You would think that after eight years I would be better at this day. Eight years ago today, my sweet Briona Hope was born. Tiny, feisty, and beautiful. If you could ignore the tubes and machines, and nurses hovering about you would never have known that she was born with only half a heart.
Eight years ago I sat glued to her basinet in Holden NICU thanking God that she was not hooked up to that terrible ECMO thing that the baby across the way was on. To her left was a preemie, born at just 26 weeks. She looked like a giant next to him. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have such a strong looking little girl. I was full of hope, and optimism, and looking forward to the future. Our future. I was planning her homecoming, her baptism, her first birthday party, and getting her a puppy.
I was so busy planning our future, I managed to keep my mind off the impending surgeries coming up. I had the best of care lined up. The best nurses, the best anesthesiologists, the best surgeons. I loved her ferociously, fiercely, completely. I likely drove the nurses half crazy with my questions, and hovering. It was during these days that my husband started calling me Mama Bear.
Three long, but too short months later my hopes and dreams for her came crashing down on that cold January night when she left my arms to be with God. I still see her in my dreams, feel her soft weight in my arms, and know in my heart that she is with me, and watching over all of us.
It doesn't make it easy though, these days when I should be bringing cupcakes to school, cooking birthday dinners, and planning birthday parties. These anniversary days are the hardest, when I wonder what I could have or should have done differently. I hope she knows how hard I tried to keep her here with me.
My sweet Briona, I will love you forever, and for always... because you are my dear one.
God is good. All the time.