This moment is a blessing

This weekend we’re heading down to UCLA for 3 different appointments for David. This hospital has been a significant part of our journey with David. When he was 3 months old, our cardiologist rushed us out of an office visit and down to the cardiology department at UCLA for in-depth testing. Our tiny baby held still while they squirted warm jelly on his chest and looked at his heart on an echocardiogram screen. Once the tests were complete, cardiac surgeons reviewed the results. We left the hospital and strolled through Westwood’s farmers market, eating slices of berry pie while we awaited news of a possible open heart surgery that same day.

I remember what a beautiful day it was and how colorful all the vegetables and handmade crafts were. But inside, my heart was pounding. When the phone finally rang, we got good news. The doctors would not be performing emergency heart surgery on David and we were free to return to our little apartment on Ruby Street, just south of LA. Big sigh of relief.

Fast forward nine years to October of 2011. David was bigger and stronger and it was time to take care of his narrowed aorta and the holes in his heart that made him grow more slowly and become tired more easily. I’ve never been more terrified than when I watched him being wheeled away to the surgery room. Every hour or so, the surgery team called with updates.

We’ve stopped his heart.

We’ve made the first incision.

We’ve repaired the hole.

David is in recovery–all went well.

When the doctor came down to give us a complete report I was flooded with gratitude. How can you thank someone who mends your child’s heart and gives him more years to live? There are no words. Within 24 hours of surgery, David was up and walking, but a collapsed lung on day 3 made his recovery more difficult and painful. After a week in the hospital we returned home relieved and ready to get back to normal.

It took 5 weeks before David was strong enough to go back to school. The skin on the outside of his chest quickly became smooth with nothing but a small scar, but the bones inside of his chest took more time to heal. It took even longer for me to let go of the anxiety I had become accustomed to carrying with me. But slowly, life got back to normal again.

Next week we’ll visit with David’s pulmonologist and meet with a craniofacial team of 8 doctors who will look at everything from eyes and ears to teeth and brain. I feel a mix of gratitude and nervousness. I’m so thankful that we have amazing professionals who care for David and want the best for him. But if I’m honest, sometimes I worry about what the future holds and what health issues we’re going to encounter.

As we prepare I’m reminded that moments of heartbreak and pain have brought us days of joy and gratitude.

I don’t know what the future holds but this moment, right now, is good. This moment is a blessing. David is a blessing. And I am thankful.

67 comments

  1. YOU are incredible. Wow. I just purchased your “It Is Well with my Soul” necklace, and just read most of your blog. YOU are incredible. What a God we have. My husband of 28 years went home to heaven a year and 9 months ago. I still miss him terribly, but God’s not done with me yet! I posted your little saying right above this computer to remind me:
    “Today I WILL QUIET MY HEART AND MIND AND REMEMBER THAT GOD IS WORKING HIS PURPOSES IN MY LIFE.”
    Double Wow. Do you know the story behind that hymn?
    God bless you dear Lisa, Shalom!

  2. Your strength and love for your boys inspire me! You have a beautiful soul and I am really grateful to you for sharing your stories.
    Thanks
    Maria

  3. I wish your family well during this visit and pray for you all. I follow your blog and instagram and feel overwhelmed with love for a family I’ve never met. God gave David an amazing family and I feel blessed to be given the opportunity to share in your stories. Thank you and many blessings to you all during this journey.

  4. I just read this … and am flooded with emotion. Your love for your son and family just flows with every word you have written. I am so thankful I found your blog (and jewelry ๐Ÿ™‚ and will continue to remember you when I thank my God.

  5. Lisa, I’ve “known” you for years and have been following your blog since forever–

    these are some of the best pictures you’ve ever taken/shared of David. I love them! But the last one is especially perfect!

    You ARE blessed.

    oxox

  6. Lisa,
    I absolutely loved your post. It made me tear up. Our son has kidney disease and everyday is the fear that something could go wrong, but you are right: they are a blessing and for that we are thankful. I love this Bible verse: More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character and character produces HOPE. Prayers for you and your family!

  7. Your blog is so sweet and your boys are adorable! I love the David updates, he is so precious and such a cutie!!! I don’t know if this will help Isaiah 26:3, You keep the mind that is dependent on You in prefect peace for it is trusting in You. That helps me focus and I hope it helps you!

  8. Hello Lisa,
    I recently bought your necklace “it is well with my soul” for my birthday. Those words touch me deeply. The necklace is beautiful! Today I heard you speak on the incourage retreat and I just cried listening to you tell the story about your little boy. I just read your blog and will be praying for you and your sweet family. I can’t say it has always been well with my soul. The last five years have been very dark for me as we have dealt with the murder of my mother-in-law. I am beginning to see the light and wanted this necklace to remind me that even if my circumstances are very hard, it can be well with my soul.
    God bless you with peace, wisdom, courage and continued creativity!
    Terri

    1. Yes–it is well with my soul. Such a sweet reminder. There is beauty even in the darkness. Thank you for sharing a bit of your journey.

