Do tear ducts ever dry up? If so, this week would be a great time for that to happen. Over the last five days we have turned into blubbering messes. We have started to face quite a few sobering realities. I have been privileged enough to speak to two separate mother’s of HLHS patients, one in our area who used the same doctors and surgeons, and another across the country, thanks to a very dear friend. They are both incredibly encouraging and wise, but also shared some sobering facts of life. Following these helpful, yet emotional, conversations I finished the busy week by backing into a co-workers car. Oy. I told Mick, I shouldn’t be allowed to drive a nice car when stressed. I always get into accidents when I’m stressed. This is a fact. Surprisingly, my sweet coworker looked at the damage, told me she loved me, gave me a huge hug and that was that. [Of course I balled like a baby] The very next day I received a beautiful gauge in my windshield from the gravel they toss down for snow melt. Big picture – I don’t need a pristine bumper, it’s just a car and I’m OK with a jalopy.
So, if you know me, even a little bit, you know I hate crying; I especially hate crying in front of people. It seems most things bring me to tears these days – I’m encouraged this is partially due to a massive rush of hormones. However, Monday a coworker, who battled major fertility issues for years and has such a gentle heart, silently cried with me in the kitchen while I made my salad. She wrapped her arms around me, rested her head on mine and just cried. It was such a loving gesture. Please know, I’m not sharing this with you to gain sympathy or to cause panic that we’re falling apart. I’m sharing it because this is real; this is our life. Our reality is frightening, overwhelming and growing closer each day. We do not have energy to pretend we are strong or wise enough to handle all that is to come. We are human, we are weak and shackled by the same fears any other parent would have. I know I mention how supported we feel, a lot. It is truth. We are smothered in so much love and prayer. We feel it every single day and at times that in itself brings us to tears. We are so humbled by your hearts – truly. The surprise dinners, cards, moments where laughter makes us free for a moment – they are cherished.
So much of life can be directed by selfishness. We go through our days fighting for a leg up whether in work, our social circles or even in our homes. What is the point? What do we really gain from putting ourselves first? I am learning, more so now than I ever have, what’s most important [at least to me] is being a person of value. I want to be someone that can take the most obscure experience and use it to be more aware, not only of myself, but others. Love is the greatest gift we have and it is the greatest weapon. I am going to love the crap out of Micky through this, I am going to love the doctors, the nurses, the coffee girl, because without that, without vulnerability what are we doing? I know the road ahead of us is riddled in a whole lot of things I would never choose to go through or feel, but I am being asked to walk it. If we fight it, if we wave a white flag and act as though we have a choice, we have failed not only Birdie but ourselves. Everyday each and every one of us has a choice. We can choose to be kind, show grace, and love others. We can choose to accept those things as well. We can also choose to be selfish, rude and ignorant. I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty clear which of those brings the best result. Because I have been encouraged, let me encourage you…despite whatever difficulty ahead of you – it can never be bigger than you. It can never own or destroy you. Every single person has the strength required to get through the biggest obstacle – I’m not saying it will be painless or ever simple, but it can be such an amazing opportunity to grow and to be changed. I am scared to my core of the next week, month, year…but I look forward to being molded and formed just like Birdie, into a better version of myself.