Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Walk in Their Park...

I looked out the window for a second while reading to Rosie and Lee and making puppets kiss their noses, when I realized just how peaceful we are right now.  I felt lucky again today.  It was really nice.

I've been up and down over the last few weeks just mentally preparing for the next phase of Rosemary's care and all that it entails for our family.  We're 3 days away from her next heart catheterization which will help us determine how long we have until the next surgery.  Yesterday, I had a unique opportunity to briefly reach out to another family with an incredible story who has just gone through one of the most difficult and challenging times in their lives.

While at the hospital taking care of Rosemary's pre-cath blood work, I ran into a team of her cardiologists while in the lobby.  I went on my way but when I returned an hour later, I found that they were all standing on a stage behind a young girl, her family and a man in a yellow T-shirt. After a few seconds, I realized the man in the yellow T-shirt was Yankee player, Brett Gardner.  It didn't take another minute to realize that the young girl was his lucky charm from last month's game which ended in one of the Yankee's most exciting inside the park home runs ever. Drew and I watch every game, and when we heard the story about Alyssa Esposito 's heart and the bracelet, we were both very moved.  Yesterday, I had a chance to reencounter the joy of knowing that she had gotten her heart and a chance for a better quality of life.  Alyssa received her heart transplant at the same hospital where Rosie receives her care, and from much of the same Cardiology Team.  They're amazing people and extraordinary professionals.

To actually see her and doing so well just 4 weeks after a heart transplant was immensely inspiring and I found myself inside a new sense of hope.  I felt honored to have the opportunity to speak briefly with her Mother.  Knowing what it 's like to be inside of the vulnerability surrounding heart surgeries, she had an amazing sense of peace in her eyes and I presume those eyes have seen much more than I have seen.  She conveyed her faith in the hospital, the doctors and staff and Alyssa's great strength and perseverance.  Whether she knew it or not, she gave me the greatest gift, a heightened sense of hope.  She's been on her journey with Alyssa for 18 years.  I barely have 2 years under my belt with Rosie.  It was perfect timing for me.  It felt like a little booster shot for this next surgery.  

I was gratefully humbled and given a new sense of encouragement and air to our journey.  Thank you to the Esposito Family for sharing your lives and your story.  You just filled up my gas tank for this ride.