Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Heart

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.


  1. I love the pats on the back that they give. That's the best!!

  2. Yay for a happy, healthy heart. Our life is a before and after too. DS was much easier to deal with after heart surgery.

  3. Yes, I can relate to the me "before" and "after." Amazing how life changes such great ways even when the challenge before us seems insurmountable. I cannot even imagine having to have gone through heart surgery on top of a diagnosis. You are a stronger mom and woman for it!

  4. I feel the same way about the before and after.

  5. Well said! I like how you put this. Beautifully written, honest and true. Love you and love Cal! <3

  6. Happy OHS day!! Calvin is an amazing little boy who will always be your happily ever after :)

  7. Happy heart day to Calvin. Wow! A year! This is such a beautiful post, Ilisa. Such lovely words, thoughts. A lovely mama, indeed.