Carrie and I spent last night at the Ronald McDonald house inside the Minneapolis Children's hospital. Gracie is getting better every day and will most likely be coming back home in a day or two. I feel like an old pro around that place at this point. Carrie told me that she got to see some friends at the hospital today. Jennie is the mother of Micah, a little boy with Down syndrome who has also been no stranger to the hospital in his few short years. I've only met him one time - at this year's Step Up for Down Syndrome walk, but at the point I met him, he was wore out and about to fall asleep -- he was definitely done for the day. Every time Carrie meets up with them, she is so filled with optimism about Gracie's future. She raves about this little guy and speaks about how seeing him reminds her of all of the potential that Gracie has. I mentioned earlier that I felt like an old pro at the hospital these days, but I remember very vividly how when I was petrified to be there and Jennie, a stranger at that point, showed up at the hospital when Gracie was just days old with a basket full of goodies and things to read while we were there. She is quite the advocate for her little guy and we hope to be for Gracie what she is for Micah. October is Down syndrome month and she has vowed to blog every day this month. I wanted to share a poem that she posted in her blog today -- I'll admit, I changed some of the he's to she's to relate closer to our story, but I really liked this poem - I can relate as Gracie's dad, but can only imagine how close this hits to home for Carrie:
A HEART MOTHER
One day my world came crashing down, I'll never be the same.
They told me that my child was sick. I thought, "Am I to blame?"
I don't think I can handle this. I am really not that strong.
It seemed my heart was breaking. I have loved her for so long.
I will not give up on this child. I will listen to your advice.
I will give my child any chance. No matter what the price.
I will learn all that I need to help my child thrive.
I'll even use that feeding tube. My child must survive!
Will she need a lot of therapy? Will she gain the needed weight?
Please God, help me do this. I will accept our fate.
When the monitors beep at night, it serves as my reminder...
How many parents would love that sound. Tomorrow I will be kinder.
As another Angel earns her wings, I run to my child's bed.
I watch her sleep for quite a while. I bend down and kiss her head.
I cry for the parents whose hearts have been broken. I look to You wondering why?
Oh Lord, I just can't know your ways....no matter how I try.
And yet, I trust you hold her life and guide us through each day.
My mind says savor each moment she is here, but my heart begs, "PLEASE let her stay"!
From pacing the surgical waiting room, to sitting by her bed.
From wishing for a good nights sleep, to learning every med.
From wondering, "Will she be alright?", to watching her reach out her hands.
With every smile my heart just melts, despite life's harsh demands.
For all who see that faded line, I look to them and smile.
You see, my child is loved so much. I would face ANY trial.
That scar I trace with my finger: it's the door to her beautiful heart.
God must have known how much I'd love here (just as He loved her from the start).
A heart mom is always a heart mom, now wise beyond her years.
For those who have angels in heaven, our hearts share in your tears.
Every day I will try and remember, I was chosen for her (and no other).
I will always embrace that beautiful day... When I became a "Heart Mother."
~ Author unknown