I look back at the past four and a half years, and I can't say how very grateful I am for them. I have so many thoughts running through my head. Be grateful you can't hear them. They really don't make much sense right now.
When we first got his diagnosis, when we were told he probably wouldn't take a breath in this world, the news stole my own breath away. Dr. F. told me she would do whatever she could to try to help us meet him. She told of living in the hospital herself one time for three days, monitoring a mom to determine if they really had to take her baby early, if she was going to pass before birth. And she was able to give that mom three precious hours with her princess.
Three hours, my own heart wanted to stop. I couldn't imagine, but that seemed so much better than nothing. I quickly learned to search out stories of children and families on the internet. I also soon learned that I had to give myself some limits. At the time, I would read anyone's story as long as the baby lived four months. I'm not sure how I came up with that marker. But it seemed to me that if we could just get four months, four beautiful, precious months, that was a long time.
Now it's been four years, 12 times that long, and he's still going strong. And it's not nearly long enough. He's changed me. He's changed our family. Sometimes I miss the old me, but not that much. I think I'm a better person, more centered, more compassionate, more willing to overlook the things that don't really matter and to fight for the things that do.
But anyway, back to Aaron. We're doing things a little more low key this year. We would still love to see you. Or if you can't come, please send me a note about how Aaron has touched your life, how he's taught you. That means so much.
But if you have some time next Friday, please stop by. We'd love to see you, especially in the evening. I'm thinking sometime between 6:00 and 8:00. But if it it's easier a little earlier or later, please come then. Stop by and wish him a "Happy Birthday." There will be cake, really yummy cake! Come enjoy a piece with us.
(And by the way, if you're reading this, you know him "well enough" to stop by and say "hi." It doesn't matter how "well" you know us. We'd love to see you.)