I can’t even take credit for the title of my own blog post, but I’m using it just the same.
A friend of mine, ironically, one that I’ve never even met, is in an unenviable place today: in the waiting room at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital as surgeons perform a delicate surgery on her daughter’s brain. Her daughter was recently diagnosed with Moyamoya disease. After suffering from excruciating headaches for a period of time, a diagnosis was made, and the race to correct the condition begun.
Let’s back up a bit.
Andrea and I have never met.
Through the beauty of the internet, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and a mutual friend, Andrea and I have carved out a friendship. A friendship marked by coffee in the morning over frank discussions about sex, life, jobs, kids, and anything else we deem pertinent. We have commiserated over a wide variety of topics, and we have remarked how funny and ironic that we have never even actually met face-to-face.
And it doesn’t really matter.
Today she faces the one thing that separates the parent from the non-parent: a piece of herself was wheeled into surgery this morning.
I’m optimistic that all will turn out well. I’m not saying this because I’m a nurse, and because I’ve had experience with watching my own son being wheeled into surgery, but I’m saying it simply because I feel that way. I can’t explain it. Claire is in good hands. The best hands. And as one of Andrea’s friends so eloquently put: those hands will be guided by awesomeness today. It will all come together, a delicate dance between those entrusted with Claire’s care, and the girl they are all gathered around.
I wish I were closer. I wish there was more I could do, besides send a random text here and there, or post a thought on her Facebook wall. I know that as I write this, Andrea is doing her best to occupy her racing mind. She’s probably draining the battery faster on her cell phone than I could ever manage, (and that’s no small feat). She’s probably sitting quietly, wondering what is going on just a few feet away inside a cool, sterile room as the team works together for one common goal: Claire’s recovery. She’s probably shedding a few tears. She’s probably smiling, recalling times past. She’s probably doing a combination of all of the above.
No, we haven’t met, but I think I know Andrea well enough to know that she’s doing well, under the circumstances, and again, while we haven’t met, I know this: she is one of the strongest people I’ve ever not met.
And so is her daughter.
Today, I spend my day thinking about them.
And when they wheel out your sweet girl, Andrea, place all those kisses on her that you held back last night. Hug her and stroke her face, and tell her all those things you wanted to tell her last night, because they are no less important today.
Today is the first day of the rest of Claire’s awesome life.
Suck it, Moyamoya.