As your daddy and I went back to see you before you went to be prepped for surgery, a thousand feelings came over me. For the entirety of your journey, I have heard or been told many times that I am strong. Strong? I appreciate it more than anyone knows, but I am not strong. God knows what I can handle and surely He won’t give me more than I can take, but the strength I feel is only because I know He’s with me. I know without any doubt that He holds you every day. But any strength I may seem to have would be so weak without Him.
I don’t feel strong. I have been blessed with a beautiful child who, despite the surgeries, the time in the hospital, and the ups and downs, is very healthy, happy and stable.
I don’t feel strong. When I see around me parents waiting by their child’s bedside to go in to surgery for much more serious conditions; cancer, life threatening illnesses, children born with the odds against them.
I just don’t feel strong. When in the surgical area, I see brave young children with IV’s and lines everywhere, being poked and prodded at; most of them seem to react like they are used to it.
I don’t feel brave or strong, when I see a family being called in to the consultation room to receive awful or discouraging news, as we are hearing that you are doing great.
I couldn’t be strong without Jesus, and I can’t help but look around and hope that the families who really need the strength much more than your father and I, have a relationship with Him and are comforted by His promise.
It is so hard seeing what parents are handed. It is hard to be the one to receive news that you’d only imagine in your worst dream. I feel like this journey has been very difficult at times, but I am so thankful for all the good that has come from it. So thankful each time good news comes our way.
Did I hope you would be born like most children who have no complications, and take you home immediately, and be able to nurse you, hold you constantly, and get up throughout the night with you? Yes. Did I pray day after day for those sleepless nights with you, that would leave me drained and irritable and smelling like sour milk and poop? Yes! Did I pray for you to be healed? For you to bypass all of this? To be home by now? Yes.
But what we get is what we are handed. I thank God every day for you. For your health. For the science involved that found ways to correct what you had. For parents who share their stories, who help me realize it’s alright. For those parents that I wish I could take their pain away. For their strength. For their fight. For their example.
And all I am here to say is that I am not strong, not without my Jesus.
And not without these parents who remind me every day, to be thankful for each breath.