I am a different person.
Tonight I was updating my kids about a heart friend who has a little baby (Capri) that is struggling after surgery. She had her surgery on Wednesday and just barely able to open her eyes today, Saturday. My kids and I are so so happy that Capri was opening her eyes at least, as we have been praying for and worrying about her all week.
I said our family prayer and asked Heavenly Father to bless the heart babies and their families. When I was finished Carson said, “I wish little babies didn’t have to go through stuff like that. I wish that there was no such thing as heart defects” and started to cry. He didn’t understand why God would make us go through trials–even saying Heavenly Father made the trials and was pretty upset about it. He was trying to be tough. He closed his eyes and tears streamed down his face, all while telling me he was ok. I explained first and foremost that a lot of trials He allows us to go through are because of other people’s agency. And that so often we create our own trials. But that yes, He can stop all the bad things from happening but that He allows them to happen because He knows what is in store for us and the people we need to become. He still wasn’t satisfied. So I made him come sit on my lap and gave him a hug. My other kids became very subdued and they all looked at me.
Let me say first before I continue, that I’ve not thought about death in my entire life put together as much as I have the last 7 months.
Being on the facebook heart parent group has been a wonderful blessing. These are amazing people I get to associate with. They strengthen me by their examples. They are going through incredibly hard trials–things that I didn’t even know existed before Ruby’s birth. We have been very lucky to have escaped a lot of what they are going through. It was all a possibility for Ruby the whole time–she could have started having blue spells, her oxygen saturation could have been lower. She could have had to be life-flighted to PCH right after birth. The risks of surgery could have taken her life. She could have needed a surgery the week of birth, and multiple surgeries throughout her life. Her little heart could have failed. As I’ve said in the past, we’ve heard of babies with Tetralogy of Fallot dying. Or needing heart transplants when things don’t go right after surgery.
The day we were discharged, Ruby was being listened to by two cardiologists and one of them looked at me and said, “She just may be one of the lucky few with Tetralogy of Fallot who will only need this one surgery.” That is what we prayed for. That is what we asked everyone to fast and pray for. We were specific in asking what others pray for–two wards fasted for us and they were specific asking Heavenly Father to bless Ruby to only need one surgery.
So back to tonight. I looked at my children’s sweet innocent faces. They were genuinely sad about these heart babies. I told them it was ok to be sad. I told them that Heavenly Father and Jesus even cry with us– even though They know everything and They know it will all work out in the end for us. I told them a couple stories in the scriptures that let us see Their goodness and compassion, and how much They love us and don’t want us to have to go through these things.
I asked them–are you a different person now than before Ruby was born? This is the question that finally got Carson to stop crying (though I was ok that he was sad–I’m such a firm believer to grasp those feelings and really feel them and work through them). They all replied that yes, they were different. I asked them if they were better or worse. They all said they were better. I said, “Would you want to be the person you are now or the person you were before?” they said the person they are now. And then I asked why they thought they were different and a better person now. Carson and Devon answered together, “Because we are closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus” and Carson added, “and closer to each other.” We talked about trials and how they make us into different people, but most likely into better people if we trust God and allow ourselves to become who He wants us to. I asked them, “So do you think that Heavenly Father had a reason for sending Ruby to us with a heart defect?” And they answered yes. I told them that Heavenly Father doesn’t like to see us sad, but if we turn to Him and let us be strengthened and trust Him, we will become better people and more importantly, the people He needs us to be.
It was wonderful.
Yet others pray…others pray and pray and yet the answer is no, they cannot keep them on Earth. They lose their baby and have to wait a lifetime to be reunited with them. And their world is shattered. How do they do it? The answer is: they have to. There isn’t a choice, is there?
Originally posted on family blog January 15, 2014