Friday, November 05, 2010
On this day.
"What's this!," Jordan asked me last summer, as he pointed to the surgical line stretching vertically down the middle of his chest. I paused for a minute to try and gather myself; and I wondered how I could explain the scope of it all to someone so young. Flashes of the hospital, of the machines, of Breanna's face rushed through my mind instantly. Tears, pain, hope and rebirth.
"That's a scar you got when you were a brand new baby." I said. "You had to get a new heart, so the doctors opened up your chest, put one in, and then sewed you back up."
"With a needle?" Jordan asked, incredulously.
"Yeah... kind of. A very special needle."
"Needles are for grown ups." He replied.
"Yes." I said. "They are. But you needed a new heart,because your heart was broken. So they had to do it." At that point, I showed him the framed picture of Breanna and Jordan as babies, which I kept in the office bookshelf.
"This is the little girl who gave you her heart."
"Her name was Breanna."
He stared at the picture silently.
Mina: "How come I didn't get a new heart? I want one too!" The two of them began yet another round of sibling rivalry and I turned my attention to something else.
But on this day, I'm reminded of Jordan's question. It was one of the first times I can remember him asking directly about his heart. And the story that goes with it.
On this day,
an angel was born.
She graced us for just a short spell.
Like a rainbow, or the rays of the sun shining through the clouds across the ocean when it sets. The moment lasts for just a few minutes; but the memory remains in your heart forever.
Each year, I reserve this day to remember Breanna Maree. And this year is no different. This is the angel that saved my son. Her heart kept my son alive when just about everyone else had given up hope. She saved his life. One day, he will be old enough to understand just how lucky he was. One day, he will realize that he was given a second chance at life by someone whose own was cut short too soon. That will always be the bittersweet note that makes me pause when I see that scar.
Had she lived, she would have been six today. Rest in peace Breanna. Two hearts became one on January 26, 2005.
We will never forget.