I was a little surprised when I looked at my calendar this week and realized we are only three weeks away from surgery.
I can't tell you where the last five weeks went, but apparently time flies when your son is about to have open heart surgery.
Three weeks sounds so close. If I think about it too much, my throat starts to feel tight and a rock forms in the pit of my stomach so I'm trying to not think about it too much.
It's hard to believe that, in one month, Gabe's signature blue lips will be pink.
My days have been full of "Before Surgery" things.
Doing things make me feel better. Like I'm doing something that could possibly, slightly make the whole surgery easier to go through. I know that there isn't much I can do to prepare emotionally for what we are going to go through, but materially I can pack all the bags with all the comforts.
I can't count how many times friends have asked if I'm nervous.
I'm never sure how to answer. I mean, of course I'm not totally OK with it. What mother would be? But the fact of it is, Gabe needs this surgery. Will it be awful? Yes. Will it be painful and sad and full of insurmountable worry? Yes, yes, and yes. But give him a few weeks after surgery and Gabe is going to have blood pumping to his fingers and toes. Those twenty appendages won't constantly be freezing. He, Lord help me, will have more energy and be able to walk up the stairs without nearly passing out.
It's going to be worth it.
So while there are nerves that are being rattled, I'd say I'm more anxious. Ready to be on the other side of it. Make no mistakes, I will be a wreck on Surgery Day (proper noun), but I know that the pain and worry is temporary and that giving Gabe a shot at a normal childhood, where he can play sports and jump on the trampoline, is worth it.
Andrew and I were talking about it all the other night and I told him that I compare the way I feel to the way I felt sitting in the court room during Gabe's stint in foster care.
Leading up to every hearing I would think there was no possible way I could make it through another trial. It was too hard, too unfair, too uncertain. I would obsess over what could happen and worry that we wouldn't get to keep him.
And then court day would come and we would wake up early, drive to court, go through the motions, then head home to parent our kids. We survived every hearing and, wouldn't you know, God carried us through and now Gabe is our son. Forever and ever, amen.
Life has a way of trudging forward. Even when we are scared and don't know what on Earth is going on and kind of feel like eating an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's while hiding in a closet. We keep living and eventually realize that obsessing changes nothing.
This isn't the first hard thing we've had to do and it won't be the last.