Hands That Lift

April 25, 2010 at 2:07 am 4 comments

I just returned from a luncheon.  It was a luncheon specially for heart moms.  It was put on by Intermountain Healing Hearts (IHH).  The emotions of the afternoon are still swirling around, filling my heart and head with thoughts and feelings I haven’t felt in a long time.  I had never attended an event with other heart moms….little lone 200 of them in one room.  From the first moment of walking through the door and taking my seat I was amazed at some of the other mothers I met.  I met two sisters, one who had a heart condition herself, but both having children with heart defects as well.


I met a mother who had lost a baby to Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia.  This is the same condition as my daughter, only she doesn’t have Pulmonary Atresia.  This mother’s heart journey does not end there.  She had a second child with Tetralogy of Fallot who was a two-year-old who had a successful correction at four months.  This mother is pregnant with her fourth child, who also has Tetralogy of Fallot.


I listened to Margaret Cardall, mother to award winning musician Paul Cardall who was born 37 years ago with Tricuspid Atresia.  together they have undergone numerous surgeries, including a heart transplant only months ago and multiple life threatening experiences.  She spoke so beautifully, and right to my soul.  She explained that it is alright to feel tired.  She hit the nail on the head when she spoke of wanting just “two hours” of sleep and then she would “be okay”.  I think she stole those very words right from  inside my mind.  And she made my heart soar when she explained that things would be okay.  She made me cry when she explained that it is okay to continue planning life and living life as it comes.  With my Abby’s surgery only one month away, I feel as though I have stopped planning.  Margaret Cardall reminded me that I should never put off doing anything because of what the future may hold.


Next, Paul Cardall played music and spoke a little.  His first songs were beautiful and included Gracie’s Theme.  Gracie Gledhill passed away last year after an unsuccessful heart transplant.  As Paul began to play her theme, I looked straight ahead at Gracie’s beautiful mother, smiling gently as Paul plays this beautiful tribute to her daughter.  And suddenly I’m crying.  Tears are streaming down my face and something heavenly is there in the room with us.  I can feel it.

At a loss for words.

Paul explains that while he was at Primary Children’s Medical Center, the same hospital Abby had her surgery and the same one we will be back at on June 1st, he knew God was there.  From unseen voices in the night to the feeling of heavenly attendance, he knew God existed and was present at this special children’s hospital.  I have known that too, for ten years now.


The afternoon lifted my spirits and left me feeling a little less alone.  The road ahead brings me right back to the doors of one more open heart surgery.  My sleepless nights and restless dreams are nightly.  My episodes of anxiety heart racing, can’t-catch-my-breath, feeling of dread are cropping up more frequently.  My fears of how I’ll walk down that hallway and watch my daughter walk through the doors with an anesthesiologist and put on my brave face for her can’t be pushed away as easily.  But, I know that others have walked the road with me and I know that others will be there supporting us.  Today, I found that hands are all around, waiting to lift us up and fill our spirits when ours are lacking.  Thank you IHH for an afternoon of exactly what I needed.


Entry filed under: Congenital Heart Defect. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Lessons From a Dying Baby A Study on the Stress of CHD Families….or You are Not Alone Part II

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Christina  |  April 25, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Today’s event was wonderful. So glad you could make it. I love being around other heart families… inspiring. Thanks for sharing your feelings on the event, I totally felt the same way.

    Hugs & Prayers,
    Christina from IHH
    Heart Momma to Jacob

  • 2. Cindy  |  April 27, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I had my mom read this post. I had been telling her about how great the luncheon was and gave her the link because you described it better than I had been. The spirit that had been there stayed with me the rest of the day and well into the next.

  • 3. Carolyn Quigley  |  April 29, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Reading your post exactly is what I felt in preparing the event. I was inspired and directed in how things should be done from above. I am so glad this event was exactly what you needed. . . it helps me to know as an organization we are on the right track. What a blessing it has been in my life that I get the opportunity to honor you and the other moms and families as you all inspire me.
    It was also a great way to remember my daughter as it would have been her 10th Birthday.

    Heart Hugs,
    Carolyn Quigley
    President IHH

  • 4. Margaret Cardall  |  May 3, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks for your sweet words. It was such a pleasure to be part of this day. You all inspired me! Can I say I am grateful for the journey? It continues daily. My best to you and your little ones.


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