Four years ago yesterday, Scott and I were making treks between MUSC’s PCICU where Annabelle was and Charleston’s landmark, The Battery. CNN was in town to interview us and we could think of no better outdoor location that right on the Charleston Harbor. (If you’ve been following the blog for a while now, you now know why we always make stops there each year for Christmas Eve. ) We never imagined we’d be spending our first Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day (aka Valentine’s Day) that way. Actually, up until Annabelle was born I didn’t even know what CHDs were…much less that there was a day to bring awareness to them.
On that beautiful sunny afternoon in 2008, we were answering questions about her birth and her journey towards recovery. We talked a little about moving her to the floor and how excited I was to finally be in the same room with her at night. And, I got asked a question that will never leave my memory…”What are you most afraid of?” I answered with big tears in my eyes and the ugly cry all over my face…“of losing her”. It was always in the back of my mind. But, up until that CNN reporter asked that question, I tried never to think it. We only wanted and had very high hopes for nothing but the best for her. Which, in our minds then, meant of her growing up with us…and in my words on CNN “of graduating from college, getting married and having children of her own”. Isn’t that what every mother wants for their little girls? It seemed possible on that day.
Fast forward to this year and, as only God would have it, we were once again sitting down to be interviewed for CHD Day. This time the conversation was much different. I still got to share Annabelle’s birth story followed quickly by her passing into Glory. We focused a large part on the Annabelle Baskets and bringing joy to other heart families. I probably spoke far too much anyways but I just hate having to put her little life into a nutshell version. I knew they wouldn’t use much of my speaking anyhow. This was the third time I was being interviewed for a news segment after all. So much of it gets clipped and cut…but one thing that I didn’t want left out was our faith.
I can share so many other things that mean so much to me and others in the same situations but the answer above anything else is Jesus.
He gives me gifts of grace on my darkest days whether it be a butterfly or a blue bird or a beautiful sunset.
He gives me peace in His Word that stills even the smallest doubts.
He gives me love through those who shower His love on me and my family.
He gives me joy in hearing the boys’ laughter.
He gives me hope in Heaven that is firm in my soul.
I could not have walked out of Lexington Medical Center on March 27th without Jesus giving me strength in my legs and holding me up. I could not have slept peacefully that night without Jesus calming my heart and answering my prayers to never relive that day again in my dreams. Everything that I do since He took her Home is because He has enabled me to do it.
So…our segment aired last night at 11pm as the first story of the program. I was already asleep but had the DVR set to record it. Scott got up before me this morning and watched it first. When he came in to wake me up, he said that he had seen it and that they did a really good job with it. Then, I asked him “did our faith come through?” and he answered “yes”. That’s all that really matters to me anymore.
Four years ago, it was about dreams of college and a big wedding but now it’s only about Heaven.
FYI…Apparently, the videographer thought Wyatt as a one year old looks a lot like Annabelle as a newborn…the picture they show of the baby with teeth is my firstborn boy! :)