It hit me in the middle of church this morning.

Started as a quiet, "Thank you, God."

For your grace.  For carrying me through the last few weeks, the past few years, my whole life.  For protecting my babies.  For not shielding us from pain, but from warding off calamity.  For saving my son.

My son.  Saved.

I don't let myself think about what would have happened to Gabe without this surgery.  But even without thinking about it, I know.  He would have died.  Not today.  Probably not next week, maybe not even next year, but inevitably, he couldn't have survived without it.

I feel like I'm finally feeling the weight of it all lift.  And it's been heavy.

Gabe is doing so great.

Way better than we expected.  There are signs of him being a little sore, he's pretty attached to me and Andrew, but he is very active and very much his usual self.  If it weren't for the traces of surgical tape all over his chest and arms, you'd be hard pressed to know he even had an open heart surgery 16 days ago.

We are getting used to his sort of crazy med schedule.  The most difficult part so far is the whole "bathe him every 24 hours" part.  I'm more of a "bathe them maybe once a week" kind of mom.

Tomorrow we go back to the hospital for post op.  

He will get a chest X-ray and we will meet with the surgeon.  They told us there is always a chance the fluid build up can come back, so we are obviously hoping that isn't the case for him.  He seems to be feeling good and isn't showing any signs of respiratory distress.  Fingers crossed.

We've been home for three days now and have miraculously fallen seamlessly back into our normal life.

The laundry is done, school laid out for the week.  My kids are once again covered in Georgia red clay.

Josie and Gabe spent a total of four hours showing outward displays of how much they missed each other.  Squeezes, kisses, "no, you can go first"s.  Now they are back to that sibling squabble that is my normal background noise.  You'd think it would drive me batty, but it doesn't.  To me, it sounds like Gabe is feeling like Gabe and after missing him so desperately, I'm glad to have him back.

The weather is toying with getting warm.

Flowers are blooming and our grass is beyond ankle high.  Every Spring I get all ooey gooey about life.  Cliche, I know, but I love the new beginning-ness of it all.  Each year I forget how nice those first nice days are after Winter.  We aren't quite there yet, but we are almost to where our days are more outside than inside.  And I like that.

So that's about it.

We are home and things are normal.  Except that I doubt anything will ever be normal again.

I think I'm going to like the new normal.


Butterfly Wishes Wonderland Dreams said...

Welcome Home! Cherish each moment Hugs

kimmer said...

The new normal at the Pope household is looking GREAT! Amazing what we've all been through in the past few weeks and I am forever thankful for the love and prayers poured out to Gabe by so many kind people. He is looking fantastic!

Michele said...

So thrilled for you! Praying for a wonderful post surgery visit and report!