As I reflect on our recent trip to Philadelphia, I cannot get certain images out of my head. All of those images take place within the halls of CHOP. Each day at CHOP brings with it a range of emotions and activities. Some moments good, some bad. Some tears, some joy. And lots and lots of waiting. If I close my eyes, I can see the hallways clear as day.
I see the children riding their Playskool tricycles with oxygen tanks and NG tubes in tow.
I see the children who underwent heart transplants walking with their IV poles and their parents with cautious optimism in their eyes.
I see the new mom, in her pink CHOP robe, being wheeled to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit to spend precious moments with her ailing infant.
I see beyond-nervous parents waiting for their child's surgeon in the consultation room.
I see countless nurses and doctors hovering over cribs, occupied by CHD warriors.
I see familiar faces of those whom we've shared this journey and mourn the loss of those who I want to see dearly.
But the most touching moments I saw at CHOP during our last visit remain . . . Hope and the Will to Live.
Since Zoe's birth, my eyes have opened to a much bigger, and better, world. It is true, in order to be fully aware and alive, you must experience greater joys and greater pains. But how else can one truly live if you're not fully present? As I walked the halls of CHOP in September, I was fully aware - taking it all in.
I wondered, as I walked and read the quotes mounted on the walls, How could I have missed these plaques before? Words of wisdom from those who've passed before us.
I see, in the forefront of my mind, myself.
Me, alongside my daughter, fighting. Fighting for life. The Hope in my eyes and her Will to Live. I love you Zoe Madison and am so proud to be your mom. I will fight with you, and for you, as long as I live.
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