We lived with my aunt Deedee and her family. Mitchell began working almost immediately once we arrived in Grand Junction, Colorado. My aunt and I spent most days at doctor’s appointments for Hope. Mitchell and I were stressed. I feared every day may be Hope’s last. Doctor’s appointments for Hope were exhausting. Mitchell was working twelve hour shifts. Deedee and I were trying to find a way to keep Hope’s ostomy from leaking out of her diaper and soaking her clothes. Mitchell and I were not getting along. We argued more than we talked. We exchanged more hurtful words than positive. We went to dinner one night before his birthday. I felt more connected with him that night then I had in over a month.

My aunt, uncle, and their boys went to Oklahoma for Christmas. Mitchell and I were just okay. Our relationship was very melancholy. He would go to work, come home, shower, play with Hope and then drink beer. We were discouraged. We were not leaning on one another. We were simply rolling through the motions.

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