Seventy-three days ago my son laid lifeless on a hospital bed while a machine pumped blood out of his body through an oxygenator and back in.
Seventy-three days ago a mother woke up early to feed her baby after struggling through a sleepless night.
Seventy-three days ago I watched with fear and hope as a nurse, profusionist and doctor entered our room at Children's to take my son to St. Mary's Hospital.
Seventy-three days ago dirty diapers, laundry piling up and getting her baby down for a nap were her frustrations.
Seventy-three days ago my son was transported into an ambulance and out of my sight.
Seventy-three days ago she thought about how she was going to shower and make dinner when her baby wouldn't let her put it down.
Seventy-three days ago I drove a route from Minneapolis to Rochester that I would soon learn by heart.
Seventy-three days ago a mother watched as her child began to learn more about this world. Laughing, smiling and growing.
Seventy-three days ago I met a new medical team, a new family, that would hold my hand through the darkest times of my life.
Seventy-three days ago she read her baby a story, sang them a song and laid them into their crib.
Seventy-three days ago I cried tears of joy at hearing that my son was officially listed for a heart transplant.
Seventy-three days ago she said goodnight to her baby, kissing their forehead and inhaling their intoxicating scent.
Seventy-three days ago I said goodnight to my baby and left him under the supervision of medically trained strangers.
For seventy-three days we waited for Finn's gift. On our side of this equation the wait was too long but on the other side it happened too soon. Every one of those days a mother looked lovingly at her child, not knowing that all too quickly the light in her baby's eyes would fade and she would be forced to choose how to honor her little one. I thought about her every day. How I wish I could tell her to enjoy every moment because soon she would have to say goodbye. Never for one moment did I wish her pain or loss. Every single day I have been scared that it was my last with Finn. Each time I look in his eyes I have worried it that the next time I would see darkness. The complexity of this situation is not lost on me.
There is so much hope ahead of us now. We will honor our new, perfect, angel heart with the best life. We will teach this heart compassion and empathy. We promise to bring this heart on family vacations and let this heart fight with it's big brother over toys. We promise to no longer take life or health for granted.
No words will ever comfort the family that lost their child. No amount of love, light or prayers will make their loss feel less heavy. I am grateful. They chose life. Because someone said yes my son has a chance to live. The amount of gratitude I have for this family is immeasurable. My body is overflowing with feelings that have no names.
My son has a new heart after seventy-three days of waiting.