Yesterday was the one year anniversary from learning that Gabriella would need a transplant after only 2 short weeks of knowing we had a sick child. I can remember the sting to my soul when Dr Alhadheri told me those words "she needs a new heart", and the immediate crash afterwards. It felt like a true out of body experience. I saw myself weeping in the doctors office, walking to the car, sitting in the seat of my van and not knowing what to say or do or how to even move. I felt numb. I went back to work so I could sit in my office with the door locked, just so I didn't have to go pick up my kids and have them see me that way. My world had been shattered. Motherhood as I knew it was forever changed. My marriage changed forever and instantly faced something we never imagined it would face.
When I look back over what the last year has given us, I know God has carried us the entire way and laid the most enormous hands of protection over Gabriella (the image in my head of that overwhelms me). May 11, 2009, I felt like I didn't know how to breathe anymore. May 11, 2010, I fight on for Gabriella. The pain and anguish we felt when we found out the severity Gabriella's life, and how short it could potentially be, is something we will never forget or get rid of, but we have been able to move in a forward direction from it. We had the option to handle this in many different ways, but we chose the route we took based on our faith and support. And to any of you reading this, YOU have been part of that.
I will never forget that day though, and will never minimize or try to "get past" the feelings I felt. It is because I choose to remember that pain that I can fight so hard for her today.