  9. Lisa,
    You, Steve, David, and Matthias are so inspiring! I can feel the love you all have for each other through your posts, it is palpable.
    I hope you will all feel the love and prayers being sent your way as you begin this phase of your journey together.
    Beverly
    whytotry.com

  10. Westwood Village is also the bucolic scene of our own wait to see what the future of our son would be. Such an odd juxtaposition the area surrounding UCLA is with the life or death situations going on inside the hospital. I am glad to hear your wait ended in good news, as ours did.

  11. oh friend.
    while our journey looks radically different than yours, i get it. UCLA is part of our journey too. And who the hell would ever imagine that it would be a part of TWO kids’ stories??? There are few things more confounding than simultaneously praying for surgery and hoping for no surgery. All I can say with certainty is that Heaven will be AMAZING. Incredible. So sweet I can almost taste it.
    Love to you. Eat a Diddy Reese for me (macadamia nut, please).

  12. I so admire your ability to lose yourself in the beauty of the Farmer’s Market that day. A testament to your faith in a loving God that cares for us all in a myriad of ways. May this trip be filled with answers, peace, and unexpected joys with the people you love most. Blessings.

  13. May the city of angels hold much good news for David. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  14. You have exactly the right attitude, about which I marvel. I can only hope that if in the same situation I would handle it with such wisdsom, poise and grace. xxx

  15. Oh Lisa, I love to read your blog. We have a little guy with very significant development delays and so far an unknown diagnosis. I worry about the future sometimes and wonder if our little man will ever stand on his own two feet. I look up to you and glean from your stories and hope. Thank you for this post. Next week our Zachary will turn 2. It scares me to have a 2 year old who has never stood on his own two feet and has the speech of a 3-6 month old. But I’m so very grateful for the milestones he has made and I cling to those as my hope. I also remind myself Zachary is fearfully and wonderfully made. Your last sentences have stuck with me. Just like your David is a blessing, I can truly say “Zachary is a blessing. And I am thankful.” Hugs and prayers for your appointments next week.

  16. Lisa, You and your family are in my prayers. This is such a beautiful post that highlights the joys and fears of being a mother, especially to such a wonderful, special boy.
    xx
    Here&Now

  17. Lisa, What a lucky woman you are to have been chosen to be Davids mom. And David is such a lucky boy to have been blessed with you for his mother. I am also a mom of a vey special child so thankful to have this angle be in my life everyday. It is so wonderful of you to share your joys and fears with your readers. You and David and the rest of your family have touch so many in such a positive way. Sending my prayers your way.

  18. Dear Lisa, My son is 32 now and I still remember the helpless feeling as they wheeled him into the operating room at French Hospital when he was 8 weeks old. My heart is with you and your family, with my sincere hope that all your news is good!

  19. Lisa, you are an amazing writer. I think every time you write a post about David you bring tears to my eyes. I can feel your love for him through this screen and I cannot imagine the feelings you have… I am sending prayers and hugs your way!!

  20. Thank you, Father, for Lisa, Steve and their boys. They are so full of your goodness and recognize that you are faithful even when life is scary. I know you walk with them even now. Thank you for the superb medical care David is able to receive and give the doctors wisdom. I know they are so loved because they reflect your love to others! Amen.

  21. Thank you for sharing so openly your heart…as only the mother of a special needs child can! My son Caleb has Down Syndrome and your story encourages me! I appreciate your willingness to share this journey with your readers.

  22. Blessings to you sweet momma. Prayers as you walk into this next part of your little guy’s journey. He is blessed to have you for a momma, you are blessed to have him for a son and I thank you for letting us see the beauty and the hard parts in your family.

  23. Sending sweet prayers to David, his medical team and to you and your family. Wherever his medical road may take him, may he always know how much he is loved, exactly as he is.

    1. Thank you Tanis. He is so loved–and I think he knows is! I know you can relate to this stuff!! xx

  24. Oh dear Lisa, I hope everything will go well at the appointment. David is so lucky to have you & Steve as parents! <3 <3

  25. David is such a precious gift to your family and you are such a blessing for sharing him with us! Will be praying for him and for you!

  26. Praying for your sweet family, Lisa, and thank you so much for sharing with us and blessing us with your blog, jewelry, and your sweet heart. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. What a beautiful child, everyday is a blessing and what a blessing you were granted to be choosen to be such wonderful loving parents to David. Sending prayers for your family and David that all will be good news.

  28. Lisa , you and your family are an inspiration to all. You never take for granted the time you spend together as a family. You make the most of each moment God blesses you with. I will be praying for David and your family as you live your lives one day at a time. May God continue to bless your family and may you only get good news.

  29. Lisa: Hoping that the appointments go well. It has to be very nerve-wracking thinking about what might come up. What I have read in your blog is that your family treats each moment as special. You do not take things for granted. You tell each other how much you mean to one another. We will be praying for your family.

    1. Thank you Julie! We are trying to plan some fun things around the appointments–it makes everything better. xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *