Share Babyortyl

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday, August 22...1 month.

Today has been the 1 month anniversary of Oakes' transplant. One month ago, our sweet little man, that looked pretty perfect on the outside would get the most amazing gift that anyone could ever get, beautiful & healthy new pulmonary veins surrounded by perfectly healthy lungs, a gift that was essential in getting us here today.

I thought a lot about Oakes' donor today, and his donor's family. I can only imagine that their hearts were breaking today, being the day that they lost their baby. We are so very grateful for the absolutely selfless decision that they made to donate their child's organs. I pray that they find comfort today knowing that their decision saved our Oakes' life as well as several other blessed children. I mentioned right after transplant that I would love those new lungs, and I sure do. I have been loving those lungs, and loving that baby through Oakes. There isn't a day that passes that I don't think about Oakes' donor angel.

I know that Oakes has a long road ahead of him, but today I feel so blessed that he lived to get lungs, and that he has made it this far. That kid has had the odds stacked against him for so long. We have had some very scary days and nights, some gut wrenching conversations, amounts of stress, tension, and anxiety that I have not known how we would endure, and lots and lots of tears. But like you know, we have had some really good days too. I know that Greg and I both hang on to those good days, we continue to hope, and we pray for many, many more good days to come. Hundreds of them, thousands, tens and tens of thousands, as many as we can possibly get.

Over the weekend I ate lunch with a lady, a mom, that I met in the elevator on the way to the cafeteria. She also has a sick son, actually a sick foster son that she is in the process of adopting. He and Oakes have very different stories and she and I have different stories too, but we had a lot in common. At the end of our lunch we were both in tears, agreeing that we would not trade our amazing little men for perfectly healthy ones. I feel so blessed to have Oakes in my life. I love him like crazy. I love being his Momma. I am proud of him, impressed by him, confused and in awe of him - I don't know how he has done what he has done, or how he is enduring what he is enduring. I just adore him. I love him, love him, love him! Every inch of him, ever limb, every organ, every cell, I wish I could just breath him in. I love him and I am happy, happy for today.

Oakes has taught me a lot in his 165 days on earth, but one thing he has taught me is to just be here. To be here today, or be here in this minute. To see him and be with him. I can, and do, sometimes get completely overwhelmed thinking about the future, about what is next, and what it will take to get there, and what are the odds that we might get there, and on and on....but after a short time of running through these seemingly impossible scenarios I have learned to just let it go. I should say, I am learning. I am learning that if it is out of my control, or there is no answer, then there is no point in worrying about it. When I am in Oakes' room this is easy to do. I can just stand by him, touch him, watch his chest rise and fall, see him move a little, feel his now prickly hair, if I'm lucky I can look in his eyes, and I calm down and come right back into the moment. And I just am. I am here. I see him, I am here with him, and usually, when things are calm, those moments are great, and they get me through to the next moment. Sometimes when Oakes is upset I find myself telling him, "I see you", and "I'm right here" and I pray that that will help to get him through to the next moment too.

Lots of prayers of thanks tonight from our house. Thanks for those lungs. Thanks for 165 days of back to back miracles. Thanks that Oakes has the sweetest, most adorable, loving, little ray of sunshine sister that really is the best medicine for Greg and I. Thanks to our family and our friends. To all of Oakes' friends around the world that are praying for him and cheering him on. And his amazing team of nurses and doctors! Extra special prayers for our donor family as they grieve and prayers for our friends and their children that did not make it to transplant. Prayers, prayers, prayers and love.

Heart string tugs to all of you, Becky


  1. Becky,

    That was so beautiful and so well said. As a Mom of four, I am sometimes so busy that I sometimes forget to 'live in the moment' and really be present with my children... Thank you for the reminder.

    Please know that we many of our friends are praying for Oakes every day & so inspired by him & your family.

    Love & Hugs,
    Julie Nunn (Nicole Weckherlin's cousin)

  2. Becky,
    How beautiful these words are. You literally stopped me in my tracks. I know that I have told you before, but you amaze me over and over again. Your strength and hope and love are beyond words. The way that you have navigated this whole journey with a heart so full of grace and love has inspired me. Thank you for letting me, in some small way be a part of something so big!
    Happy month anniversary to oakes' gorgeous new lungs. What he has done in just a few short months is more then some people do in a lifetime. Please tell him thank you for making me want to be a better mom and friend. :)
    Chris s

  3. Happy Anniversary Mighty Oakes! You are one amazing little man!!! Becky, that was so beautifully written it brought tears to my eyes...

  4. Becky,
    That is such a beautiful post! I am sitting here uncontrolably sobbing! We all get wrapped up in the unimportant stuff in our lives and we all need to stop and take a look a what really matters the most! I am in awe of your strength and will continue to pray for Oakes and your family! To many, many great boring days ahead!
    Korie Brown

  5. Becky and Greg,

    I am sorry I missed you last night, I had a conflict I could not get out of. I especially missed seeing my Mighty Man Oakes, he gets me through a lot! You have all made my volunteering seem so "worth it" , I really look forward to my Mondays with you all and especially your kids! Let me provide a little fast forward moment for you. I have told you that 3 of our 5 kids have had heart surgery, well our son Liam, surgery at 8 months, just went off to Colgate University 2 weeks ago to play soccer for the Red Raiders...goretex valve patch and all! I know we will all be sitting in the stands some day watching the Might Man throw a TD pass or score a goal or even better yet, walk across the stage at Chaminade(sorry Greg!) and get his diploma. Please let me know if I can do anything for you, I am not just a Monday night 1 hit wonder! Stay well and you are all in our prayers as well as your special Angel donor. Your words and actions have hit so close to home...

    Jack Stapleton

  6. Becky, I dont think we have ever met, but I feel like I know you., and let me tell you that you are an amazing woman. You are dealing with such a difficult situation with grace, hope and strength. The words you write are beautiful! Little Oakes has touched so many people with his own strength and determination. Thank you for making us a part of your own miracle and giving us faith and reminding us that life really is a blessing and its the small moments that matter. Sending love and prayers to you, Becky Vitale (Andy Vitales' wife)

  7. Happy anniversary to Oakes' lungs. Today is an amazing day to have an anniversary. My parents have been married for 45 years today and still going strong. I will view it as a sign of the good years to come for you and Oakes.

    Thank you too for the amazing post - it is heartbreaking and uplifting all in one.

    Breathing healing breaths for Oakes in NYC,
    Jake, Morghan, Hayden (3yrs) and Ozzie (15 months)

  8. Prayers from Singapore that he continues to grow stronger and healthier!