Here with Annie today, I am filled with gratitude for her life and for her amazing spirit that I feel every time I am with her. I would never have signed up for this journey, but somehow, I feel blessed to be a part of it. Her heart is finally beating on its' own (no pacer) and she is maintaining a reasonable rate and mostly regular rhythm. Her blood pressure has also improved and is generally stable. For the first time since Monday, it feels like everyone is starting to exhale just a bit. Nobody wants to get too excited, but Annie is finally starting to make some progress! Over the last few days, Annie has become somewhat of a celebrity in the CICU. Everyone knows who she is and many stop by to see how she is doing during the day. Even though she is a difficult patient, I often have nurses express disappointment if they are not assigned to her. She is one loved girl.
A while back, Cameron and I were sitting in the hammock in our backyard, remembering some of the difficult times in our marriage: the early years when we were always worried about money; the stress we felt when Cameron was preparing for and taking the LSAT; the agonizing decision of where to go to law school and whether or not to do a clerkship; the choice we had to make of where he would work and where we would live. On paper, these would be listed as some of the hard things we have gone through, and yet, really, they were some of our sweetest experiences. During these times, we were so dependent on our Heavenly Father to help us. We learned to really trust Him and were able to see His hand in our lives all along the way, especially looking back. I remember as we talked about these memories, telling Cameron that as much as I would not ask for or hope to have hard times, part of me missed that feeling of really needing Him, of completely relying on Him, of trusting Him enough to take a step into the dark knowing that He would be there with us every step of the way. In easier times, we still love Him and trust Him. We know He is there, but somehow it is not the same. Challenges give us a chance to experience all of these things on a more intimate level. Now, we have a daughter that is fighting for her life and we have never needed Him more. All of these earlier experiences were nothing in comparison to what we are facing now. But, the lessons we learned then have helped prepare us for this road with Annie now. We know He is with us, that we can trust Him to never leave us, and that His hand will always be in the details.