As most people right now are making a list and checking it twice…our list yesterday was very different than usual. Instead of Barbie dolls and puzzles, it’s full of questions. Hard ones.
- Will my daughter need a blood transfusion during surgery and if so, can she use my blood?
- How long do you anticipate she will be in surgery for?
- How long will she be in ICU for?
- What is the likelihood that she will need more surgeries in the future?
- Will you doctors be too tired after Christmas to do this surgery with all your heart, mind and knowledge?
This year, the things on our list for Christmas can’t be bought. It’d be safe to say that yesterday was one of the longest days of my life. LONGGGGG. (I’m sure adding those extra G’s right there gave you a better visual of how long it felt). As if the anticipation of this day wasn’t enough to fill my body with anxiety, on our drive to the hospital, we passed a yellow school bus on the side of the road with another car, a frazzled woman and 2 cops. Anytime you see a bus with cop lights behind it, it’s an immediate pit in your stomach, but when you see “Bus A” and realize that it’s your 5 year old daughters bus, that pit turned into a boulder. We immediately pulled over and my husband got on the bus to make sure all was well and thankfully it was. After I knew she was fine, I couldn’t help but think in my head “you can’t even make this shit up right now”.
Knowing all was fine, we were able to head out and make it on time to her first of 4 appointments. We met with the neurosurgeon, plastic surgeon, anesthesiologist and ophthalmologist (thank you google for the spelling). Each appointment was more nerve-wracking than the next, but I do have the utmost faith in each of these Doctors and know for sure she is in the best hands. We heard about how some very skilled superhero surgeons will carefully cut open her head, gracefully remove part of her skull from around her beautiful 2 year old brain, then break it, remold it and put it all back together with the help of resorbable plates and screws so that her brain has room to grow. That is a scary sentence to type, but it’s also reality. If we didn’t do this surgery, the outcome would be a lot scarier than what I just typed. It is amazing there are people in this world that can do such a surgery. It’s also amazing I didn’t faint after how light headed I felt during that meeting. These doctors and nurses who will be taking care of Gabriella are true angels on earth.
Gabriella, when that beautiful brain of yours learns how to read one day, you’ll see why so many think you are one of a kind. The zig-zag “W” scar that will go from ear to ear will be a reminder that 1) God heals and 2) You are a true Warrior. That is what the W scar will represent.
The whole day just felt surreal. Being at Childrens hospital anytime of the year is hard, but Christmas time makes it even more difficult. In the past, I have visited Children’s hospitals this time of year to be the “giver”, dropping off gifts, giving well wishes and even caroling. This time, I was on the other end. We were at the hospital from 8am-4pm, not by choice. In that time, we saw people wrapping presents for Children who will spend Christmas morning there. We heard a band playing Christmas music and saw people handing out stuffed animals to little children in wheel chairs followed by an IV stand pole. Kids were smiling, parents looked stoic. This was hard. Really hard. I caught the eye of a Mom working on a quilt, probably to occupy her mind and create a memory for her son/daughter. And this reminded me of what a good friend once told me…
Life is like a quilt. For the most part, we only see the backside of it, which seems to be nothing more than a mess of threads—frayed, knotted, and at times, completely random. Nothing really makes sense about it and it’s no wonder people struggle so much through difficult times.
But here’s the thing, we sometimes can only see the bottom of the quilt, the parts that don’t make sense. But from above, the aerial view, the final masterpiece that God has created, he can see beautiful colors and the pattern that comes together and make total sense. Every thread, every knot, every lose strand is in God’s hand and it will soon have it’s place and make sense.
When life appears to be messy and make no sense at all, we just have to remember that we are looking at the backside of the quilt. And the one weaving it together knows exactly what the final product will look like.
So, as we left the hospital, it started to snow…that beautiful fluffy snow, I couldn’t help but sing in my head, “and since we have no place to go, Let us sew, Let us sew, Let us sew.”