February 3rd. It's a day I've been reminding my husband of for a month. A day I've anticipated for such a long time. A day I was determined to celebrate. And then I almost forgot about it.
Finally, at 11 p.m., we broke out the Diet Coke and toasted. The moment passed in silence, heavy with unspoken emotion. I settled back on the couch and watched with That night, while the nurses changed shifts and the PICU was closed, Chris and I sat in some restaurant in Dallas--I still don't remember which one--and clinked together our glasses. She'd made it. We'd made it. She looked terrible on the outside but would now live. It was an amazing combination of rejoicing and unspeakable exhaustion at the same time. I can't remember if we said a single word over dinner.
Last night, we again sat in silence, toasting the same drink. But this time, the silence wasn't heavy with unspoken words, fears, anxiety. It was with deep satisfaction. As the glasses clinked it was as if an enormous sigh filled the room, a collective letting go of breath held for months. Looking back is often easier than looking forward. If only I could've seen, that early August morning, us last night. She made it. We made it.
She has a thin scar on her chest. We have a thin scar on our own hearts. Signs of a battle fought and won. We almost forgot to celebrate, and even the near-forgetting was a gift.