Another milestone today – a year ago was Clare’s open heart surgery. I wanted to write something inspiring, meaningful, insightful, but I admit I am so wiped these past couple of days that my brain is in a fog. I have been plagued with terrible migraines and now seem to be coming down with some cold-thing. Oh, I love winter.
A couple nights ago, I popped in our family video tape. Coincidentally, it was cued up to right before Clare’s surgery in November 2005. She was seven months old and Jamie was a little over 2 ½. They both were such little babies back then. Shawn and I were transfixed watching a tiny piece of our life from last year. In the video, we laughed and joked and played around. Clare was mostly in the swing or her bouncy seat, throwing tiny smiles to the camera every now and then, but mainly just staring at us wide-eyed. Jamie, as usual, was a crazy, silly goofball bouncing all over the place. We were such a peaceful, happy, normal family. It’s nice to remember us that way. Of course, we mentioned that Clare was going in for surgery, but then the tape jumps to November 18th, as if the 12 horrible days prior had never happened. There was Clare again - in her swing, looking exactly the same, our sweet, happy girl. In many ways, it's nice to have that version of our life. To remember that amidst all that pain, suffering, worry, anxiety, fear, and doubt, we had many joyful moments. Moments where all that other stuff didn't even matter. As I sit here typing this, Clare is rolling around on the office floor behind me getting into who-knows-what of Daddy's work stuff. And I thank God for that precious child. A year later, I am thankful for what we've been through and what we've learned about each other, ourselves, and life through these experiences. I am thankful God gave us the strength, courage, hope, faith, and patience to get through those days last November. And I am thankful they are over.