Today Anna would have turned 12. Sometimes it’s hard to believe how many lives were touched from the first day that we found out She had a major heart defect to the day She got to celebrate her new birth.
As I look back on things; a number of thoughts enter my mind:
I hope that one day, I can see as well as my daughter, who happened to be blind. Generally, being blind means that you cannot see. Anna however could see things much more clearly that just about any of us. Anna knew no discrimination to others. Without much sight and with no hearing (without her cochlear implant on) she did not judge based on color of skin, sound of voice, brand of clothes, or neighborhood in which you lived but only in ones love for an individual.
I hope that my faith can be as strong as Anna’s. I have no idea exactly how, but Anna knew weeks before her death that she would soon die. After She was turned down for a heart transplant I talked to her about what that meant and what the future would hold. I can’t recall if She actually had her implant on or if the batteries were still working. Really I was trying to reassure myself – Because at 46 (with a limited medical background) I didn’t and don’t get it so how could an 11 year old get it”? I truly believe that She was close enough to God to “get it”. As the final weeks were going on, Anna would reassure me, signing to me that She was “finished”(the word She elected to use) (and not while we were working on a lesson – often while she was snuggled in and resting comfortable with normal respiratory rate and effort) and then simply returning to snuggle with one of those great Anna hugs. She was comfortable and content, knowing what her next step would be and needed to reassure me with a hug.
I hope that I can bring out the best in people. While Anna was hospitalized we had many offers from people to help and we had many people who just did things to help. While we appreciated the offers, we really appreciated the doers. The last thing most of us, who are in a stressful situation, want to do is to ask a friend to perform a task. Thank you to the people who mowed our lawn without asking, who changed their schedule to watch Danielle during emergencies, who just showed up with food, who brought snacks for the Nurses as well as us, who left the safety of the hospital to pick up food and Diet Coke (in a not so nice area of town), who told us to just go – We’ve got your house and Lakin taken care of, who sent balloons and chocolate, who prayed for us as well as Anna. Thank you to the new friends that we have made during stressful times and to the old ones who have and continue to stick by us
Thank you to the individuals who have shared their story of how a little girl who couldn’t see or hear helped them to see and understand. If you feel like adding on, feel free to post and Do Something Nice, for Someone Else, Everyday.