339 days ago we waited in a sterile checkup room. Annie innocently slammed empty cabinets and shuffled through doctor’s equipment. Matt and I complained about the wait and intermittently scrolled through newsfeeds.
The announcement Annie’s cardiologist made when he finally entered made us wish we had every single one of those waiting moments back.
Same: the triumphant entry of 2017 doesn’t feel very grand in our house. What it means to me is that we said goodbye to a year we weren’t supposed to get. Days we weren’t promised. Minutes we were advised against. And I’m not too happy about it.
In Annie’s New Year’s Eve interview, she named strawberries as her favorite food. “Joy to the World” is her favorite song. Target is her favorite store. See? I’ve done something right there. Her favorite thing do to do with Dad is “tackle he head.” Her favorite thing to do with Mom is “take a nap.”
Then we listed Annie’s accomplishments. In 2016
-Annie was honored as a survivor for the American Heart Association
-turned another year older
-learned to swim
-cheered on the Warriors and chewed sour straws
-got her first car
-and learned the messy family art of Christmas cookies
Annie reported that the new thing she is excited to try in 2017 is going to school with Audrey. Going to gymnastics with Audrey. And not fighting each other…with Audrey. She does love her big sister!
I’m excited about each of those too, as we watch our little girl grow up. So many new beginnings are ahead.So many moments we’ve begged God for so many times.
But as we ready for a year ahead, there’s a truth I can’t quite swallow. Each step down the road toward new beginnings is a walk simultaneously toward death. It’s a day we had with Annie that we’ll never get back. Statistics show that one day, I’ll be abruptly left aching for more.
On Thursday, Annie goes to her regularly scheduled January cardiology checkup. That will make a year since her 2016 January checkup. That day her doctor told us he didn’t know how many normal days we had left with her.
We don’t know what Thursday’s appointment will find. We’re praying that
-her heart looks good
-she’ll be reinstated as a candidate for the 3rd surgery she needs
-we get to walk out of Children’s hospital and home to the normalcy of regular life
-we get another year of unexpected days with her.