This is the story of human triumph. Of discouragement and fear turned into faith and hope. This is the story of my little girl and how I came to be her mom - the mom I am today. There is a page in Pookie's baby book left blank for me to one day write her story. I never knew how big her story would become. The page is still blank. Isn't that what God gives us? A blank canvas to paint a life.
Isn't it strange that Princes and Kings
and clowns that caper in stardust rings,
and common people like you and me
are builders for eternity?
Each is given a set of tools,
a shapeless mass, a book of rules,
and each must make, ere life has flown,
a stumbling block or a stepping stone.
Our pastor baptized Pookie, the same man who joined her mom and dad together in marriage, prayed over her tiny body with tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat. He annointed her with healing oil. We ate Thanksgiving dinner of turkey and potatoes while feeding her milk and formula through a tube. We planned holiday celebrations - Babies' First - until the week before Christmas, when the cardiologist informed us it was getting late. Too late for her heart if we didn't operate on Pookie soon. She was 4 months-old. And even though she wasn't big enough yet, we had to let her go.
There is no greater fear than that of a parent fearing the loss of a child. As the years have passed, I have found myself telling other moms that any surgery is a huge surgery if it's on your baby. Even something 'routine,' like tubes in the ears or 'lazy eye' corrections become far more significant when it's your baby leaving your arms and going into the arms of a stranger in a sterile, cold room.
But we had to let her go. There was no other choice.
We snapped photos of her moments before surgery. We photographed her smiles when she freed herself from that obstacle in her nose. We documented what we could while we supressed our fears. Truly, she is God's. He lent her to us. He blessed us with her sweet spirit. And I understood that. And I appreciated that. But I prayed earnestly, passionately, desperately, that He would not take her back. I wasn't ready. I didn't want Him to be ready, either.
If I may share with you further, Pookie's surgery was a success. A huge success. I danced in her room as her tiny little body bloated with fluid that her newly bruised heart could not yet manage. I beamed at the cardiologist who warned that we were still in a critical time. I shivered with excitement that we were done. She was healed. Life. could. go. on. I could return to living.
Days later, as recovery from open heart surgery continued without complication, Pookie suddenly spiked a fever. Her cardiologist, to this day, can quote the number that appeared on the thermometer. He doesn't need her chart. He reminds me of what happened when and how. He knows explicitly the story of how it came to pass that our baby survived not just one open heart surgery. No. Not one. She eventually came to survive six.
My blog title -'6 By His Design' - is a crafting business name I created after delivering Baby S --- because my previous one of '3 peanuts' was no longer valid. We have 4 peanuts now. But that didn't roll off my tongue the way the 3 had. So I changed it. To 6 By His Design. Six because there are Dad + Mom + 4 Peanuts. But it also means 6 surgeries. By His Design. Only, really, there've been 7. But Pookie didn't have the seventh one. Her little brother did.
... Final Chapter
... Meiners' Story