all we do together is swap updates on children. However, I know that she is always trying to take care of us. Alex is so strong. She would never say that of herself but it is true. Everyone calls Oliver a fighter or strong, and he is, but in some way I know he is just following his mum’s lead. I am always impressed by my wife, but I have never been so proud of her. Strength is not something you have. It’s something you demonstrate and Alex shown it to the world.

Since I have all of your attention I will take the time to thank everyone who has supported us. Whether the support came from a warm meal, a mowed lawn, ironed underwear, a note on Facebook or a simple positive thought it has been greatly appreciated and much needed! So thank you to everyone who is reading this.

And since every post needs a cute picture:

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24 Comments
  1. Alex Mac permalink

    Sweetest! You have an amazing wife!

  2. Lyn permalink

    Darn this blog always makes me tear up. Yes, you have an amazing wife, Poppy and Ollie an amazing mom. Where would they all be without their amazing hubby/dad? I have faith that Olivers family is going to be just fine. God bless.

  3. What a sweet tribute to your precious wife. Though I haven’t met Alex in real life, I feel like I know her through this blog, and you’re right–she is amazing.

  4. lyndsey baker (syme) permalink

    Words cant describe how happy my family and i are for you guys … what a lovely piece of writing tim , its amazing how much strength one person can have when they need it … but i must say when i was going though problems which were not as critical with my little one … i didnt do it as gracefully as alex has. As i had a premmie baby ive been too scared to have another one as we got lucky with the last one… (once you have a prem baby you are likely to have another) but after reading this blog daily and seeing how strong all of you have been , and the miracles that have been preformed , im not as scared anymore. you truly have an amazing family . xx love from england!

  5. Joan Tyler. permalink

    I admire both you Tim and Alex your loving and strong wife……you compliment each other and give each other hope and strength. God will reward you..and thanks for your blog, it is most inspiring.

  6. Touched by your story permalink

    It’s one thing to be strong when dealing with adversity. It’s another thing to do it with grace. Maybe many of we moms can find the strength (or not!) to do what it takes to help our kids survive. Anthropology seems to have made us that way. But I would posit that few of us do it with the grace I have seen (albeit only via FB and this blog) in Alex. She was truly put on this earth for a Bigger Purpose than leading your family through this. She is clearly inspiring dozens (hundreds?) of other folks to help them as well. An angel. And from the sounds of it, you are her prince. And together, you will both have the most amazing son and daughter who as you already say, will follow the lead of their parents to in their own way, inspire their world.

  7. Brenda permalink

    You guys are BOTH amazing. you’re a wonderful, strong team. On July 23, which was an awful, awful day in Ollie land, i came home from the hospital and read a bunch of other CDH blogs. I ran across this entry on Samuel’s blog. it was written by his mom Corrine for Father’s Day about a year after Samuel came home (after 148 days in the hospital). Corrine’s description of her amazing husband Chris reminded me of Tim, a bit of an unsung, behind the scenes hero (the whole bunch of them need capes!) who is more of a pillar of strength than he knows.
    http://www.samuelslight.blogspot.ca/2012_06_01_archive.html

    • Cousin Greg permalink

      What Brenda said, more eloquently than I could. You are both amazing, and you all inspire me. Alex, Tim, Poppy and all the family.

  8. oonagh permalink

    …and I’m crying again.

  9. Patricia Welfare permalink

    Tim & Alex

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. We have cried and smiled with you along the way. You are a very special family and we wish Oliver Sunshine and Rainbows from now on…

    Love Pat & Bill Welfare

  10. aunt nancy permalink

    Tim, what a beautiful note. Thank you. The four of you are a terrific and strong family. Make that five, counting Forrest!

  11. This is beautiful!!!!! Strength during this time also comes from having a very supportive husband!!

  12. Tom permalink

    Tim, you are so right. We have all been amazed by Alex’s strength and you describe it so eloquently.

    However, as I read your blog I also was reminded of one of my favourite songs. It’s about a couple and alternates between the guy’s and the girl’s points-of-view. Each of them thinks about how much he/she relies on the other and draws strength from the other. But what the listener realizes is that the two of them together are way stronger than either one separately. In other words, they’re perfect for each other, like you and Alex.

  13. Lani permalink

    You brought tears to my eyes Tim! Missing you guys! xo

  14. Cathy Taylor permalink

    SO nice Tim!!!
    Thanks for expressing so well, what we all know about Alexandra. I find her so inspiring.
    Your strength also does not, in any way go unnoticed!
    much love to you both….

  15. Ann W. Friedman permalink

    Hi Alex, Tim and Poppy,

    It was wonderful to read Tim’s entry about strength last night. I am so glad that you all have risen to the occasion of Ollie’s health to demonstrate the meaning and power of love. Your daily posts, written so beautifully, are certainly communicated to more than 4,000 people since I alone give the details to my Mom and Jeff and other friends who are not subscribers. It has connected us to your and Ollie’s progress, but also it also has connected us with the best parts of ourselves.

    The work that the doctors and nurses at the Hospital for Sick Children have been doing day and night to save Ollie’s life is nothing short of miraculous. But there will never be a greater power to heal the soul than love. That strength and compassion has been demonstrated by your faith and endurance during your son’s darkest hours. You all have inspired me in so many ways and are truly blessed to know and practice the meaning of love in all its various forms for your little family and for all of us following your journey as well. I agree with my own now grown baby’s words, “Alex and Tim are the coolest parents”!

    Stay strong and know you’re all in my heart.

    Xo Ann

  16. Tears. Love. Inspired.

  17. Mom of two permalink

    Tim-this is so lovely written and what you said about Alex is so touching. I read her blogs and they are so beautifully put together, even though I’m a stranger, I can tell how humble and how strong and positive she is, just from reading them. It’s so hard not to crumble when facing uncertainty and dark times, but Alex has done it with such grace, hope and such strength, she truly is an inspiration. But every good woman like Alex needs a good man like you-and your love and support for each other is so obvious, no wonder Poppy and Oliver are such amazing kids. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. 🙂
    I hope Oliver continues improving daily, he is such a little angel who is just as lucky to have amazing parents like you as you are to have a miracle like him.

  18. I’m pretty sure all of us mothers are in awe of Alex’s strength and ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other with hope and continued enthusiasm for the beauty of life. She is, as you said, the epitome of strength. She is also very lucky to have a husband like you who marches right along with her. All kids would be lucky to have parents who are true partners as you have been.

  19. I am in tears and such a nice post. The couple gain strength from one and another and it is apparent here.

  20. Tim, that was such a lovely tribute to Alex. Thank you for “stealing her phone” and posting that. God bless you.

  21. Tanya permalink

    I’m at a loss…….you guys can surely put things in perspective for so many others, by reading these posts. I just love the support, the strength and the faith you all have. It’s so amazing to be part of this journey, if even on here, and see the ups and downs and your never ending support for each other that never waivers. This was beautiful and you, Tim, are so amazing to have written it.

  22. You’re only as strong as the people you choose to surround yourself with. Tim and Alex, you, Poppy and Oliver are a team and you are all being carried by eachother. You are all strong for having to endure this rough journey and it’s only making you stronger.

    Tim, I think that your post is a true testiment to your feelings toward your wife. I’m sure Alex is proud to have a strong husband to back her up. Knowing that your significant other admires you is a wonderful thing, seeing the words shared with others is a true gift. Keep supporting each other because it’s going to get you through this as a family.

    Thank you for sharing!

  23. this was by far the sweetest thing every it had me crying….. you sound like a strong husband as well. and you two are strong together!!!!

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