Life Goes On

Time waits for no one. Trite but true. I wanted the world to stop, to mourn, to acclimate, but this was not the case. Bills needed to be paid, meals needed to be cooked, lessons needed to be taught. As a family, we began to limp along trying to find a rhythm to our new normal. Since Noah came a month early, we had his shower after his birth.

Carol and my mom hosted a beautiful baby celebration. A poem by Emily Kingsley was read. Essentially she uses the analogy of taking a trip to Italy, you prepare, study, and immerse yourself in the Italian culture. You count down the days until your trip! Looking forward to love, culture, food, architecture you buy your plane ticket. You fall asleep on the flight dreaming of reliving the Renaissance, but awaken to Holland! The pace is slow, your trying to adjust the expectation to the reality of your altered plans. There is beauty here as well, but perspectives have to shift eyes need to adjust.

Growing up, we were always pushed to be the best. To take no prisoners. If two goals were scored, the next game, three was the expectation. We were tall, good looking, superior athletes that all went to Division 1 schools. Generations of sport stars who excelled in their craft was knit into our DNA. One brother is a PGA tour instructor, another is a D1 women’s soccer coach, a third a professional soccer player …and I’m detoured to Holland! God had a lot of work to do in my heart.

We gave out daffodil bulbs as the shower gift, we asked everyone to plant the perennial, and when it bloomed each year to say a prayer for Noah and the journey he is on. Do they still bloom? Do people remember? It’s so serendipitous that daffodils were the flower we used at our wedding. The bloom means rebirth, new beginnings. So begin again is what we did. I began having our four generation meals again. Mom, Gram and Renee would come for dinner and after we would prop Noah on the large farmhouse table we had. He’d be in his baby seat and we would have dominoes on the table. His feet kicking every time the tiles tinked on the slats. All seven of us would take turns moving his bouncer so that it was right beside the player.

Gram would come across the farm in her wheelchair. Since we had no ramp, Joe would attach a piece of plywood to the forks of the John Deere tractor and rise her up to the level of the porch. If she was really lucky, he would swing her up in his arms and carry her like a bride through the front door. She would sit down and demand to have Noah brought to her. With her one good arm, she would clutch him tight, declaring all was good.

Good is often a relevant term. We soon found out that Noah had heart issues. A micro valve prolapse as well as an anomalous coronary artery. Many trips to A.I. DuPont ensued. Every visit resulted in more diagnoses. Holland was turning out to be a whirlwind of doctor visits, prescriptions and therapists. On top of all of the health issues, Noah didn’t sleep! Or at the very least didn’t sleep well. After I’d nurse him each night, Joe would place him on his chest and tap on his back the sound of a heartbeat. Throughout the night, breastfeed, tap on repeat. At this time Joe was working as a driver for Waste Industries and had to wake up each day at 4:30 a.m. The sacrificial love that he showed the kids and I during those early years of Noah’s life were the ties that bound us together when the diagnosis threatened to tear us apart.

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