February is congenital heart defect awareness month. It seems fitting that the month that celebrates love is the month reserved for these sweet babies. There are many, many facts about CHD that I could share with you here to raise awareness or make you think…. Here is the bottom line: if you are having a baby- get a pulse ox screening and ask questions about the heart during your ultrasounds. Make sure your kiddos get vaccinated and flu shots (unless you believe strongly otherwise) and please keep sick kids home during cold and flu season. CHD research is under funded and we need to raise more money for research to help these kids. Those are the most important educational take aways I can share with you. I want to spend time, however, raising awareness about something else: every day is a gift.
Every single day.
I was recently asked “how do you live everyday knowing your son could die?” Woah. What a QUESTION… My response was this “we are all dying.” It is true. I mean we are put on this earth and given ONE life here. I believe that this is just the beginning of our soul’s journey but regardless of what you believe this is the truth- one day every one of us will be finished with our life on earth. Maybe we get 20 years, 50 years, 105 years… who knows. So because of this- I say every day is a gift. It took having Paul for me to truly understand this.
So, this month I ask you to consider these things that I am trying to do, remembering we only get one life:
Meet a stranger every week.
Tell people in your life why they are special.
Play as much as possible with your kids.
Get off the internet.
Be specifically and intentionally thankful.
Drink more starbucks.
Take a few breaks.
Let go a little.
Eat more cookies.
Turn off the television.
Return to childlike fun.
I believe strongly that it takes a village to raise a child. Let me say, that it is taken MANY villages to raise Paul. We have friends, family, grandparents, Dr. Parra, Dr. Ladd, Nurse Karen, therapists Kayla, Lori, Denise, and Shirley, our CHOP team, new babysitters, virtual villages (that’s you!), and even Ruby the dog that are helping us raise our precious gift. Thank you. Thank you!!!
This month- share the LOVE and remember our little warrior in your prayers. He is crawling around, walking with help, getting in to everything, playing with everything he has in him, and eating anything we give him! We love him so much. As I have told you before, I pray every night Paul will live longer than I do. That is my hope of all hopes while still remembering every single day is a gift. Happy CHD month and happy Valentines Day.