Paralyzed with fear. I don't know a better way of putting it. My daughter, in a few short days, is having heart surgery and I am terrified. I'm going through the motions of each day, of course, doing the things I need to do for the normal routine: working, taking care of Lilly, interacting normally with friends and aquaintances, but inside I am freaking out. Lilly is having a hole in her heart repaired this Thursday. It's not open heart surgery, but a catheterization surgery which will permanently implant a device that will shut the hole forever. As far as heart stuff goes, it's not a huge deal, but as far as children go, it is surgery, and it is a 3 year old's little heart, and Lilly is my only daughter, the best thing about each and every one of my days. It is so hard to think about Jon and I giving her over to the surgeons in a few days, entrusting our precious little angel to their impersonal hands. They don't know her, they don't love her, and in some ways she is just another surgery, just another kid to heal and a surgery to check of their list and just another patient to teach the residents about. To us, to me and to Jon, she is our everything. I hope they realize that, that in every way that counts, our world did not begin until she was born, our lives did not have purpose, our own hearts did not understand what love was until she instilled that feeling upon us.
I know I sound dramatic but you have to understand: my daughter is having surgery. There are so many moments that we, as her parents, might put her in a situation that has risks. We drive with her every day knowing that we might get in a car accident. We fly with her regularly knowing that the plane may go down. But we are beside her, we know the risks and could carefully protect her if at all possible. On Thursday, we turn her over to doctors who I'm praying had a good night's sleep the night before and who I'm hoping did not just get in a fight with his wife. I'm relying on nurses who make the right decisions every day but on this day in particular I'm begging the Lord that they are particularly "on."
I'm a little wishy washy about prayer requests in general. Whenever I hear someone ask for a prayer request, I of course oblige but feel a little odd about it. Like they feel a little forced at times. Not that I don't regularly pray; prayer has been a big deal to me ever since I've understood how much God is important to me. So many times, I've asked God for help, prayed for Him to show me the way, thanked Him for the blessings He's given to me. But this time it's different, it's bigger.
We have a very sweet cleaning lady every other week, and last week I told her about Lilly's surgery. She started to cry, as I tried to assure her it was going to be ok (all the while hoping I was right). She said she would pray for Lilly, that she hasn't prayed in a long time, but this was going to be a "down on my knees" kind of prayer that she'd pray for my little girl. I understood exactly what she was saying. The only time I've ever felt that way before was when Lilly was born, and she was on oxygen, and we just prayed so hard that she would be ok and get to come home with us quickly and a healthy little girl. She was in the hospital for 2 weeks on oxygen, most of the time with us being unable to hold her but we stayed by her 24/7 nonetheless. I prayed as often as I could, as hard as I could. Most of the time I prayed the rosary, because sometimes it is easier not having to specifically state what you want God to do, but to put my entire faith in His plans. I can't even count the number of times I prayed the rosary over those two weeks, but I remember saying the prayers multiple times every morning, noon, night, and in the middle of the night. And if we left the room for a few minutes, we left the rosary in Lilly's hands, and my little baby, days old, clutched that rosary as if she knew how hard her mama needed her to be ok. God gave us both strength and shortly after she came home and got off her oxygen.
And the past 3 and a half years have been amazing, which is why this surgery is throwing me for a loop. I'm not ready for the risks associated with it. I just want my girl to be happy and healthy for 100 more years, without the worry that something could go wrong. I know it's not in my hands, it's in God's, but you know that for the next week at least I'll be down on my knees praying that my little girl will be alright. Because she has to be, there is no other choice.
I don't have any cutesy stories or anectdotes for this blog entry. I am just a mother expressing her fears, a mommy begging that her little girl will be ok. I am just someone sleepwalking through the next 4 days until I entrust my child to some random doctor who supposedly will fix her little hole in her heart. I am hoping that by Thursday afternoon Jon and I will look at each other and say "That wasn't so bad, was it?" and forget how nervous we felt, the utter fear that we lived through this week prior.
But until then, we are enjoying every minute with our little ladybug. Today, Miss Lilly Lou woke up this morning and played with her Little People. By the time she opened her door, she was holding a sheep and a rabbi (part of her Little People Hanukkah set) and of course the rabbi was riding the sheep. The three of them got into the bathtub and by 9 am we were at morning church service. She actually sat through most of church, and when she went up for her communion blessing, she didn't want to walk about after she had been blessed - perhaps she felt she needed a second blessing this particular week. There just happened to be a dozen or so friars or monks or something at our church today, and Lilly had these serious guys kneeling down making faces at her and begging her for attention. Of course. Afterwards, we went to West Main, our favorite brunch spot. Lilly surprised us by not wanting to each much of her pancakes, but instead eating eggs and potatoes, both covered in ketchup. After her afternoon nap, she and daddy watched Enchanted, and parts of Grease, and then she and I made cookies and dinner. She was such an obedient little chef, and ate so much cookie dough, all while pretending that she wasn't. Tonite, instead of putting her straight to bed, she got to watch a little more tv - Hannah Montana - and she cracked up at all the appropriate times. She is such a funny little cheeky monkey, and we are so blessed that she is our little girl.
I ask any one who is reading this to please join me in prayer this week, that Lilly's surgery goes according to plan, that her little heart is healed, and that our normalcy is not interrupted too much - I'm hoping by next week at this time, we will be again baking cookies.