You may or may not have heard my story. Spoiler alert...it's one of survival. I started my own little celebration day three years ago when I survived a 20+ foot fall down an empty shaft. Each year on May 17, I like to celebrate the survivors among us. This year, I am celebrating these two precious beings.
Charlie and Chris were born at 28 weeks and spent the first few months of their lives fighting, surviving. Chris spent three months in the hospital to finish developing his sweet, premature body. Little Miss Charlie had an even more dramatic debut into the world...women are like that sometimes. We need to keep everyone on their toes.
While in the NICU at McLeod hospital in Florence, SC, it was discovered that Charlie had a narrowed aorta and had to be transferred to MUSC NICU in Charleston, SC. She needed heart surgery, but had to be at least five pounds before the doctors would operate. So fight she did. She fought for weight. She fought against her underdeveloped heart. She fought for survival. Once ready, one heart surgery wasn't enough for our Fighter of the Year, she had to go under again for a heart cath...but a SURVIVOR was born.
When a small child fights for survival, I know from first-hand experience that his/her parents suffer most. Chris and Charlie will not remember those days in the hospitals. They will not remember the surgeries, doctors, poking and prodding. They will not remember the long nights and traumatic days. But Mom and Dad will. Mom and Dad, Abby and Wade, will always remember the moment their children were born. They'll remember the fear and helplessness they felt as their children fought for their lives. They'll remember the financial burdens and the long travel between Chris in Florence and Charlie in Charleston. They'll remember their pleas to God to help their precious babes. Chris came home a month before Charlie, so these newlywed parents had to split their time, barely sleeping or surviving themselves.
But the joy comes with the morning.
When Chris and Charlie entered the world, a whole family of survivors was born. Wade, Abby, Chris and Charlie, all had to learn to survive. And they did. On Christmas day 2017, Charlie came home and the Reynolds family became whole for the first time. Today, we celebrate this family of survivors. We celebrate your tenacity, your love, and your witness. Thank you for sharing your story.
"Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5