To My Wife, This Coming Mother's Day

I remember when you first found out you were going to be a mother. The disbelief and overwhelming excitement of bubbling intensity. Unsure of what true emotion to feel, we embraced one another and leaned on our unconditional love and faith to guide us through. It’s ironic that these same pillars of our relationship are what we would need to rest on heavily sooner than later. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to bask in the joys of pregnancy for long because we were given a different journey. Your path has never truly been the typical path and you have never been a typical mother. You are far beyond the typical in all you do, and motherhood is no exception. You are always perceptive and aware, constantly observing and analyzing, but even with those admirable qualities, nobody could predict your true calling.

I vividly remember when you first found out our baby would be born with a congenital heart defect (CHD). I remember the anxiety of the ultrasound. I remember the tremble in your hand. I remember the tears in your eyes. The car ride home, the vulnerability and the confusion of how this could be our story all resonate deeply in my soul. I mention these moments because they are the last days I remember of the woman I met and married. From that point on, you evolved into the new and improved version of that woman and I am still amazed at that transformation daily.

Since that moment, until long after you read this, you have been a fierce advocate and a perfect example of a nurturing and invested mother. “Inspiring” doesn’t begin to encapsulate the way you attacked this diagnosis and all of the pertinent information that comes along with it. You immersed yourself in the CHD community learning as much as you could about Avery’s condition, its pitfalls and how we were going to mitigate its effects as best we could. None of this was easy as we stared in the face of the “what ifs” that lurked in our minds. The uncertainty of it all can leave you searching for more and more information, which once obtained, doesn’t necessarily subside the fear and anxiety of the imminent future.

I mention all of this because I want you to know that I see you. I see you hurdling these obstacles as they are thrown at you with intent and grace. I see you losing sleep and how it chips away but still finding the energy to flash a refreshing smile and hearty laugh. I see you trying to be the best mother, wife, therapist, cardiologist, activist, pre-school teacher and many more things that you can be. I see you trying to remain perfect in an imperfect world and it inspires me. I see how hard you push yourself, but more importantly, I understand why. I see you reaching out to help other heart families, recognizing that we are part of a larger community of heart parents.

I see this and so much more when I look at you. You are the perfect mother for the perfect little girl and I am truly the lucky one. The other day I mentioned to you how I really thought you were an outstanding mother and you looked back at me with disbelief. Let me assure you there should never be a single doubt in your mind on whether or not you are a great mother. Your love, compassion, attentiveness, patience and drive are unquestionably why our family enjoys so much happiness. I want you to know you should always be confident of how well you are doing everything. You deserve every blessing you receive and all those that are still to come. I wish you calm and peace on this, your third Heart Mother’s Day. May the serenity you deserve be all that you need it to be. I will always see you because I can’t take my eyes off of you.

Love, Brett

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