On This Day

On this day, two years ago, we handed our youngest daughter, Willow, to a surgeon and our fears to God.

IMG_5680On this day, two years ago, we learned that an ordinary looking man can do extraordinary things with a heart the size of a walnut. His name is Dr. Harold Burkhart, but we call him our angel.

IMG_5676On this day, two years ago, Down syndrome didn’t matter. The only thing we cared about was Willow’s heart, because we knew it was the only thing that could hold her back from achieving her dreams.

IMG_5681On this day, two years ago, we learned what it means to be a true friend. It’s someone who takes off work, finds a sitter for their kids, then drives six and half hours to just sit with us.

On this day, two years ago, our patience was put a test. We were told it would only take a couple hours to repair the three holes in Willow’s heart. Five hours later, with our own hearts on the verge of breaking, we learned it was all over.

On this day, two years ago, I experienced the worst migraine of my life. It wasn’t until we saw the surgeon himself, and heard Willow was indeed alive, that the haze started to lift.

On this day, two years ago, we celebrated our daughter’s newly repaired heart with McDonald’s and some good friends. Food actually tasted good for once. Laughter finally came easily. The only anxiousness we felt was due to the fact we had to wait an hour before we could see Willow.

On this day, two years ago, we felt the presence of God as we saw our daughter for the first time after surgery. Covered in tubes, bundled in bandages, surrounded by machines, Willow actually looked beautiful. She looked alive. The feelings we felt in that room are indescribable.

IMG_5684On this day, two years ago, we walked out of the hospital confident. We then walked into a grocery store and splurged on some good ice cream. We slept well that night. Really well.

surgeryOn this day, two years ago, our daughter was given life even though she was born the month before.

IMG_5685And for that reason, we will never forget this day. Happy Heart-a-versary, my littlest love! Now, let’s get back to living….

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