Thursday, November 25, 2010

Overwhelming gratitude

This past week, I have had a lump in my throat all week just thinking about Thanksgiving.

I have always loved Thanksgiving. I love getting together with family we haven't seen in a while. I love the smell of turkey throughout the house all day. I love mashed potatoes. There are so many things to love about this holiday. But most of all, I love what it represents - a moment of gratitude in a busy, busy world. A day to force your world to slow down just long enough to reflect on what you're grateful for. For us, this year, a moment to look at Bodie's condition for what it is. Thus, the lump in my throat. For to embrace the full gratitude of our situation, we are forced to look at the enormity of what our sweet boy faced. I am forced to take the veil off and face his mortality. Every ounce of my being has avoided doing this ever since I received his diagnosis. If I truly thought about what our sweet boy has been (and still is) up against, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning. I wouldn't be able to function, overwhelmed by "what ifs" and worst case scenarios. So, instead, I cling to my faith and my Lord's promise to take care of my family and my sweet boy, and a promise of a life after this one sweeter than we can possibly fathom. And every single day I wake up and intentionally focus on God's promises. And my sweet boy's face. And life is good.

But on today, the day of Thanksgiving and thanking God, I must come face to face with the enormity of what Bodie is facing, in order to receive the full gift of gratitude for how far he has come. You see, the good and bad go hand in hand. In order to fully appreciate the good, you must face how bad it was, and how much worse it could have been. It has been a rough year for the CHD community, to be sure. We have far too many new angels up in heaven watching over us, sweet babies taken far too soon. (I've blogged of some of them here, but many times it is just too overwhelming for me to write.) My heart has broken a hundred times over for the mothers and fathers who are grieving today, with empty arms. And my heart still breaks for the CHD warriors in the hospital today, fighting their own battles - Jilly, Aidden, Aurelia, Kennedy and Will to name just a few.

As you all know, Bodie had an exceptionally rough start. He has endured far more than any baby should have to. But we have so so so very much to be grateful for. Things could have been so much worse. Bodie is doing amazingly well. He is smiling, and laughing, and rolling, and tripoding (sitting by balancing on his hands, for those of you without kids!), and standing (with help, of course), and playing with his sister like any other baby, and just, well, being a BABY. ALL the things we prayed so ferverently for. If you didn't know what this sweet boy had been though, you would never guess unless I showed you his scars. He is pudgy (well, his cheeks are) and an unabashed flirt. We love him and could not be more grateful for him if our lives depended on it. The other night, Bodie and Sierra were in the bathtub playing together and he was just cracking up at her (she was pretending to take medicine through a syringe and he, for some reason, thought it was hilarious) and all I could think was that this is exactly what I had imagined and prayed for when I found out we were pregnant with a second child. Our lives are so good. God is so good.

So today, we say THANK YOU for so much. For our sweet warrior boy and his cheeky personality. For our beautiful big girl whose heart has grown exponentially to accomodate the half that her little brother is missing. For our friends and family that have come alongside us this past year and fought for us, and loved us, and held us up when we simply didn't have the energy to keep walking. For the amazing heart community that I have had the privilege of being adopted into by virtue of my baby's broken heart. For my fellow heart moms who walk this path with me, with courage and with love. For every moment that has brought us here.

We wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving, full of love and thanks.

the Bennett family


  1. Amy- It's hard for me to read this post-wishing that our outcome was different, but I'm so thankful for Bodie's life and for your friendship.

    Happy Thanksgiving! :o)

  2. Grateful to come across this posting! I'm a 28 year CHD survivor and Angel Mom and today I focused on all the things I am grateful for as well ... God Bless Brodie and your family!!! Happy Thanksgiving :)

  3. Hi there I am one of many single moms and I find your site very interesting. I hope I have much time each day to drop by and check your site for recent post. By the way thank you for sharing this.

  4. My darling Bodie. I gave God thanks for YOU yesterday, my love. You have made a huge difference in my life already! I love you so much. May God continue to bless u, baby, and give biiiig hugs to your beautiful sister for me.

    Amy, I think you are amazing. May God continue to bless u and Dusk.

    Loads of Love,

    Nairi n family

  5. I've fallen in love with Bodie. Bummer there is a 52 year age difference! ;-)