In some ways the beginning of 2023 seems so far away but yet when I realize its #GivingTuesday AGAIN, I am a little stunned. How? It came so fast!
And here I find myself yet again, contemplating time.
Time is slow.
Time is fast.
Time sifts me sometimes like a bag of flour.
Time mends and time bends.
And ultimately, if I am not careful, I could miss it.
Time is a thief.
I’ve been wondering lately how I got here. And I don’t mean where I live by location or what I am doing, I mean here — my age.
Where exactly did forty years go?
Maybe these are common thoughts for someone like myself, someone whom we used to refer to as middle aged (ewwwww, by the way, who coined that phrase?). Maybe you still do, I don’t – you can guess why.
It seems like yesterday I was winning a state championship or learning how to drive. Now I have been driving for over half my life and in a couple years of “legal” age for over half my life too. My closest friends from college and I planned a 40th birthday trip this year and it was here we also realized that our friendship spans over two decades and you guessed it, more than half our lives – but didn’t I just meet them?
So where did the years go?
In February, my precious little boy, will turn FOUR.
It hit me this Thanksgiving, it’s been almost four years since I watched Townes live on life support with his broken heart, waiting. Waiting and receiving miracle after miracle. Almost four years since our generous donor family, made the most unthinkable and selfless decision while their own hearts shattered into a million pieces. Almost four years of grieving. I cannot fathom it. And when I slow down long enough the reality hits me like a ton of bricks and my heart laments.
I have had the gift of watching a baby grow into a toddler (and why yes, if you were wondering I have not escaped it, sometimes a “threenager”). His laughter and silly comments tickle me. Sometimes, I close my eyes just so I can just hear his voice even when he isn’t around.
I have watched the tender spirit I witnessed in Townes as a baby grow into thoughtfulness, empathy, and a service attitude. I continue to watch in awe at his strength. Recently, he came home from church excited to show me his drawing and tell me all about David. (Reference: 1 Samuel 17)
So, I asked him, “who did David beat?”
Townes: “a giant”
Me: “Yes, a giant. And how?”
Townes: “a small stone”
Me: “And Townes, do you know who you are?”
Townes: “Me? No, who am I?”
Me: “Townes, you are a David. You have and will always beat a Giant.”
And so now, I am thankful for this simple Sunday school lesson that has given me something to root his identity too – my tender warrior (and if we are lucky, maybe he will skip over the bumps, bruises, and bad decisions King David also accumulated).
During our hospital stint, we learned about a nonprofit called Enduring Hearts. While in the hospital we received a gas gift card and grocery card to help. Since Townes received his heart transplant, we have come to know this amazing organization even more (Scott even now serves on the board).
What some do not know, is that a heart transplant isn’t a cure. The average life expectancy of a heart transplant is only seventeen years. Many recipients at some point in their journeys may experience rejection of their donor heart. Enduring Hearts funds research to increase longevity and improve the quality of life for children with a transplanted heart. So this #GivingTuesday, I would love for you to consider partnering with us to support the mission of Enduring Hearts.
As my heart aches for the loss of our donor family, I desire for their precious gift to provide Townes with a lifetime of ordinary and extraordinary.
Enduring Hearts helps:
- Babies born with congenital heart defects that cannot be surgically repaired and require a heart transplant.
- Children who experience end-stage heart failure through heart disease, infection, and Cardiomyopathy.
- Not only patients, but their entire families that all live with the stress of knowing that the transplanted heart may eventually fail.
- Many kids who receive other transplanted organs will also experience organ failure due to rejection.
- Adult heart transplant recipients.
My prayer for heart recipients like Townes is they may all learn they are a “David”. A small but mighty chosen warrior who overcomes Goliath.