We all have those moments in life, those big moments that make up the time line of your life. “Before I moved vs. After I moved” or “Before marriage vs. After marriage”. When we are trying to remember what year we did something, or when we are retelling a story we often use these moments to gauge when in our lives it happened.
My life has these moments on my timeline, they are clear breaks in the line that I measure time by. I moved to Stoney Creek when I was sixteen, I went to Europe for a year when I was 19, I went back to Europe for three years when I was 26, I married in 07, I had Josh in 08, Josh’s stroke was in late April 08, his first open heart was in July 08, Kaleb was born in 09, Josh’s second open heart was in ’10, his third was in ’11 and his fourth was in ’13. When I think about something, trying to remember when something happened I use those markers to base the time line for the event I am trying to remember.
One of those markers is ‘before knowing, after knowing.’ Before I knew Joshua had a heart defect and after I knew.
Each of the moments I referred to are big moments in life, they change your course, they shape your dreams and your directions. I started on a path and at each one of these time markers my path came to a blockage and I was forced on a new route. This is life. Not just life with illness, but life in general.
I heard about another woman last night who had her path changed yesterday. Just 48 hours ago she was headed in one clear direction. 30 weeks pregnant, excitedly anticipating her new baby, then the marker came. The conversation that changes everything and you get sent on a new path. 24 hours can change everything. Now she knows. Now she knows that her baby will be born with a heart defect, and her life will always have that knowledge as a marker in her timeline. The before and the after.
Pray for her as she meets with specialists tomorrow. Pray that she is given peace and courage… and endurance. This is not a sprint, it’s a cross country race and she needs to set pace now.
CHD can’t be stopped, but we can surround the patients and families with all the support we can muster, we can pray for them and wrap them in arms of love and hope and joy. Having a child with a CHD is scary, the unkowns are many, the fear and risks are big, but the rewards are something we wouldn’t trade for anything. Has it been hard? Have we cried, been angry, doubted, feared? Yes. BUT…
The battles that Josh (or any heart patient) has won, mean that the victories are even sweeter. His smiles bring more joy because we have seen his tears. Don’t feel sorry for heart parents, don’t feel sorry for heart warriors and survivors. Stand beside them and fight with them, stand beside them and share the victories, embrace them in the defeats, more than anything. Help them, don’t pity them. Pray for them, don’t give up on them.