Shortly after Kezia’s initial pediatrician appointment, we were given the possibility of having an MRI to determine brain structure and development. Neither Jon nor I have ever had an MRI and we had no idea what to expect. Oh be still my beating heart — she was so little in such a big machine!!! It just seemed to swallow her whole!! My mother heart just ached as we stood guard {thankfully in the same room} and watched the countdown clock as it made its way through the stages of the test. We were told that they don’t typically do MRIs on infants because of the sedation issue. Kezia was not sedated, but cooperated fully, and the tests came back clear and with encouraging results. We received the good news on the day of our wedding anniversary. We were celebrating eight years of marriage and our geneticist called to tell us that her brain had, in fact, fully developed. Though it was smaller in structure, all the parts were there, and that was a very good thing.

If you’ve gone through any kind of testing with someone you love, in particular your kids, you are very familiar with the particular pain and challenge of waiting. It seems you’re always waiting for something. Waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting for appointments. Waiting for test results. Waiting for more symptoms to show up or something new {and bad} to happen. Waiting is hard work. Kezia was born on June 30, and these test results had come through on July 24. A lot had happened in those few weeks, and it felt like the waiting was endless.

After her MRI appointment, Jon and I celebrated the relief of the successful completion  of the tests by going out for lunch and making a quick stop at Canadian Tire before heading home :). I found a chair to sit and feed Kezia, and a woman sat down beside me. Probably late 30s, well dressed, career gal. I’m not sure how the conversation started (I was lacking sleep, highly adrenalized and not really functioning at my finest!), but she was looking at my baby and just started talking. Here, in this simple moment, her story spilled out. No children of her own. Married, step-kids, career. Lonely. Aching. Longing to know what it could have been like… what might have been… I got the impression she didn’t talk about this much, but maybe there’s just something about the freshness of a newborn that draws feelings and thoughts out of a person.

I didn’t tell her that it was all easy and rosy moments like these quiet feeding ones. I didn’t tell her that we had actually just come from an MRI for our precious little girl to discover just how extensive her condition would be. I didn’t tell her that your heart can just know deep deep love and deep deep pain at the same time.

It was a while ago already :), but I think I smiled and said something like, “Yeah. They are pretty amazing.” In spite of the things we could be facing, I couldn’t help but be lost in the wonder of it all.

Every person has a story. Her heartache might be different, but it was leaving its mark and shaping her character and heart just the same. Some will walk through physical risks and conditions with their children. Or face cancer. Or loss through relationships that just are not what they could have been.

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What matters is not how hard it gets, but who you get to walk it through with.