Today my grandson underwent his second open heart surgery.
He is a precious, blue-eyed 5 month old with a contagious smile and a winning personality. He is quite accomplished at flirting with the nurses and is intent on carrying on his own method of conversation with the doctors.
He was born with a serious heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, better known as HLHS. HLHS is a rare congenital heart defect in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. Typically, a series of three surgeries is required, with a heart transplant likely at some point. We are hoping and praying the need for transplant will be well into the future.
One thing I’ve learned through this journey with Elijah is this: when the news you hear is less than perfect and well, the scope of your emotions can range from one extreme to the other. You begin to seriously question what you’ve always thought to be important. You find yourself cherishing moments that otherwise may appear trivial.
For parents of these special children, such moments may include the first true bottle feeding, doubling a birth weight, making that first trip to Walmart after being confined to home for what seems like forever, or possibly even celebrating birthdays on a monthly basis. Whatever the case may be, it’s noticing those moments that say, “We love this child, and we’re so thankful to have him with us.”
Which gets me to thinking… Shouldn’t I always feel this way, in all my relationships? Shouldn’t I review my priorities from time to time to ensure I’m placing importance on the proper things? Shouldn’t I celebrate the little moments of my day more often, holding dear those precious people God has entrusted to me? Shouldn’t I choose to live each day in a way that says, “I love you, and I’m so thankful to have you with me”?
Yes, I should; we all should. Yet we get caught up in the busyness of life and sometimes forget. Until, that is, a stark reminder comes along as in the case of my sweet grandbaby. I’m so thankful for him and for the prompting to not only love and enjoy being with him, but to carry that same mindset and focus into my daily interactions with others as well.
Learning to live a little better, love a little more, and laugh a little louder. That’s a good place to be, even on the tough days.