It’s been seven years. Seven long, yet short years since Ken and I sat in a waiting room in Boston Children’s Hospital first waiting to hear what surgery they were going to perform and that it was complete. It seems like yesterday, at the same time a lifetime ago.
Every year Ken and I go back and reread my blog entries and all of the comments from that days and weeks following surgery. It means so much to us the support we got and continue to get from all of you. Some years Ellie asks to see pictures. Hopefully one of these years she will go back and read the entries and know how much she was, and still is, supported and loved.
I wanted to link you all back to those entries in case you would like to reread and revisit again with us this year. Start at the bottom and work your way up.
This year, like every year, it is celebrated in our house like a holiday. We figure if she hadn’t had the new life that the surgery afforded her, we wouldn’t have her – so it should be a holiday.
The day started with a bus ride to school and then back in the afternoon.
The girls and I met Ken back at home and headed out for our traditional Heart Day fare, chicken wings. I know – not the most heart healthy, but it’s what she always wants so… This year we were scared we wouldn’t be able to find her the buffalo wings that she really likes but with a little internet search on Ken’s part we found the perfect spot, Smokey’s BBQ and American Smoke House. It’s actually really close to us, only a short bus or taxi ride away.
We were not disappointed. The wings were big and spicy and very good. Ken and I partook in a green beer called the Monster Green lager by Red Dot brew house here in Singapore. It is green because it is actually made with algae called spirulina. Believe me, it doesn’t taste like algae at all. It’s a very good beer.
We sat at an outside table on a deck surrounded by tables full of Americans. There are not a lot of Americans living here in Singapore and there were more Americans at Smokey’s last night than I have seen anywhere together at one time except for at Ken’s college. Almost like if we were at home at a wings place. We stuck up a conversion with the table of 8 Americans sitting beside us. They asked what we were celebrating and Ellie said Heart Day.
The lady beside me spoke up and said really? My son across the table had open heart surgery 16 years ago. He had Tetralogy of Fallot and had surgery when he was 7 months old. It’s amazing that there would be another American at the next table with a child with a congenital heart defect and that we would meet them on Heart Day. She told me the doctors they like and trust and numbers and email addresses were exchanged.
I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. I believe we got the gift of Ellie for a reason, she was born in Leeds so she could have Dr. Thomson who pushed for the best surgery, we went to Boston so they could do a repair that no one in all of England or parts of America would attempt, and now I know deep down that we sat by that woman and her son at a buffalo wing place on Heart Day in Singapore for a reason.
What an amazing end to Heart Day.