The reasoning behind this sudden, and some would say misguided, interruption of service is the continuing series of Mother's Day posts......a series that would be grossly void without including Chuck's beloved Mamma herself. I knew that her modesty would preclude her from truly being able to describe the great Mom that she is, so I decided to step in and try my hand.
Along side my Daughter and my dogs, I was able to see first hand, the mother that Charlotte was able to experience in her short time here. She may have faced disadvantages in her life.....but in the realm of feminine parental figures, she had every advantage imaginable.
From the time we found out about Charlotte's special heart, the gears of my wife's mind were constantly in motion. She took care of everything that was hard. First time parenting is hard. First time Motherhood is harder. First time Motherhood, when you know that your precious daughter has a life-threatining heart condition seems impossible. In the end however, everything was in place when our girl arrived....from scales, to pulse oximeters, to medical bills to the special car "bed" that Charlotte had to ride in because she couldn't ride in a car seat. Those are the hard things to do....the mundane things. Through the stress of a pregnancy, that you knew would only end in a continual uphill battle, Kristen set forth a blueprint of our lives to come.
I distinctly remember our daughters first moments in this world and one of my most vivid memories was of the look in Kristen's eyes when she saw her daughter for the first time. "True love" is the best I can describe it.
Through surgeries, recoveries, new hopes and setbacks, Kristen was the constant in Charlotte's life. I was good comic relief (and even managed to steal Chuck's first word: "DADADADA"), but when the chips were down, our little girl was still a Mamma's girl.....for good reason I might add. Mothers go through life with a lot of what they do going unnoticed and often unappreciated. Life happens quickly and we become blind to the day-to-day operations much too often. I can't possibly list all of the examples of Kristen's efforts to give Charlotte the best life possible. The one word that springs to mind that may sum it up best is "Calories".
About two weeks after Charlotte was born, a nurse or a doctor (I can't remember which) put a bug in my wife's ear that we really had to be aware of Charlottes calorie intake and make sure she was getting enough for her healing and developing heart. Heart kids are notoriously lousy eaters was the message we were getting. The message was confirmed throughout Charlotte's first 10 months of life. About 3 months in, we also found out that Chuck had a lactose allergy to boot. CUE MOM! My wife was bound and determined to get those calories in that child and she spent countless hours on the internet, talking to doctors, at the grocery store and experimenting to find a solution to to our calorie dilemma. She also had the patience to find ways to distract our kid into eating. Sesame Street clips on YouTube seemed to do the trick after many trials and tribulations. Even down the road, when we were on tube feeds (that always seemed to be "Chucked"-up on us promptly after), Kristen never lost her resolve to make that little girl gain weight.
Eventually we found out that she loves to eat carrot and crayons and our prayers were answered.
I don't want to ramble, and I just don't know how to sum up how amazing my wife is. I guess the way I feel can be summarized as follows:
No words can express:
1. The pain in my heart that you have to spend your special day here while our little Angel looks down on us from heaven...
2. The joy in my heart that the time our Bear was with us was spent with such a wonderful, caring and loving Mother and that she was a able to experience true love and joy thanks to you.
3. The peace in my heart that our son and our family will have you in our lives.
I love you! Happy (belated) Mothers Day Blog to you!