Three years ago at this moment I was sitting in a room in a hospital waiting. Restlessly waiting, for the heart surgeon to stop by. It was a beautiful cold and sunny day, just like today. Christi was there. She had flown in from New York City for a couple of days. Mr. and Mrs. Burns were there. Mrs. Burns quietly reading, Mr. Burns checking his Blackberry, making sure every one was taken care of. We were a bundle of nerves.
Lily had gone into surgery earlier that morning. Open-heart surgery. Not your normal lets change a valve or two surface scratching in your chest cavity brand of surgery you hear are so routinely done these days. The doctor was going to stop her heart, cut into her heart, sow up a tiny little hole in the middle of her heart, and then close it all up in hopes to alleviate the cause of her recent stroke.
A little past 11 that morning, the doctor came in. He spoke with us and told us that the surgery had been a success. Just a short 8-10 minute operation. A routine task, for him, as he had developed this procedure. Lily would be in the ICU soon and we would be able to see her soon.
At half past noon, we were allowed to go see Lily. I still remember her laying there in the bed, with all those tubes in her. Later, as she awoke from the anesthesia, still groggy from the surgery and the pain drugs, she turned and smiled at me. I felt relief. The beginning of the road to recovery and physical healing for Lily and for us. The stroke that happened earlier that summer had been a life-changing incident. The open-heart surgery repaired that little hole, the culprit, of that devastating event. It did not stop us. We were moving on.
The last three years have been some of the best of my life. We still live with the aftermath of a stroke and open-heart surgery. This is now a part of our story. I am still amazed at her strength of will and at her courage. We were both lucky. Living in Boston. Close to such great medical centers. An incredible support group of friends and family. But most of all, I am lucky for still having Lily in my life. Thanks for all that you are and all you mean to me. Besos.
If you want to know more about stroke and heart disease, please visit the American Heart Association web site. Please help stop the number 1 killer of moms, daughters, sisters, friends, and lovers in this country. Know the signs.