Valentine’s Day 2011

This is from Valentine’s Day 2011.

I’m not posting it because it’s a good picture of me (obviously), but it’s the only one I have from this day. And that Valentine’s Day was kind of a big deal.

It was the day before my daughter’s first (but not her last) open heart surgery.

This was a day full of emotions. Not the typical feelings this “Hallmark holiday” may bring up, though. Not at all. This day was full of everything else.

FEAR: of the unknown; of the risks of open heart surgery on a seven week old; of handing my baby over to a team of relative strangers in a situation of life or death.

RELIEF: that the day of surgery was finally here; that we may be able to finally bring our firstborn home from the hospital; that my child was getting a medical intervention she desperately needed.

GRATITUDE: for my family taking care of things on the home front; for the support of friends reaching out; for a kind nurse who talked with me as I cried (I will never forget you, Kristen).

ANGER: that this had to happen to my baby; that I wasn’t at home with my newborn taking pictures in cute outfits that read “Mommy’s Valentine”; that life was just not fair.

FAITH: in the medical team about to take my daughter’s life into their hands; in my baby girl whose resilience and strength was already evident; in God and the universe to take over because there was nothing in my control anymore.

What a momentous day this Valentine’s Day was. I will remember these feelings every year on February 14th.

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