A picture perfect day.

There was a chill in the air.  The kind of weather that has you excited about the turn of the season.  Just enough cool to warrant a light jacket and some fuzzy blankets for the littles.  The sunshine kept the temperature at just that perfect point.  Mr. Sun, as Iz loves calls him, was working overtime.  Taking away the autumn chill as he sat in the almost clear sky – a painted blue – with just a few wisps of clouds scattered here and there.

One by one….they came up to us.

Some introducing themselves for the first time to me.

Many – closing the gap of years of not seeing each other – by just the simple gesture of showing up.

Each person, sometimes only knowing me by my words and our story, suddenly became a part of my history as they celebrated our present.

Each person, hugging me tightly, a little extra squeeze…a bit tighter than normal….almost to say, “We’re here for you today.  We’re so happy HE’s here with us today.”

My past.  Our present.  His future.

All woven together in this day.

I saw friends who’ve I’ve known longer than half my life.  Tasha, did you think we’d be here today when we donned our middle school uniforms 20 years ago?

Charae…Pam…did you think when you friended my long haired husband….well long haired then…your high school days would lead you to this moment?

Kristen, Liz, Monica – when we promised each other 15 years ago that our bonds of sisterhood would never be broken…did you ever imagine you’d be standing my side holding me up?

Rachel, Pete…did you know God’s plan through his church would form this bond of friendship between the four of us..Craig and I…as we turned to you two for the support we needed in the first moments of Evan’s diagnosis?

Angela, Becki …only knowing each other for moments…yet you came…and now that moment will forever be one I’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Mieke, Stacie, Marion, Catherine…how does it feel to know that your simple act of just being there…our acquaintance turned friendship…would mean more to me than I can even express?

Sarah, Tracey…friends who serve God and minister to my family…do you understand that God’s hand is working through you and our church as you lift up my family by all the things you do…praying, serving…and being here today?

Debi, Marissa…dear friends…who have seen me lose parts of myself the last few months…who’ve helped me pick up those pieces…and tried to put me back together…did you think there’d be a day where you’d see me smile again…like I did today?

And to the rest of our team today..many strangers to us before this moment…”A Million Hearts for Evan”…as we wore our shirts, said our hellos, ran (or walked!) the race…

Did you know what you being there means to us?

My history…pieces of who I am came together today in support of my boy.  Some pieces, honestly, unexpected.  Pieces of my past and my present that chose to make today their priority.  Make today a day where they celebrated Evan..his difficult past, his joyful present, and his bright future.

Some got to meet people in Evan’s life that literally saved his life.

All met my boy…my boy with the smile that goes for miles…as I proudly introduced my 20 pound piece of perfection.  My proud mom moment…the one I haven’t gotten until today, where I hold my boy, my best girl hugging my knee, and my best friend with his arm around all of us as I say, “This is my son.  This is Evan.”

Some…I could tell were holding back tears.  Maybe they were surprised to see how good he looks.  Maybe they were surprised to see the joy on my face.  Maybe they could feel the goodness of God surround this day…a day promised to me over and over again…one where God whispered in the loud, thundering storm, “You’ll have joy.  You will.  And Evan will be there.  Trust.in.Me.”

Today…as we raised money for the hospital that is saving my son…giving him a chance at life…I saw the beautiful tapestry of my life.  My past – the young girl in middle school and high school, the lost girl of my 20’s, the girl who became a mother…who found her God in the darkest of times as I brought into this world the light that has become hope for so many.

Today…as I was approached by one of the administrators of the Heart Center and was asked to give them recommendations on where the money raised for the Center should go. Humbled by their gesture…I spoke for all those affected by Congenital Heart Disease and said, “Use it for research.  Innovate.  Find a way to give our children more years.  Better yet…find a cure.”

My past.  Our present.  His future.

Woven together in this beautiful tapestry….all part of this journey.

All because of his story.


Thank you to all of you who came today. Thank you to everyone who donated their time for fundraising. Thank you to every person who donated….every single dollar matters.  You are not only supporting my family…you are helping every child, every family affected by congenital heart disease.  We are our children’s voices.

Thank you for hearing us.




  1. We were honored to be there, wearing those shirts. We will be there next year, and the year after, and the year after that (Evan will be RUNNING along next to us by then:).