As You Go Into Surgery: A Letter to my Daughter
In a few hours, we will hand you over to a medical team. This team has been planning for this day since before you were born. We have been thinking about this day since we saw your little heart on an ultrasound screen nearly a year ago. No amount of preparation can make this easy, though.
My girl. You are full of giggles and snuggles. You are literally made of all things sweet. But there’s something else about you. There’s this determination and resilience. There’s this tenacity and strength. You don’t back down. You laugh fully and you cry fully. You let us know what it is you want without words or motion. That determination, that resilience, that tenacity and strength- I need you to bring them in full force. I need you to dig deep and come out on top of this. I need you to muster up all of that strength and put it into the biggest day you’ve had to date- open heart surgery.
Such a tiny body, but such a strong fight. Your medical team- they will stop your heart and they will repair the spaces that aren’t quite right yet. They will enter your sweet, sacred little body and they will fill in the pieces. Two holes. One faulty valve. Through this, they will allow machinery to pump the blood for you. They will breathe for you and use miraculous equipment to keep your body moving as it should. But you, little fighter, you won’t be backing down in any of it.
You see, you would have been born a fighter regardless- it’s in your blood (just look at that brother of yours!), but you took it the extra mile. You took your fight farther than any of your immediate family has gone. You took it farther than any of the babies I know and now it’s your turn to show off that fight.
The fight. Your fight. It’s in you and I’m so proud. May you always take it the extra mile.
You won’t remember this day. You won’t remember the details of being wheeled off, eased into anesthesia, opened, repaired and stitched back up. You won’t remember the details or the feelings but you will carry with you the strength you’re gathering in this season. You’ll carry with you your ability to see a challenge and rise above it. You’ll carry with you the focus on the most important things in life- because you know from an early age that it’s not something to take lightly.
On the other side of the doors, your momma is thinking through a year she’ll never forget. You opened her eyes in ways she didn’t know she needed to. You gave her insight. You helped her feel deeply. You connected her in meaningful ways. You helped her let go of things that don’t serve our family. You rooted her in relationships built in the tough times. Not to be selfish, but my daughter you’ve given me a gift in this season. I will forever be who I am because of the impact you’ve made and will continue to make.
Sweet girl I confess: I’m scared. I’m excited. I’m anxious. I’m hopeful. I’m powerless. I’m resilient. I’m fascinated. I’m angry. I’m grateful.
I’m all of these things at once and that’s okay. Above all, though, I am the mother warrior that is committed to you in every season we will weather together. We happened to start with a tough one, but that’s okay, we’ve got this.