I am blessed.
I was blessed to have been given Natalie in my life.
Last night Natalie and I were in church for her first Communion practice. And I only caught myself crying once. Which is a really good thing. You see, for the past few months, every time that I have thought on the awesomeness of Natalie receiving her first Communion, I have cried.
She and she alone has overcome so much. From the reoccurring cholangitis (infections in her bile ducts and liver), to the transplant itself, her hepatic artery clotting, a major bleed (we almost lost her that day – the blood pressure plummeting, the heart rate racing…), then rejection, then rotovirus, then her portal vein clotting, then cancer (PTLD) and the marrow biopsies and the lymphadenectomy, and the biliary drain she had externally strapped to her for 2 years – who remembers “Tubie” the PTC tube? And then the portal vein clotted again, and then there was the H1N1 and pneumonia and the broken collar bone…that last one seems so very minor…
And yet, God gave His only Son to her (and us) because He loves her and wants her to be with Him in heaven someday.
Buying her dress with my mom – tears.
Having her try on the dress (she was sick when we went shopping) – lump in my throat.
This past Sunday when our priest said, “One more week,” as he blessed her during Communion – more water works.
And then there we were at her 1st Communion practice last night. Well, I think I did pretty good. She walked up to the front of church, and I held it together. She practiced the Responsorial Psalm in the front of church and I beamed. But it was her answer to a question from a teacher that drew on more water works. “Can anyone tell me what you will say to Jesus, in your silent prayer time after Communion?”
Natalie: “Thank you.”