Today was a rough day. My kids were driving me bonkers, random crap went wrong that added to my ‘to do’ list and it was just a crummy day. I decided that today would be a perfect day to remember the lovely things about my children and thus write this blog post.
The American Heart Association has started a new campaign called, “Life is Why”. The idea is that you replace the word ‘life’ with your reason for standing up against heart disease. Obviously the all encompassing ‘life’ is perfect so coming up something else was hard for me. My initial reaction was ‘my kids are why’. I love Mary Ann and Will more than anything but then I thought about my husband Dan.
Dan was in Iraq on a 15 month when I was first diagnosed with my cardiomyopathy. He was two months away from returning home and I was just told I was at risk for sudden cardiac death. He came home and proposed shortly after. At some point in my heart journey the doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to have children. After Dan proposed I felt obligated to go to him and give him ‘an out’. I went back to Dan and told him what the doctors had said and, that he could walk away from our pending marriage and I would understand. In so many words he called me a fool and told me he wasn’t marrying me for my ability to have or not to have children. Dan is why.
I don’t remember telling my parents that I had to go see a cardiologist. I don’t remember telling my parents that I was in heart failure and at risk for sudden cardiac death. I hope that my parents don’t remember either. I look at my kids and imagine how my parents feel. The thought of anything half as serious as what I’m going through happening to either of my children brings me to tears. I received a letter from a dear friend today. In it she wrote, “…I remember how devastated your dad was…”. My dad has always been so positive, strong, and supportive I can’t imagine him like that. She continued, “He hadn’t been able to sleep, was literally sick over you.” Thinking of my parents that way, knowing that if my father was upset my mother was just as bad or worse, overwhelms me. At one point during my heart journey, I was admitted to the hospital around 3:00am. My mother traveled from New York to Atlanta and was in my hospital room by 10:00am. My parents are why.
As an Army B.R.A.T, you move frequently leaving friends geographically behind. We start fresh in a new house, new school, new everything. Well, almost everything. The one thing that never changes is your family. My sister and I were best friends every time we moved. We learned quickly that in the tough times we could always count on one another. My sister once called me crying (I forget why) but my heart was aching for her. I started crying and she said to me, “You’re no help you’re supposed to stop ME from crying!” She’s the only Aunt my children have, my only sibling,and my best friend. I keep the toast she gave at my wedding saved on my computer and read it frequently. My sister is why.
Here are another few I tossed around:
Friends are why.
Snuggles are why.
Tomorrow is why.
My heart is why.
Family is why.
Fight is why.
I assure you there were a million more. How do I pick just one why? I thought of my wedding. One of the happiest days of my life. Surrounded by friends, family, and the love of my life. I realized that when Mary Ann gets married, she will be blissfully happy. Her brother, Will, will be as happy for her as my sister was for me. He will support her in her decision while, I’m sure, threatening the groom as brothers will do. Her daddy will walk her down the aisle, after giving his seal of approval of course, to the person that will take care of my little girl from that moment forward. We will be surrounded by family and friends for a day filled with nothing but joy as two families become one. Her wedding will include her love, parents, siblings, friends, hugs, heart, joy, determination, family and so much more. All I want to do, is be there.
Her wedding is why.
Courage, dear heart ~ C.S. Lewis