meant to be

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.

November 1st, 2012 - meant to be

I wanted to be a mom long before I held a child in my arms. I knew of the joy. I knew of the hardship. I knew stories of endless sacrifice. But I didn't know the weight. I didn't know how hard it would be to endure the consequences of a single decision. I was terrified of losing Matilda. I was terrified of the new person I would become. I was terrified that I would not be strong enough.

And so I prayed.

A nurse that had never worked with us came up to me that night. She told me that while she was at mass, Matilda popped in her mind and she began to pray fervently. She turned to leave. When I told her that Matilda was getting a transplant tomorrow her mood shifted and she bounded back in my direction. "Praise the Lord," she shouted, jumping up and down. "I knew it! And you both deserve this! You have been here by her side. I see you overnight with her. This is good. God is good." I remember her words like I heard them yesterday. I had chills as she spoke.

This was meant to be.

I couldn't help but think of Missouri. There was a liver there waiting for Matilda. But not just a liver, a liver inside a beautiful two week old baby. I couldn't help but think about what those parents were going through. The immense pain. The horrible sorrow. The shock. And yet they chose amid all of that to gift us with the most blessed thing they had. The gift of life. And my mom. She was adopted in Missouri. She, too, was a beautiful gift given to my grandparents. Grandmother and granddaughter, forever joined by a place I had never stepped foot in; by a place I had never even really thought about.

Chills again. This was meant to be.

I started to think in a different way. Instead of feeling terrified, I started to feel honored. Honored for the opportunity to care for the most precious and beautiful gift I had ever received.

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