Friday, May 17, 2013

Sweet, Sweet Birthday Boy

People come into your path for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do with that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON it's usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a dificulty…
To provide you with guidance and support…
To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually…
They may seem like they are a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, 
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die…
Sometimes they walk away…
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand….
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled…

Their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has now been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON.
Because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons.
Things you must build upon to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life…
Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

~ unknown author

In the early hours of the morning on December 11, 2010, I found myself tossing and turning on a make-shift "bed" in the Omaha Children's Hospital PICU.  Charlotte had had a heart cath earlier that day and was doing a lot of tossing and turning of her own, making sleep quite unproductive for both of us.  As I was laying there, cursing under my breath and desperate for just a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, I heard a sound that froze me in my tracks. The sound of a hospital "code blue".  Suddenly my lack of sleep seemed totally irrelevent and I was shocked back into the scary reality of the PICU.  Still wrapped in my blanket, I shuffled over to Charlotte's bed, kissed her forehead and said a quiet prayer for the family that was on the opposite side of that horrible, horrible alarm. 

A few weeks later I was sitting at home in Sioux Falls when I got a text message from a fellow heart mom.  She told me that she was going to meet a heart mom at the hospital and that her baby boy could use some extra prayers. She also passed along the Caring Bridge site documenting his story.  That night after Charlotte went to bed, I logged onto CB and quickly became engrossed in the story of a little boy named Kale who was born just 3 days after Charlotte.  He was admitted to the hospital in November for a heart cath and surgery and had been having a rough recovery.  I was reading the journal entries from the beginning, each documenting the ups and downs of Kale's admission, when I found myself staring blankly at the words on the screen, my stomach suddenly in my throat..."December 11, 2010...Around 4:20 this morning, Kale crashed."  Crashed.  Code blue.  Kale was the little boy that Charlotte and I had prayed for that night in the PICU.

Charlotte was admitted to Children's for surgery a few weeks after I was introduced to Kale through CB, and while recovering in the PICU, Matt and I had the opportunity to meet his parents.  They were complete strangers to us, yet through Kale's CB site I felt like we knew's funny how that happens in the "Heart"land.  Day in and day out, we watched as Brent and Abbie sat by Kale's bedside, walked the halls of the PICU, and loved on their little boy.  I knew that they had to be exhausted after spending 2 months in the hospital, but I also knew that they would do anything and everything that the could for their son. 

Charlotte was discharged from the hospital 10 days after surgery, and we headed back to Sioux Falls.  While we were trying to adjust back to home, we were also keeping tabs on how Mr. Kale was doing back in Omaha.  There were rumblings of a possible transfer to St. Louis for transplant, and we were hopeful that the pieces would all fall into place.  Then one afternoon, I logged into CB...immediately I felt as though someone had punched me in the gut.  After his long, hard fight to survive, Kale had been called home to Jesus.  I sobbed.  I remember feeling so angry and heart broken.  I couldn't even begin to wrap my brain around it all.  Even now I have a lump in my throat and tears threatening to pour down my cheeks.  I knew that his poor heart was sick...but a heart mommy always believes in miracles, even for a child that is not her own.

I will never understand why God called Kale home when he did, but I will say that after losing Charlotte it became increasingly clear to me why He brought Brent and Abbie into our lives.  Our paths, while so very different, have many striking similarities.  We've known love.  We've known loss and indescribable heartache.  We've both been blessed with second chances.  And while I HATE that their family knows the pain of losing a child, it's comforting to have a friend who "gets it"...someone who truly understands. 

On March 16, my sister Angie sent me this picture of a heart shaped leaf that she saw while out on a walk.  If nothing else, Charlotte truly taught us to take notice of the beauty of life's simplest moments.
The very next day I got a message from Kale's mom, Abbie.  It turns out that her little guy was busy sending special messages from Heaven as well!  I like to think that Charlotte an he put their heads together and came up with a plan to send their mommies some extra love that night!

I believe that this little boy and his mommy and daddy were brought into my life for a REASON, a SEASON and a LIFETIME.  I hate that they had to say good bye (for now) to sweet Kale, yet my heart smiles knowing that Charlotte has a very special friend up in Heaven...especially during weeks like this when their are birthdays to celebrate!

Happy 3rd birthday, sweet Kale! 

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