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The Journey of a Heart Parent

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Being a parent to a Heart Hero has been not only heartbreaking but equally rewarding in its own right. We’re never really fully prepared for those words:

“There seems to be something wrong with your child’s heart.”

One might never be fully prepared for what lies ahead for a Heart Mum/Dad. Dreams may seem shattered for a child you so badly wanted, the future you saw for your child was a care-free one, yet your left to face the battles of congenital heart disease. And in those moments you crumble because what “should” have been has now become what could have been.

Countless hours are spent in hospital rooms that in the end become your second home. Medication, doctors, surgeons, nurses and all things medical become a way of life, yet we somehow over time become accustomed to it.

Many times we wish we could take our children’s places. We want to ease the pain and burden of what may lay ahead for them as they silently fight to stay alive.

At first we are unaware of just how strong our children’s journeys as Heart Warriors has made us. We keep on going, we keep on living, we keep on striving because we were given a greater purpose: to be strong for them when we ourselves are weak, to advocate and be their voices when we sometimes can’t find our own voices, to never stop believing that they will live a life filled with endless possibilities.

Yes, our lives may seem a bit harder at times. It may look overwhelming, and it may even scare those who do not fully understand what we go through, but we are endlessly happy none the less. We are grateful to be able to be parents to our kids, to be able to take them to school, to kiss them goodbye, to see them have their first crush, but we are even more grateful that we get to have them in our lives at all because we know just how fragile their lives are.

As a Heart Mum of almost 13 years, I’ve felt blessed beyond measure to be able to watch my son grow into the young man he has become. I treasure every moment,  every smile, every tear, every fall, every steady heartbeat, every doctors appointment and every year that passes because I know nothing is guaranteed. I allow myself to live in the moment and savor every minute I’m able to watch my son grow.

I’m certainly a stronger person because of my son’s heart condition, and it has forever changed my perception of how life is meant to be. I’ve learned to accept what I cannot change but to also embrace what I can give my son, and that is to travel this heart journey with him every step of the way.

Being a heart parent is by no means easy, but it us one of the most rewarding journeys I’ve embarked on in my lifetime, and I’m always ready to take on whatever may lie ahed for myself as a heart mum.

To my fellow heart parents: You are strong beyond measure. You possess a remarkable strength within yourself, and there is nothing that you cannot face. Embrace that you are doing the best you possibly can do, and in the end that’s all that matters.

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Thinkstock photo by Dragon Images

Originally published: December 14, 2016
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