Every Thursday I look back at a specific day and time that was spent with my daughter Matilda as she waited for, received, and recovered from a liver transplant. She was in the hospital for 72 days and we remained in NYC until she turned four months old.

October 29th, 2012 - okay

My papa had a small airplane when I was growing up. He loved to take me for flights, despite the fact that I held my breath and squeezed the armrests most of the time. He wanted to show me that everything would be okay. That his plane wasn't going to crash.

Living in the hospital felt like that. We had so much love and kindness being sent our way to comfort and encourage us that no matter what, we would be okay. We held on to each other as tightly as we could, we held our breath, and we tried as hard as we could to not think about the turbulence up ahead, or what was keeping Matilda afloat, or what would happen if she crashed.

They sent the head of the pediatric radiology department to ultrasound Matilda's head. To see if she had bleeding in her brain, to decide if she could still be considered a viable candidate for transplant or not. The tension and suspense in the room was like nothing I had ever felt. We were all quiet, all waiting, all watching as she moved the wand this way and that. When she finished, she looked up and gave a sigh of relief before exiting the area to talk with the doctors.

We had to wait a bit longer before getting the official results. So we occupied ourselves by reading kind words posted to our Facebook page. But those kind words had shifted since our last post. They were starting to sound like eulogies. In that moment I wasn't hurt, or offended, or angered that people were saying their goodbyes. For the first time, I understood that Matilda was not just mine. She was for everyone. She meant something to more people than I could comprehend. Their words of goodbye were for themselves. And that was okay with me.

Matilda was okay. There was no sign of bleeding. She was still on the transplant list. On the very tip-top of the transplant list! But for now, she was okay. We were okay.

In fact, we were giddy with excitement. And, for the next little while, we celebrated. We laughed, we took a break from the burden of worry. Matilda was still on life support, she was still very near her end, she still had to make it past Superstorm Sandy, but she was still on the list. And she was still in there, listening to us.

So we turned up the music, we sang to her, we read her books, and we promised to spoil her rotten, if she would just let us take her home.

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