Being here in the hospital has allowed us to connect with others in a different way. We have met so many new people through things like blog comments all the way to run-in's at the hospital.
As we were sitting for movie night tonight, I saw Dr. Graziano talking to a family. I couldn't help but think back to when he came out to us to tell us about the results from Gabriella's cath.... crushing our world. Nice guy, he just had bad news. The family started walking back to see their beautiful little girl, when mom stopped and asked if I was Gabriella's mom. Oh my. A million thoughts ran through my head. How wretched I looked (Gabriella lost my only little hair clippy that was taming my once cute and flippy and now fluffy hair). Also, my clothes... and how I look like I dressed from the lost and found bin because my tops and capris or sun dresses are not-so-neatly lost in boxes at my moms house until we get home to organize. But proudly, I claimed the title and directed my glance at Gabriella. She told me her name, which was a name I immediately recognized from the heart blogs I follow and from my own blog followers. Her beautiful baby was having a heart cath done, and we were able to briefly cross paths thanks to our unique position as heart moms. I'm thankful for those few moments, and hope they can blossom to be more! To all my prayer warriors, please keep her and all the other heart families in your prayers. There is so much these babies face, and so much us parents face, that are indescribable. Amazing things have happened through prayer for Gabriella, and there are so many more out there dealing with heart issues. Each unique in their own, but each similar in one solid way.
As I was settling Gabriella down for bed, I called Paul to have our couple minutes of peace talking. He told me about how he ran into Kate McRae's mom at the RMH and spoke to her for a while. My sister in law and I met Holly quickly back in July after following their story from the beginning, when we were here for Gabriella's heart cath, and couldn't help but fall in love with sweet Kate's face. Paul was able to reach out to Holly and express our support and prayers. He was wearing his Kate band that he wears proudly every day on the same arm as his Gabriella band. We have felt such a connection to them though they never knew us. But the struggles of dealing with a sick little girl, watching their innocence being stripped away while they have to learn to deal with adult things, we shared. Watching the way they interact with their siblings or friends or cousins get ripped away by right-sided movement loss and medical needs. Preparing for the days of immunosupressents and transplants (bone marrow for Kate, and the obvious for Gabriella). Even the fact that they both had their wish granted through Make-a-Wish and picked the same place. Not knowing what God has planned for the next 20, 10, 5 or even one year of their life. Though different reasons, similar struggles. I can't help but picture Kate and Gabriella together in my mind on a frequent basis, and I feel this indescribable feeling of strength and energy. How amazing for God to place some of the most courageous, strong and beautiful souls into these 2 fair little beauties. So I ask again, to pray. There is an entire floor in this hospital, right above our heads, of children suffering the effects of cancer. A floor of fighters. Every night we pray for God to have his hand over this hospital and all the children in it. As wonderful as it is to have a hospital dedicated to children, it is heartbreaking to think of children having needs like this.
I ask everyone to pray... a lot. It is only because if there is ANYTHING we need most in this journey, it is prayer. It's the easiest thing to ask for, the easiest thing for people to give, and the most beneficial gift to receive because we are so faithful and reliant on God. In turn, know we pray for every one of you. We thank God for the people in our lives that we do and do not know. We pray that the kindness of your prayers and supportive words you lend are shown back to you tenfold. We plan to pay it forward... and hopefully will be able to get involved in the same things that have blessed us like the RMH and Make-a-Wish. You are making an impact on us... and we thank you.