Paul has had a wonderful two weeks at home! He is enjoying playing, getting his voice back a bit, teething (still no sign of a tooth yet), and even went to the pool a few days ago! Paul has three incredible grandmothers. Tutu watches Paul every week while Mommy does some work, Mom-Mom has already flown down for an extended visit and will be back again soon (we skype a lot too) and Susu keeps Paul smiling and in the latest fashions. Our next cardiology appointment is June 21st. This is the time where we will do an echo, chest xray, ECG, and exam to see how things are looking. It is our deepest prayer that all things are trending in the right direction. We pray for no leaky valves, no leaky neo-aortas, improved heart function, no pleural effusion, no arrhythmia, and no new bad surprises and maybe a few good surprises.
In the meantime, I have been thinking a lot lately about the word grateful and because I am a super nerd, I decided to look up the origin of grateful. As it turns out, Grateful and gratitude actually come from an archaic adjective "grate" meaning thankful, which derives from the Latin "gratus" meaning pleasing. Full, I would assume, means being full of something, to be filled means to be complete. So, I deduce that grateful means being completely thankful. I am. I am incredibly privileged to be Paul’s mommy and Dan’s wife. I appreciate getting to stay home with Paul, having a part time job that loves me like a family member, and having friends and family that I don’t fully deserve. I am overwhelmed by the kindness that has been shown to us over the last six months. I have been thinking so hard about how to express gratitude. How can we ever repay people for everything they have done for our family? How do you tell someone “I could not do this without you”? How do you thank someone for hosting your dog for months? How do you appreciate people that have literally fed you for 150 days? How can you ever say “thank you” to the families who have been where you are and sit where you want to go and still have the room in their life to open up to you? Is a note enough to thank someone for a donation or sweet present? What do you say to someone who literally saved your child’s life? What about people who proverbially save yours? I can’t seem to do it justice. I can’t quite wrap my head around it and yet I have to believe that this is what being “full of thanks” is- being so full that it is almost overflowing. What we have received on this journey is worth an eternity of abundant gratitude and we have a lifetime of support and courage that we are called to put back out into the world.
So, that is what I plan to do. Give it back- keep the gratefulness going. Sit with people in their pain, make supper, love without condition, do laundry, listen without judgment, watch animals, show grace, make care packages, explain the unexplainable as best I can, pray for and with, and do the best that I can to be grateful for every single day. There are a few journeys on which we will travel as participants and not leaders in the coming months. I ask that you hold these sweet families in your hearts…
Our dear friend Jude Dowdle will be having his Fontan (final of three surgeries) on June 11. I would give anything to change the circumstances that brought our families together, but the Dowdles are some of our dearest friends. Follow our dear Jude at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/gabrieljude
Through our friendship with the Dowdles, we got to meet another family. The parents, Bryan and Allison are witty, smart, compassionate, and a joy to be around. Their son Ayden’s Fontan will be the week after Jude’s. http://whattoblogwhenyouareblogging.blogspot.com/
Finally, the Bowman family will welcome baby Dylan (Coarctation of the Aorta) on June 16th. I can not imagine a better person for God to choose to be Dylan’s Mommy than Beth.http://www.babybowmanblog.blogspot.com/
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.”- Cicero
We are GRATEFUL for YOU! God Bless You.
Paul at the pool, (great hat, huh?)
Showing off the Mickey Button
In his big boy chair!