Oh, hello January 7th. It’s you again. Every year you show up and gently remind me of something. You like to remind me of something that I nearly lost. You like to remind me to look around at what I have.
Usually I wake up on January 7th feeling a bit melancholy. But this year I’m in a better place. Time has given me that distance I need. And I’ve been too busy to worry about what the future will hold. I’m not saying I never worry. But I’m not dwelling on it today.
January 7th, you see, you changed our lives. And you changed the life of a very important little person. He is only alive today because of what happened on January 7th.
You’ve heard the story before, but around this time of day 4 years ago, Stevie was lying in a hospital bed undergoing emergency open heart surgery. His small chest open as doctors worked their skilled hands on his teeny tiny 2-week old heart. The surgery had gone as planned, but the result did not last. Beeps and lights and terror filled the recovery room as Stevie was quickly whisked away from us to figure out what went wrong. Paul, Tati and I waited in a tiny room for news. Any news. It felt like we waited a lifetime. I completely feared what was ahead. I knew in my heart Stevie was gone. I feared going home to an empty house and worse.
And even though I said I wasn’t feeling sad today, the memories of that moment still haunt me. I can’t help but cry remembering my desperate thoughts and the all encompassing darkness around me.
But the surgeon finally arrived to tell us Stevie was alive. Stevie’s body had done something that had only occurred in 4 other babies. And this surgeon happened to be writing a medical journal on the topic. So he knew what to do.
God. Whenever we talk about you, January 7th, we always talk about how lucky we were. If this had been different or that had been different or had anything gone just slightly in another direction, we would look at you in a totally different way.
But today? Today as Stevie rolls around in our bed, and gets up to begrudgingly eat his oatmeal, and doesn’t want to change his diaper, and glows with excitement as we head off to school…
Today we just get to be grateful. For all of it.