I had to fill out some paperwork relevant to Cal's health this past year. I needed to look up the address for Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. Looking at the photo on the web made my heart skip and my breath deepen. I felt exactly what I was feeling one year ago. Dread, hope, exhaustion, relief, you name it. Calvin underwent his open heart surgery last November 15th.
I have a huge appreciation for that place; the doctors, nurses, and all the other players in his success. Calvin is generally such a healthy boy. I can remember the daily drag of heart meds, pushed feedings, lack of nursing, etc.
It wasn't until after OHS and the start of our nursing relationship that I started feeling more accepting of Cal's Ds diagnosis. I cannot express enough the importance of his healthy heart.
In life there are 'before's and 'after's. When we received Cal's diagnosis prenatally, there was a 'before' in our family. I felt more security and freedom. In my mind I had lost a lot when I found out about Ds. Now I guess I live in the 'after'. But as they say: "Happily Ever After" In other words, the happiness is found in the after. I believe that is what it is like after life as well.
I try not forget God in my busy life. I tend to get really lost in it all until a challenge rears its head. I guess that is what I appreciate most from them.
In reality, I can honestly say I am could be defined in a 'before' and 'after' Cal's diagnosis. I am not the same person. Many people in Cal's life aren't and I find it amazing and humbling to reflect on.
I choose to meet Calvin where he is at today. A boy with a healthy, full heart. A boy with goals and ambitions (goes from room to room in search of a desired person or toy or plain old curiosity). A boy with love to give (pats our backs, flashes his smile, leans in for a snuggle). A boy with the ability to open hearts and change minds. He is so much more and I am grateful he is healthy and capable of showing us who he is.