One chapter would be about her kind heart. Another would be about the silly, imaginative stories she loves to tell. Yet another would be about how much she truly loves to laugh.
The stories would be interwoven with tales of her childlike innocence contrasted with her astounding perseverance through a life-changing event. They would show how each and every day she reminds us that despite adversity, life is good ... life is worth living ... life is love.
But since I'm not writing a novel (though this post might be just that!), here's what I call snippets of Evie - a glimpse into the delight that she is.
* * * * *
Last week, Evie decided Daddy needed a mirror on his wheelchair. So she found one of her doll mirrors - the kind with distorted, reflective material adhered to a plastic post - and strategically placed it on the arm of his chin control. She explained, "Now whenever you want to look at yourself, you can just look in your mirror, Daddy."
A few days after the placement of the mirror, Jeff had a doctor appointment, so we took the mirror off - "So as not to break it," we told her. Evie understood, but she did not forget.
Five minutes after we were back home, the mirror was quietly tucked back in its proper place.
"I put your mirror back for you, Daddy."
And it's still there.
* * * * *
In our house, we're big on those scented wax cubes that go into electric warmers and fill the air with delicious aromas. These have been a staple at the Sachs' residence for several years. Any time I would buy the cubes at the store or order them in the mail, it was always a fun family moment to open them up together and pass them around, sharing our opinions on each scent, then deciding which was our favorite.
A few days ago, I stocked up on a bunch of cubes. When Evie got home from school and found them piled up waiting for her, she was so excited. She pulled a stool up next to Jeff's chair, and said, "Okay, Daddy, let's smell 'em." She meticulously opened each one, put it to her nose, then held it out for Jeff to smell.
I love how she always figures out a way to keep family traditions going.
* * * * *
The other day I was in the bathroom taking out my contact lenses. I was rinsing one in my hand with saline solution when Jeff called for me. "Just a sec!" I yelled as I fumbled to get the lens into the case.
Just then I heard Evie's hurried footsteps run into his room.
"What do you need Daddy?" He was in his bed, and was starting to feel light-headed, and he needed to have this head reclined. Evie pushed the button to lower his head. As she was exiting his room, she turned back to him and sweetly chided him.
"Daddy, whenever you need something and Mama's busy, you can always ask me."
She turned away, then turned back again. "Always ask me," she reiterated.
"Ok, I will," he said.
* * * * *
Every day when we transfer Jeff from the bed to the chair and back, we use a Hoyer lift. It's a manual hydraulic lift with a sling attached to it that goes around Jeff's body. We have to pump a lever to lift Jeff up. Typically Evie's job during transfers is to operate the vents (which I wrote about here). But she's wanted to try "pumping Daddy up" lately. It usually takes about 15 full pumps to get him to the required, maximum height. At first, the pumps are easy peasy. But as it starts to lift Jeff's weight, the pumps become more challenging.
Initially Evie would get to about pump number 8 and poop out. But the other day, she was determined to do the whole thing. We encouraged her as she pumped away, grunting, saying things like, "Getting heavy!" Finally, she made it to the last pump, and we all cheered. She and I did a high five.
"I did it all by MYSELF!" she exclaimed, arms in the air, jumping up and down.
Oh, and she did it wearing Snow White high heels.
* * * * *
Evie loves to tell stories about one of her beloved stuffed animals - Big Bear. We've had him for years, but in just the last year, she has begun telling us the most wonderful, intricate stories of Big Bear's adventures before he came into our lives. Let me tell you, Big Bear is a world-traveler, has a very large family, and has lead an extremely full life thus far.
A few nights ago, Evie and I were in her bed telling stories before sleepy time, and she asked about Jeff's accident. I mentioned the word "injury" and she asked, "What does injury mean?"
I told her it means when someone gets hurt. There are minor injuries like a cut or scrape, and then there's more serious injuries, like the one Daddy had.
She thought for a minute, then said, "One time Big Bear's sister was injured. She was runned over by a car and her leg came off!"
Of course the graphic nature of Big Bear's sister's injury was shocking, but I wanted to hear more.
She continued. "And she had to take medicine that tasted like ... HOT PICKLES. But it was okay because she was asleep for 85 days and didn't even know she had the medicine. When she woke up, she was all better."
Whew. Glad she was okay after all that.
What an imagination.
What a sweet heart this little one has.
Every day she fills our house and our hearts with laughter and love.
We are blessed beyond measure.