Sunday, June 16, 2013

Moments That Take Our Breath Away ...

There are moments. Moments etched into your very soul. No words ... no mortal words could possibly do justice to the moment. Just your heart feeling absolutely blessed. Absolutely changed. You can't put words to that ... so, you just breath and take it in. Keep it in your heart ... forever. The type of moment when you breath in ... and, you are so caught up in that moment ... you don't breath out. You hold it. Because you know, your life has just changed. It will never be ... the same.

The first time I looked into his eyes ... the eyes of my husband. I held that breath. That moment.

The instant I laid eyes on each of my newborn sons. Knowing they were the best part of me and my husband ... perfection in my arms. That breath was caught in my throat. Nowhere for it to go but ... in my memory. Forever.

The night my grandfather passed from this earth and into the hereafter where he waits for us. Our entire family, circled around the hospital bed ... he took my hand in his and pressed it to his lips. A kiss goodbye. I took that breath and kept it.

Many more. I can't possibly fit them all into this one space. But, one more, I want to share with you today ...

I took another breath and held it. The phone call we had each been waiting for ... came. I sat at work ... at my desk. Trying to concentrate. I couldn't. Stacks of files scattered on my desk ... each with a name that needed my attention but ... only one name had my attention. A name not on my desk ... My niece, Hope, was at Riley Children's Hospital. Waiting for the final word from her physician. My sister's voice on the other end of the line. Hope was coming home ... without the aide of a trache. At that point, Hope had lived with a trache for 10 years 4 months and three weeks. Hope was born without the ability to breath on her own. At birth, Hope held her breath. Not by choice but by force. She could not breath. Her jaw was so small, it choked her air passage. Until the trache was put into place and ... she breathed. On this day, all those years came to a moment when she would undergo a sleep study. Countless surgeries. All to bring her to this ... this moment. Breath without a trache. And, it worked. The doctors all told my sister and her husband ... this might not work. Hope might never live without a trache. The sleep study was a success. Hope came home. Waiting. The sleep study was one step in a walk toward absolute freedom. Hope slept at home without any tubes or machines. If there were no complications during the following weeks, Hope would go through another surgery to close the stoma. The small hole in her neck where the trache had been placed for 10 years. There were no complications. Another trip to Riley and ... home again with no trache and a fully closed stoma.

Last week, Hope did something she has never done before ... she showered on her own. Something we all take for granted. Water running down her head and body. My sister watched Hope and ... held her breath. I'm sure that breath will be etched in her memory ... forever. I know there will be countless other moments as Hope experiences breath without a trache. Each one will be held by her mom, dad and older sister. And, by Hope.

Years ago, my sister placed the following quote in a frame. It's in her home to this day. That frame is surrounded by pictures of her family.

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away."

Passages in Luke tell us that Christ's mother kept moments in her heart. Luke 2:19 "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." I truly believe moments like this are from Him. Gifts to hold on to ... to keep and ponder. Moments to remind us ... He is there. While this world is not perfect ... He is perfect. Every good and perfect thing is from Him. Keep those moments in your heart. Hold them safely in your memory.
Genesis 2:7 "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."

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