The 5 Love Languages of CHD: Gifts
Many people show their love through gift-giving and giving gifts to heart families is no exception. Countless meals and gift cards are distributed and fundraiser pages are shared. We’re so lucky to be in a community where even strangers are lifting you up. CHD families, especially parents, feel showered with gifts.
The gifts we would like to talk about are the kind that fill your heart with complete joy and appreciation in ways that physical gifts cannot.
The gift of hearing your heart warrior giggle for the first time. I heard from a sibling that the sound of your baby giggling was one of the most wonderful sounds you would ever hear. There is such emptiness that comes with the feeling that you might never hear the sweet giggle of your child — the child you have fought so hard to keep alive. What a gift! What a gift it is to hear those heart-melting sounds for the first time.
The gift of medical advancements. In the last couple decades there have been immeasurable developments in congenital heart disease. There are too many to name, but one in particular hits home for us. As if from a scene from Star Trek, a parent can now use an app on their phone to send information to a cardiologist about their heart warrior’s pacemaker. What an amazing gift we have with science and technology!
The gift of seeing your kid free from tubes and wires. I’m not sure if this memory sticks out for any other heart parents, but remember when you were nearing discharge and finally held your baby naked with NO wires or monitors? The kind of naked where you can hold them to your chest without wondering how much slack you have or if you’ll accidentally pull at an IV. You inch toward the hospital room door just because you can. They are covered in bruises and stickiness from leads, stitches, and IVs. I don’t know about you, but I gave a sweet gentle kiss to THAT scar. A scar I will always view as a victory and a reminder of the underestimated strength of our warriors. This is a true gift indeed.
The gift of unexpected friendship: When your child is first diagnosed it can feel so lonely. Down the road you feel so appreciative for the families you have met that can understand exactly what you are going though. Like “star crossed mothers” we meet on a path that seems meant to be. Not only a friendship for us as parents, but for our children that have each other to lean on as well. Their unforeseen friendship means they have someone to help them fight their battles side by side. An oddly unwanted yet grateful gift of friendship for your child.