I wasn't sure how well I would handle being back here at Boston Children's Hospital after losing Isaac here less than a year ago. Although this is the place where I experienced the very worst day of my life, it is still a place with so many wonderful memories. Most of the memories here were great ones. Walking through those doors almost feels like home. We lived here for so long and made so many great friends. The doctors, nurses, staff, other heart moms, and heart babies/children became like family. Many people here have made a special point to stop by and see us and hear the story of our adoption and how Isaac's legacy continues. To see all of the familiar faces has been great.
Almost everywhere I turn, there are so many memories. I think of all of the incredible heart warriors that I have met here. I can still picture Rita and Ethan walking the halls. I can picture Rita with her Doritos and her baby doll. I can picture Ethan at the Christmas Tree Lighting. I can picture Chloe in her KidKart being pushed through the halls. I can picture Davin, Kayla, Izaak, Pierce, Fletcher, Gideon in his cools socks, Vallerie with her adorable chubby cheeks, Evi in her purple Christmas dress, and so many more. I can picture Logan's mommy pushing him through the halls in his stroller. I can picture Lola with her cute sunglasses. I can still remember their rooms. Out of that list, only three of them are still physically here on this earth with us. There has been such loss in this place, and yet, it does not feel like a place full of sadness, but rather a place where joy and hope for the future still remains.
My mind has often wandered back to my time here with Isaac, but I have been holding it together...until today. On today's walk with Max, we walked substantially further. We walked past room 7 where Isaac spent 10 days for kidney failure last year around this time. We walked past room 20 where Isaac was first admitted when he was transferred here. We walked past room 21 where we held our baby boy in our arms for the very last time while he was still alive. We walked past room 24 in the bay, where Isaac spent his first couple of weeks after his third open heart surgery. That's the room where just he and I celebrated my birthday together.
And yet, I still held it together. That is until we walked past room 29. I started to tell Max about how that is where we lived with his brother for so many months. And the overwhelming grief hit me like a punch to the stomach and I lost it. I so wish I could have just walked into that room with Max, and Isaac would have been there again. We had so many great memories with him in that room. We celebrated Isaac's first birthday there.
We celebrated Abi's 4th birthday there.
We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas there.
We had so many great times together as a family in that room. I can still picture Abi pushing up her sleeves and washing her hands so she could rub her brother's head.
And I can still picture Koah reading and talking to Isaac.
We have so many wonderful memories within those four walls. Late nights of snuggling. Lots of reading, singing, snuggling, laughing, and being a family. And now the memories are all that I have left to last me a lifetime.
In a strange way, I feel really close to Isaac here. I am so thankful that Isaac's life was valued here and he was given a chance at life. Even until his very last breath, they fought for him. He was loved, he was valued, and he was wanted. We shared so much in this place, and I am truly grateful for those memories, but there are days when the memories just don't feel like enough. And there are days when it feels so unfair that we couldn't keep him when he was so desperately loved and wanted. Today was one of those days, and yet, I know that he IS loved, he IS valued, and he IS wanted by the very God who breathed life into him and Who held him in His arms the second he left mine. And so, even though I don't understand why, I will choose to trust Him. And I will be thankful for all of the many wonderful memories that we made here with Isaac and that we are now making here with Max.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. Isaiah 55:8