Keeping track

  
In the spirit of CHD awareness month, I decided to gets Sam’s Beads of Courage in order. Each bead represents something. Maybe a day in hospital, a needle, an IV, an ambulance ride, an X-ray, a test, a clinic visit, an infection, a new medication, a special milestone, a discharge. 

In the beginning, we started with Treasure Beads from our time in Edmonton. I can’t remember exactly what each represents. There’s a few airplanes in there, some lions, lots of hearts. I remember standing in front of the cabinet with Drew and looking at all the beads and saying, “He’s had that, a few of those. Definitely one of those.” Not really processing what they stood for, just being so nonchalant about grabbing each one for his new string. 
When we returned to Calgary, the staff with Child Life really took the time to explain the program and how it was important for all of us to take time and honour each bit of our journey. I know I skipped a lot just because I had lost count of it all. But now we are very particular about our beads. One day, he can look back and see just how far he’s come, how brave he was then as a baby and how strong he is now. 

Kate has a string also. Some for being a heart kiddo herself and some for being the brave sibling of a sick kid.  
I can recognize some of the beads and what they mean now. 

The giant blue triangle for all the blood work. 

The pirate for his ptosis (droopy eyelid)

The clear glass fish for his sedated MRI. 

The Angry Bird for all the days he was on TPN and went without eating. 

The angel for his first love & little friend who passed away. 

The busy little bee for when he learned to scoot. 

The snail for when he took forever to recover from anesthesia. 

The pumpkin and the wreath for Halloween and Christmas in hospital. 

Our beads aren’t even close to being finished. We still have 6 months to catch up on. So I keep track of each one now to honour the fight. 

For him and her, for us. And for all the kids with mended or broken hearts because it’s their spirits that are made of something unbreakable.

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