12/31/2012 9:23 AM
By Lorelei Hill
On the cusp of a brand new year, I look back and give thanks. 2012 began with a broken promise to my husband Mike and myself. On January 1, 2012, after literally sneaking home from the hospital, I was reluctantly searching for a downtown apartment. I was leaving Mike and our children. They had little choice but to watch me go. I wondered how we'd all endure such a split.
Looking into each other's eyes at our wedding, Mike and I vowed to never live away from each other again. After a year of him in Auckland, New Zealand, and me in Ontario, Canada, we were determined to stay as close as possible. Even working together seemed like a better idea than going our separate ways each day. Mike sold his cleaning company, I left my teaching position, and together we opened Michael Hill Computers in Auckland, and then two years later moved to Ontario.
Tears filled my eyes at the thoughts of leaving Ontario for Toronto just 14 short years later. My mother packed her bags too. We’d be making the move to the city together. School, business, pets, home, and other commitments kept Mike and my stepdad behind.
Blessings often come disguised. This was true for our move to Toronto. On a snowy Toronto evening, my heart felt as though it would soon burst with loneliness for my family. At the same time, a beautiful soul left this world and in doing so gave me the gift of life. Her physical time on this earth had come to an end, but her spiritual guidance and the gift of her heart allowed mine to continue on. Three months later, I felt strong enough to continue writing. A month after that I returned home to my family.
The following July, my sister-in-law gave birth to her first child. After years of turbulence in her and her husband’s lives, they settled into a new home, found new jobs, and have a beautiful baby girl. Soon thereafter, my transplant buddy and his wife welcomed the birth of their first child, a baby boy. What a blessing.
Determined to get my shell of a body into good physical shape, I suggested to Mike that we walk to and from our computer shop each day. It isn't a long walk, but as the warm days turned into damp cold ones, and then blustery December ones, I realized the strength of the gift beating within me. No longer do I have to avoid the cold weather. For the very first time in my life I can feel the snow crunching beneath my feet and see my breath freeze in the air. Now, rather than running inside, I can continue to walk on, enjoying the beauty of winter.
At the beginning of December, my publishing team called to say that my book would be ready for Christmas. It was a scramble, but we made it. My own small personal team spun into action. Giving ourselves the bare minimum amount of time to bake, wrap, and entertain this Christmas season, 10 days before Christmas, the first shipment of books arrived, and immediately sold out.
As the Christmas festivities draw to an end, a new chapter has begun in my life and I am so very grateful to have the strength to see it through. While some of the 2012 changes seemed to be far from what I desired, in the end, God's plan revealed itself in amazing and incredible ways. The angels have whispered in my ear, and as I watch the earth angels in my family prepare for 2013 I am left with a feeling of overwhelming grace. Rather than seeking a New Year's resolution, I am more determined than ever to just be in the moment. I will smile at others, laugh often, and appreciate each and every day that comes.
Hello from Ontario, Canada! Lorelei Hill is a mother of two CHD babies, wife, writer/teacher, and a survivor of tricuspid atresia. After graduating with honors from Queen’s University in Kingston, Lorelei went on to teach and travel the world. Now settled into small town life, she is working with other CHD patients and her own cardiac specialists to complete a self-help book for young CHD families, entitled From the Heart. Click here to visit her website.
Copyright ©2012 ACHA
1 comment(s) so far...
By Melissa on
1/8/2013 9:26 AM
Re: Books, Babies and New Beginnings
I have tricuspid atresia also. How come you needed a heart transplant?