Don’t let it take anymore.

Yesterday was a difficult day in the Heartland.

Many hearts were broken as we lost one of “our boys” to CHD.

The thing about being in this world of broken hearts is that you form a bond with other mother and parents going through similar journeys.

So, when one of the tiny fighters loses his battle, it shakes the whole community.

We mourn with the mother whose heart is broken and arms are empty.

We mourn with the father whose dreams for his son are shattered in an instance.

We mourn for the family and friends that love(d) that little one.

We mourn for each other as a sisterhood of broken spirits – knowing all too well that the prayer we speak over our children after a devastating loss is, “Please spare my child.”

When I woke up and saw the news of the passing of a tow headed little boy I loved from afar, I didn’t shed a single tear.

I had cried my share the night before as I hit my knees in prayer asking – begging – for a miracle.

My sadness, worry, and fear for him and his parents who felt helpless as doctors and nurses “worked” on their child  was suddenly replaced with an emotion I didn’t expect.

Anger.

I was angry that a little boy who fought so hard was taken from this world all too quickly.

I was angry for his parents who had moved mountains for his care felt trapped.

I was angry that the story that transpired from a mom who took her son to the emergency room for a cough turned a mother who would leave without her child.

I was angry that the simplest of things that normal, healthy hearts encounter caused this much devastation.

I was angry and saddened that the strongest of the strong in the Heartland – the women who hold me up and are the leaders in this community – confessed of “cracking,” breaking, helpless.

I was angry that every fear and worry for my own child I had buried had suddenly resurfaced and put me in a strong hold.  Holding me against my will to the land of hope.

I was angry that the doubts for the path I chose for Evan suddenly became a beast once again…after I had tackled it him head on and defeated it.

I was angry that people who don’t know him will just be saddened by his death…but won’t speak up further for his legacy…won’t advocate just witness…refuse to empathize rather just sympathize.

I was angry that the helplessness that I feel in times like this is everything I have been fighting against.

My angry heart mourned with the Heartland and it aches for my friend.

Anger, though, is a powerful emotion.

It is primal.  Raw.

It stirs up deep emotions that can drive one to do things…change things.

My anger passed but I let it feed my hope.

I didn’t let it take it.

I didn’t let the anger take the one thing that gives this community the strong heart for change for the tiniest broken hearts we love.

While the devastation of losing a child in the Heartland shakes us to the core, I never want to forget every emotion I felt the moment I find out another one has earned his Angel wings.

Those faces that I have grown to love –  Baby Ben, Hayden, Rowan, and Finley – cannot be forgotten in the anger that we feel.

Those faces have to be reminders that hope is still possible.

Hope that their lives will be reminders to others to cherish every moment.

Hope that health is to not be taken for granted.

Hope that the mountains they moved for their children for their medical care will be an example to others.

Hope in the midst of the grief we still find joy – joy in the life these children lived.

Because these children lived full lives despite their diagnosis.

Because these children lived and thrived thanks to medical advancement and yes, prayers.

Because these children lived with purpose…for purpose.

Because we can’t let hope be taken from us in the midst of our anger.

CHD is taking our children…don’t let it take anything more.