When it Might Be the Last Time

When it might be the last time, you let her steam up the bathroom with a way too long shower.

When it might be the last time, you comb out curls more carefully, wrapping each one around your fingers getting the perfect scrunch. 

When it might be the last time, you join in with sister shared giggling and cuddling late into the night. 


When it might be the last time, you swap sleep partners and sweaty snuggle your 5yo in preparation for unknown weeks ahead of nights apart. 

When it might be the last time, you squeal at the tummy tickles on the bumpy sunrise shuttle ride to hospital checkin. 

When it might be the last time, you smile big and act brave when she asks if it will hurt. 


When it might be the last time, you ask for a wide bed that will sleep both of you until tomorrow’s date. 

When it might be the last time, you starve on cafeteria crackers and cheese cubes because you can’t keep anything else down. 

When it might be the last time, you rejoice that the surgeon said yes to the final stage of her repair. 

When it might be the last time, you listen closer to the risks: stroke, clots, organ failure, death.

When it might be the last time,  you focus instead on the hope her doctor gave. What if it actually works?!

When it might be the last time, you thank God for every time before that’s he’s given you and believe that what he chooses to give is always enough. 

Annie is a yes tomorrow morning for her third open heart surgery. Her heart really isn’t in great shape, but they’re choosing to give her a try. While tonight might be the last time I get to hold her, I’m praying that it’s the last time I ever have to send her for surgery. 

Either could be true. God knows which one we need. 

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15 thoughts on “When it Might Be the Last Time

  1. Erin says:

    Thanks Trace ~
    For sharing your heart with us~
    we love and know this amazing God who gives us mother sized courage to let go and to hold on when it all would be much easier if we didn’t have to do either. As I pray for patience with our 2 boys for at least the 3rd time today – really they make me want to scream so badly with the constant reminder to pick up the same mess and stop and pay attention to me – I know I cant loose it and still give the steady love they need. None of this is easy and so very many run from it all – but you and me my sweet cousin – lets hold fast to The Hand that Holds ours so tightly today. much love ~ to all the mothers who keep on loving ~
    Erin

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  2. Jill Johnson says:

    As always, Tracy, you give a beautiful bittersweet voice to the emotions that accompany this experience. Thank you for sharing. Just this week, Samantha and I met with her cardiologist and discussed the eventuality of a second transplant some day. After the appointment we resolved over tears and coffee to remember God’s every gracious provision during her previous surgeries. Whatever the future may hold, our dear Lord Jesus will be there with us. His grace is sufficient. Please know that you are not alone. “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”

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  3. Teena says:

    I love you so. I have no words except that our Hope is in Christ alone. I write you this through many prayerful tears my sweet girl. I see your beautiful family ALL sitting on the lap of a healing Christ. ❤️❤️❤️

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  4. jan degruy says:

    Your transparency is an inspiration to all of us. I remember sitting through surgery after surgery (after surgery) I think I lost count at 22. Not all for the same thing, but I can so relate to the process. Yes, we know that God is so much bigger than all of this, but yes, as a mom, we still worry, as that is a parents heart for our child, and I think that is the way God would want it. Praying for you all, tonight, that you will rest in HIm peacefully and that tomorrow you will REST in HIM PEACEFULLY! He will be with Annie the whole time, at the same time with you, so He will be holding your hand while He is holding hers! Praying for you!!

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  5. Mary says:

    Sending lots of love from AR!!! Praying for another miracle in Annie’s life. God has been at work from her beginning….I am praying tomorrow He brings more glory to Himself and more life and laughter to that adorable little baby girl and her precious family!! Isa. 26:3-4 NLT You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock

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  6. Sharon Lee says:

    Your faith is AMAZING!!!! God is able. He is holds all of our tomorrows! Praying for the doctors and nurses and all of the caregivers at CHOP. God has allowed these people to receive the education that they need to do HIS work here on earth. Prayers for all of you!

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  7. Leslie Barner says:

    Sending lots of love, hugs, and prayers for sweet Annie and for her precious mom, dad, and sister. I pray you all feel His presence as never before and that you experience His peace–the peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray that As you lean into Him, He will give you the strength and the courage that you need to face the day and all that it holds. And I pray that our Great Physician will guide the doctor’s minds, hands, and hearts throughout surgery for an outcome that is for Annie’s good and for His glory. Love you, Tracy!

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  8. Mikayla Black says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your mother’s heart with us…so full of faith and tender love. God bless you and your precious family, especially lovely little Annie. Praying for you all.
    A sister in Christ,
    Mikayla Black

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