Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Liz, my other daughter
When you have a daughter, you will know what I mean when I tell you that there are other people's daughters that become yours as well. Liz is one of those girls who has taken her place in the Cushing family. Taryn met Liz during their competitive cheerleading years at an all star gym. Liz amused us with her laughing eyes and her country girl personality. Liz introduced us to the ways of the Florida redneck, and we introduced Liz to "fancy food" (in her words). Taryn and she were inseparable.
In high school, Taryn and Liz went to different schools, and all star cheerleading came to an end (Taryn-knee surgeries, Liz-high school team). Our visits with Liz became fewer, but distance cannot end a true friendship. On Dec 21st, 2008, Taryn received the news that Liz had been thrown 40 feet from a motorcycle and was in critical condition. The boy driving had died. The next 17 days were a nightmare. Liz's brain swelling had put her in a coma, and Taryn began the daily ritual of bedside vigils at the hospital. Eventually, Liz was sent to a neurological rehab center in central Florida, where she would await her fate. Weekends were spent driving to the rehab, and when Liz awoke, the miracle began. Her memory was intact, and she made rapid and miraculous progress.
This past December, we celebrated a year since Liz's accident. While Liz carries with her some physical handicaps, her spirit is more alive than ever. Taryn and she are forever connected in a bond not many will ever experience. Liz has been a source of inspiration for my daughter, and Taryn wrote about Liz in her college application essays. We had Liz and her parents over for a special dinner to celebrate, and Taryn bought Liz the same Swarovski cross necklace that she had worn to the rehab. While Liz's parents are Missy and Jerry, this child is mine as well. And Taryn will always have a place in their family.
These are the blessings of motherhood.