Wednesday, July 14, 2010

an email i just sent to someone...

i was journaling tonight, and got to thinking (as one is wont to do while journaling, i suppose), and i wanted to thank you for writing this book and for telling our story.

a couple weeks before the fontan (so, mid-february), i asked God for the chance to tell asher's story. now, i don't know where you stand with the whole God thing, but i believe. and frankly, as soon as dr c mentioned this project to me post-op, standing there in the hall on the 2nd floor, iknew this was what i had asked for. (go ahead and ask him how i responded. i guarantee it wasn't what he was expecting!) as it is, asher's blog is read all over the world (literally, the only continent unaccounted for in asher's readership is antarctica! how cool is that?!), but this project is just amazing. do you realize what this will do for heart parents???? they won't be alone anymore! they will know, and i mean know that they are not the only ones whose kid has a heart this wonky, and that knowledge brings more comfort and encouragement and life and peace and breath and light than you can even imagine! and healthy-heart people will learn to cherish and embrace and love every breath, every heartbeat. my desire for this project is that people will learn that every heartbeat is an absolute gift. no, wait. that's not enough. it's a miracle.

do you remember when we met? we were standing in the atrium near starbucks, and you asked how asher was doing. i said something about his heart beating only 30 times per minute. that is not only really slow, that is nearly stopped. one beat every two seconds. count it out. i'll wait.... [hums a little tune] ... for perspective, put your fingers on your stomach, just below your ribs, and press in slightly. you'll feel your heartbeat. you'll notice that it's going faster than asher's was when you and i met. and you are an adult, so your heart rate should be slower than a 3-year-old's. but here is what that episode with my littlest man taught me:

there is a miracle every second. the trick is to look for it. but if you look for it wholeheartedly, you will find it. today, i can look at asher, and see with my own eyes 80 miracles in any given minute. literally, 80 tiny... and astonishingly huge!.. miracles every. single. minute.

and that is what i want people to take away from this story. that miracles happen. all the time. sure, it may not be those big "why does this child have a left ventricle all of a sudden????" kind of miracles. maybe those miracles happen, but then they're done. it's the smaller, quieter miracles that break your heart, heal your heart, take your breath away, inspire you to breathe again... and teach you to live.

and every split second of asher's life is one of those quiet, simple, overlooked miracles. they are overlooked by so many people, including me on occasion, even now. but that, the overlooked-ness of it all, is a miracle. i can take every heartbeat for granted. because just a few short months ago, i was holding my breath waiting for the next heartbeat. every heartbeat mattered. sure, they still do... but they're even more beautiful now because i don't have to think about them. "what's his pulse?" "i dunno, but if he's still breathing, it's at least 80." it is only when you have lived through the terror of uncertainty that the unknowing becomes beautiful.

and asher's heart is now even more beautiful to me than i ever imagined possible. and that keeps me going. every day.

and that knowledge, that there is a little boy out there who has fought tooth and nail till he was blue (or grey) in the face to make it through all that shit... that is going to inspire. that is a gift that none of us can even comprehend yet. and that is what this book will give to someone. 

so, thank-you. it's amazing what you're doing with asher's story. just the fact that you're telling it, or even, now that i think about this, that you are aware of him at all, is a gift. and this is going to enrich some poor, freaxious mother's life, and make her heart go up in ways that neither of us can ever know.

thank-you. truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank-you.

1 comment:

Carrie Flynn said...

Yes. Just yes. And thank you.