It is late, 10:30pm, and I realize that some of you that have been following Harper's progress may not read this until morning. I apologize if you went to bed with a heavy heart, but I thank you again for the continued prayers for her recovery.
Good news! She is off the vent!! The doctor came back this evening, said she was breathing on her own, and that it was time. I went back to the room to wait with Nick and when we came down the hall the nurses were flagging us down. "Take a look, Mom. You still got your wish."
The sight of my precious girl without all of the tubes in her face will forever hold a special place in my heart. It was pure joy. It IS pure joy! Nick and I stood on opposite sides of her bed just staring down at the miracle before us. Her little chest was rising and falling with a smooth rhythm. A waltz rather than a samba like before. After staring at her for what felt like several minutes we locked eyes with each other, smiled, and met at the foot of the bed in an embrace that said more than words ever could. "Happy Birthday, Mama," he said, grinning behind his scruffy chin. The doors were open and I was a bit embarrassed that the nursing staff was sharing our intimacy, but then I thought to myself, "Let 'em look. This is the real stuff. The good stuff."
Since she was resting peacefully we went down to the room to wait on friends who were bringing us dinner. We laughed and the laughter felt like the melting of glaciers made of fear and uncertainty. Tiny trickles of hope danced around the air in our room dampening our skin with visions of our family all together again. I miss my children and I love my husband.
A few hours later, that same sweet nurse, the sweet blonde from our first night in the hospital nine moons ago, peered around the door of the hospitality room, "She is asking for you, Mom."
Knowing that she asked for me, for Mama, was the icing on the cake. I tried not to sprint down the hallway into her room. There she was, blonde curls piled on top of her head, looking up at me with her piercing baby blue's from underneath that same Tinker Bell blanket. I couldn't kiss her enough. Nick followed shortly behind me, placing his hand on my back as he too leaned over into her sleepy face. We stood there together watching her breathe, grinning like monkeys. I fell for him all over again as he delicately spooned ice chips into her baby bird mouth.
"My cup runneth over." Another one of my favorite movie quotes. This one is from Hope Floats, which I shamelessly watched five times at the movie theater and countless times since then.
In the middle of this dark hospital room I feel hope flowing through my veins. My daughter is lying beside me...breathing! Yes, she still has several tubes and cords, but little by little she is proving that she doesn't need them. Earlier today I felt hopeless because things didn't go my way. Not completely hopeless, mostly frustrated. But what mama wouldn't feel that way? It is my job to love that girl, both girls, so much that it hurts sometimes. And it does, sometimes. But not now. Hurt was replaced by hope the same way fear was replaced with faith. Hope and Faith.