Tonight we are celebrating Isabelle’s first birthday. All day I have been in awe that she has been with us for 365 days. Two open heart surgeries, two G tube surgeries, one cath and countless echoes/X-rays/labs later, here we are with one more surgery to go. Amazing. Miraculous.
We are so fortunate. There are far too many babies who did not make this milestone. Angels that were heart sisters and brothers to Izzie. Parents that will never get the chance to bring them a cake with a candle to blow out. Anya, Rowan, Gabe, Hayden, Seren, Lily Grace…the list is too long with one name never mind six names. I read their stories, agonized through updates and prayed in spite of my own dysfunctional relationship with God for them. I shed tears for them and for their parents.
I cannot imagine what losing a child feels like. I have born witness to others losing their children, one in person. I have seen mothers wait outside in the lobby with frantic eyes and holding their hearts while their child is coding. I have hugged a mom who burst through the doors of the CICU unable to catch her breath.
Yes, it is amazing that we have been so fortunate with Isabelle. I am so utterly grateful that we have been blessed. When I hug her and kiss her cheeks I think of the moms and dads who no longer can or who are waiting at bedside in the CICU not able to hold their child. When I hear her giggle and clap her hands I think of the children who are frightened waiting for surgery. I think how fortunate we are and how hard I am going to pray for them.
Tonight we blow the candles out for the ones who didn’t get the chance. Happy Birthday, Isabelle Faith. Oh how you are loved!