Cookie Johnson and her husband of 15 years, Pierre, live in Cedar Hill with their two girls: Trinity, 5, and Faith, 1. When they’re not going to church or the movies as a family, Pierre is a truck driver for PetroChoice and Cookie is a stay-at-home mom — due to complications from a car accident five years ago, Cookie was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, an incurable chronic pain condition.
3:30AM Princess Faith is up for a warm bottle. I still believe in holding her for 20 minutes after she’s done.
5:30AM I say goodbye to Pierre as he kisses the girls and me on our cheeks.
6AM I call Wednesday “Worship Wednesday” — I have set this day aside to praise and worship God throughout the day. I tell God thank you for another day before turning on the TV to watch Joel Osteen and Bishop Jakes.
6:50AM My mom calls to see if I am up yet and moving around and to give me an encouraging word.
7:15AM Time for Princess Trinity to wake up. As usual, she asks for five more minutes, so I go ahead and get her snacks ready for school. Then I start singing the “good morning song” I’ve been singing to her since she was born. I kiss her all over her face, and she gives me a big smile.
7:22AM I call my dad, aka Poppie. He takes Trinity to school every day, so I confirm he’s on the way.
7:23AM Trinity and I proceed to the bathroom to start getting ready. We wash our face and brush our teeth to Elmo’s brush-your-teeth song. Afterward, it’s time for “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and a praise and worship song. Since I’m not able to take her to school, I try and have all the fun I possibly can with her while getting her ready. I imagine it’s the fun we would have in the car together if I were taking her to school.
7:41AM Poppie is here, so he comes in and helps with Faith while I finish taking care of Trinity. But Trinity is not having it — her baby sister is spending too much time with Poppie without her. So now he’s holding both girls, one on each knee.
7:52AM Trinity grabs her belongings for school. I get a big hug. She stops and goes to hug and kiss her sissy, then she returns to me to finish with a big kiss. She seals it by looking up at me with those big, beautiful eyes and saying, “Mommie, I can’t wait till you are able to take me to school.” While they’re pulling off, she points to her eye, makes a heart with her hands and points to me, an indication of “I love you.” Regardless of how much pain I am in, I smile and try my best to hide it from Trinity and my dad.
8:30AM I give Faith a warm bottle, then a little hugging and she’ll be ready for a nap. While she’s asleep, I meditate and spend time with God, then begin my praise and worship. Growing up, I was inspired by my Granny Cook — Wednesday was the day she set aside to uphold others in prayer. Granny is 87 and still doing it to this day.
9:30AM My sweet baby awakens from her nap. We get our praise on, then it’s playtime.
11:30AM Faith is ready for some cereal and a warm bottle, and I get a bite to eat too.
12:30PM I put Faith to sleep so I can get some rest.
2PM Family calls to check on us, first my grandma then my mom.
3:15PM I call Poppie so he can go and get Trinity from school. Faith is ready for another warm bottle.
4PM Trinity rings the doorbell, not once, not twice but several times. The first thing she does is run to her sissy. Poppie comes in and spends time with the baby to give me a little break.
4:35PM After Poppie leaves, I have Mommie time with Trinity. I ask how her day went, and she informs me of all the things she can remember. We watch cartoons together while I rock Faith to sleep.
6PM Trinity does her homework assignment, and then we color together and play a game.
7PM Pierre’s home with dinner. We let him get settled in and then we come together as a family to eat and find out how each of our days went.
7:30PM Pierre and I watch TV with the girls before it’s time to start getting ready for bed.
8PM Big princess’s bathtime. Of course she has to take her doll because, wouldn’t you know it, she needs a bath also.
8:45PM Trinity gives us all hugs and kisses, and Pierre prays over our beautiful and loving family. Trinity falls asleep while listening to her bedtime story. One down and one more to go.
9:30PM It’s time for me to take a shower and get ready for bed, so Pierre plays and spends time with Faith. Then I relieve Pierre so he can get his shower and get ready for bed. Last, Faith gets a bath followed by a warm bottle, hugs and kisses before she goes to sleep.
10:30PM Pierre helps me do a little therapy. After a few minutes I can hardly stand to be touched. Even though he’s barely rubbing, it feels as though he is really applying pressure. Due to the pain being elevated, he has to stop and tries to make me as comfortable as possible as I cry myself to sleep.
10:50PM I get up to see if the couch would feel better.
11PM Pierre tries to see if lying on a couple of pillows would work. So I lie down and thank God because I’m better than I was last year at this time. When I think about those precious babies of mine, I am encouraged and will continue to trust God. I pray I can get a little rest and some sleep.