Today was pretty much the perfect day. I got a solid 8 hour of sleep last night (YAY!) and woke up to the "jibber-jabber" of a happy baby in her crib. We spent some time snuggling and laughing at the puppies and then enjoyed a nice breakfast (Pediasure and pancakes for Charlotte, Fruit Loops for Mommy and Daddy.) It was supposed to rain all day, but we were blessed with unexpected sunshine and got to spend lots of time outdoors. It was such a quiet and NORMAL day that I almost forgot about its significance.
Rewind to one year ago. Instead of 8 hours of sleep, I got maybe 2 at the most. Rather than a morning of snuggling and laughing, it was one filled with a last minute baptism and lots of tears. In place of pancakes and Fruit Loops, we downed coffee and forced ourselves to eat something as we anxiously waited for words on progress. There was no sunshine (at least that we got to enjoy) and there was no outdoor time.
One year ago today Matt and I handed our 1 week old, 6 pound little girl over to the team of surgeons, doctors and nurses at Omaha Children's Hospital for her first life-saving open heart surgery. I've thought about what words I would type here as I reflect on that terrifying day, but I can't come up with anything effective. It was awful. It was gut-wrenching. We gave a million kisses that morning, fearful of what the day would bring and knowing the risks associated with such a big procedure, yet we remained faithful and confident that we would see sunshine in the end.
Here we are, one year later, enjoying that sunshine that we longed for so much last summer. Charlotte has fought hard to get to where she is today and is showing no signs of stopping. She is a fighter and a survivor.
Today we celebrate our beautiful heart warrior.
Strong, beautiful and brave--Charlotte Delene Ritchie.