There are few events in your life where you remember EVERYTHING. One of those rare times for me was when my nephew Carter was born. It was five years ago on Monday, St. Patrick’s Day. I remember what I was wearing. I remember the 24-hours leading up to it. I remember what the air smelled like.
I was about to become an auntie for the first time and I was beside myself with lots of different emotions. Happy because … well … I was going to be an auntie … and terrified because Carter was diagnosed inutero with a Congenital Heart Defect called Tetralogy of Fallot with Absent Pulminary Valve. We would also learn of other complications and issues that would finally lead to his 99 day hospital stay complete with seven surgeries – one while he was the ripe ol’ age of six days. This little boy captured my entire heart immediately and my life was never the same. When I was at the anatomy scan for my own son three years later, I asked the doctor to explain to me what my sister was looking at during Carter’s anatomy scan and that’s when my heart sunk and the tears fell. My little guy had to fight so hard because his tiny little heart just wasn’t put together the correct way.
So here we are five years later. Every year I’m reminded of his bravery and hope someday he’ll truly know how much he has changed every person in our family for the good. In his first birthday card, I wrote him an auntie Netty poem. I hadn’t looked at it in forever, but all of these words still hold every ounce of power that they did when I first wrote them.
~~To Be YouOn the day I was told you were on your wayI smiled and thought what a beautiful dayOn the day I was told you were a boyI couldn’t help but express my joyOn the day I was told you might have a rough goI believed you’d be fine and give ‘em a showOn the day I realized you’d have to fightI cried myself into the nightOn the day I first saw your beautiful faceI wanted to stay forever in that very placeOn the day I got to touch your cheekI fell in love and my knees were weakOn the day I first held you in my armsI got a glimpse of all your charmOn the day I first heard your voiceI gave you my heart, I had no choiceOn the day you came home to stayI praised the Lord in every wayNow every single day is newAnd you’re the focus through and throughI love you for your huge, brown eyesI love you for your smile, so wiseI love you for always grabbing my noseI love you for always grabbing your toesMay rainbows and unicorns dance in your dreamsMay your beautiful soul learn to flyMay you always feel the love around youMay you see everything and try …To be braveTo be strongTo be wiseTo be you
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