He hasn’t been given much hope. Several doctors evaluated Judah’s angiogram, and each has given the same opinion – surgery can’t help. His heart defect is too severe. They say that surgery can’t repair the defect and probably would only shorten his life.
Though their explanations include a barrage of complex medical terminology, really the only thing we hear is: surgery won’t help.
When I first heard those words, I realized how much hope I put in surgeons’ hands. I never could have imagined that I’d be at a place in my life where an open heart surgery on a baby would seem like an everyday occurrence. And, when the children go in, I usually have a breezy confidence that they’ll come right back out, all patched up and whole again, well on their way to a childhood full of running and playing.
But with the doctors’ words comes a stark reality this time. And for a while, I lose a little hope. I look at sweet Judah and feel a deep sorrow. I confess I was even afraid to let myself get too close to him; imagining how much greater my pain would be if we lost him. I didn’t want to let him in because it would hurt too much to let him go.
But over the last few days, I’ve felt God whispering something new in my heart, and I find my hope restored. Carrie, this is Judah’s life! It doesn’t start the day after surgery or with a clean bill of health. He’s living his life right now. And whether his life lasts one year or 100, it is his life. In his life, he has known love. And isn’t that what is needed most of all?
I’ve heard this message as I’ve watched his nanny cuddle him, wrapped up tightly in a blanket and held close to her beating heart.
I’ve heard this message as he sat on a swing, listening to a story that his nanny read and enjoying the gentle rocking and the cool autumn breeze.
I’ve heard this message in so many little ways, each one a whisper of His grace and love. Each one a reminder that little Judah was never forgotten by the Father. Each one a sign of hope.
Though we’re praying for a miracle, we don’t know how long Judah’s life will last. (But then again, isn’t that true for everyone?) But we do know that he is not lying in a crib in a dark room. We do know that he’s not hungry or dirty or thirsty. We do know that he is loved.
And that is enough. His is a life well-lived.