The Words I Wish I Could Take Back

My toddler son bounced happily inside the red Radio Flyer as we trekked to the next house, one hand clutching his candy sack, the other steadying himself on the side of the wagon.  I gripped the handle of the wagon as I pulled him, the wheels hiccuping on the seams of the sidewalk.  My other hand supported my bulging belly, half for my physical comfort and half out of worry for my baby’s tiny heart.  As my fingers rubbed the pleats of the chiffon skirt that completed my Mary Poppins costume, I couldn’t help but think about the diagnosis from the cardiologist, it floated constantly in the back of my mind.  I slowed the wagon to a stop, and scooped up my little costumed penguin.Halloween 2014

A friendly face greeted us.

“Trick or treat” my son sing-songed, the way we had rehearsed.

“Here you go” she said, tossing a sugary treat into his bag.

“Thank you” replied my son, again, just as we’d practiced.

Our neighbor glanced at my tummy then up to my face, “When are you due?”

“December” I answered, grinning from ear to ear.

“Is it a boy or a girl?”

“A girl”

“Ah, then you’ll have one of each, so perfect.”

“We’re excited, but we didn’t really care whether it was a boy or a girl.  As long as it’s healthy.”  The words singed my tongue as they escaped.  That’s not what I meant.  I knew she wasn’t healthy, doctors had already confirmed her heart was sick.  My heart sank.  I wished I could take back my words.  I merely repeated a phrase I had heard many times before.

“As long as she’s healthy” – nonsense!  I want her whether or not she’s healthy.  As a mom, I wished and prayed that her heart would be whole and healthy, but that is not the case.  And still, I want her with every piece of my soul.

We’re now approaching our second Halloween with little Daisy.  The beginning of her life wasn’t easy – it was littered with hospitalizations, surgeries, pokes, tests, and doctor visits.  Through miracles of faith and modern medicine, she is healthier now than when she was born.  Still, she isn’t cured; she faces many challenges each day.  But she lives every moment with bravery and joy.  And healthy or not, I’m delighted she’s part of our family.

18 Comment

  1. Betty Johnson says: Reply

    Wonderful writing, Brittany. How great that you’re doing this. It will mean so much to your family.

    1. Brittany says: Reply

      Such a huge compliment coming from one of the most talented writers I know! Thank you.

  2. Donna Colyar says: Reply

    Agreed. What a wonderful thing that you are documenting this! You write beautifully.

    1. Brittany says: Reply

      Thank you so much, Donna. I really appreciate it!

  3. Jane Barrus says: Reply

    I am so happy you are recording all of this. What a treasure! I love you and your family!

    1. Brittany says: Reply

      Love you too, Jane!

  4. Courtney says: Reply

    Such a way with words. Thanks so much for sharing♡

    1. Brittany says: Reply

      Thank you Courtney. I’m grateful for your kind words and support, I really appreciate it!

  5. Ronda says: Reply

    I love the way you write. You have a talent. Your retelling of the the day you recieved the news, took me back 16 years. After the sonogram of my first Grandchild, my daughter and I were sent straight from the Dr’s office to the heart DR. We sat across the desk from him whirling in the news of her unborn first childs congenital heart defect. Shortly after his birth, we flew to California where Noah had a very complicated heart surgery performed by the Surgeon who pioneered the procedure. He has yearly appointments and has had a few other surgeries, but is doing well. I’ll have to introduce him to you next time he visits.

    1. Brittany says: Reply

      Thank you Ronda. And thank you for sharing part of your grandson’s story with me. I learn so much from others’ journeys. I would love to meet him the next time he visits.

  6. Pamela Hesselbacher says: Reply

    Oh B! I’m in tears over this. What beautiful words. I imagine Daisy will love reading this when she’s old enough and will feel your love through these words!

    1. Brittany says: Reply

      Thank you, Pamela. Your friendship and understanding has been so much appreciated through all of this. So grateful for you!

  7. Faith St. Clair says: Reply

    Brittany, the world thanks you for sharing these experiences. And away we grow…thanks to you.

    1. Brittany says: Reply

      Thank you, Faith. This is made possible mostly because you believed in me.

  8. Skye O says: Reply

    I’m so inspired by your faith and by your sweet little Daisy and everything she has had to endure already! Thanks for sharing! I also love the way your write. 😉

    1. Brittany says: Reply

      Skye, thank you so much. I really appreciate your kindness, it means so much!

  9. Aubree Wright says: Reply

    Beautiful Brittany. I love your voice in this, and so happy you are doing this! There is a reason you and Daisy are together and you both are 2 of the loveliest women I know. Love you dear Friend.

    1. Brittany says: Reply

      Aubree, thank you so much. I’m ever grateful for your unwavering kindness and support. Love you too, my friend!

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