Today is a special day for us. I’m sure my sister will post her own thoughts on today when she gets the chance but I’m going to jump in here and give you a peek at how I’ve felt over this last year.
As many of you already know Zoe got her new heart last year. One year ago today as a matter of fact. For me, this day trumps all other national holidays. Christmas, New Year’s and even Thanksgiving no longer hold a candle to December 2nd.
My nephew lovingly dubbed it “Heart Day” in a text message last year to my sister. He sent her a text on his cell phone a month or two after the transplant that simply read, “Happy Heart Day.” As this year has passed, I’ve tried to mark each Heart Day with a silent prayer and a thank you to the family who gave so selflessly. Without their gift… well, we don’t think about that. What I do think about is how blessed we are, how much we love this little girl and how complete she makes our family.
Chrissy and I used to joke when our girls were smaller about “the future” and what kinds of trouble the two of them would get into. I can’t speak for Chrissy but when I think about our girls now, I am excited to see the trouble and adventures the two of them may have together. They are as close as cousins can be; I’d dare go so far to suggest that they are as close as sisters.
I don’t think about what this year could have been like if a heart hadn’t arrived in time. Instead I think about how funny it is to watch Zoe come to my house and care for the cows with my son, how in a two hour span she can go through every “dressy” piece of clothing my daughter owns while playing, how sweet and kind she is with Noah, how her and Ethan seem to be cut from the same stubborn mold, and I even laugh a bit when she gets angry with me for telling her No or taking on a diva attitude when I lay down the law while she visits. Zoe may not think it’s funny at the time but to me, it is. It’s a part of her growing up that I couldn’t wait to see.
My sister and Zoe have seen the passing of a transplant sister and another one back in the hospital as she is placed back on the transplant list. Watching Zoe reach this milestone has been nothing short of a miracle. We know that and we don’t deny it.
Last year when the call came from my sister that a heart had arrived, I was shaking and I was in tears. I skype called a group of moms I’d been chatting with and IM’d a dozen more people and cried to them that I was on my way to the hospital because a heart had finally come. They must have thought I was nuts and maybe I was a little bit at that moment but it was a day that we’d wanted for so long.
Every day since then has been a miracle. Every day forward will continue to be a miracle.