June 28, 8:01 p.m. Hi Emily- how far are you from the U of M amplatz? I would like pictures of Grayson and wondering if your interested. His diagnosis is not good and we are not sure if he will make it out of the hospital. I want to remember the little details about him if this happens. What is the price if it's not too far and if your interested. Hope all is well! Xoxo. Thanks. Katrina
My gosh! Did I just read that right?!? (me skimming the email) "his diagnosis is not good." "not sure if he'll make it out." "What is the price?" "xoxo" What! I can't believe it. What is going on?
June 29, 2:30 p.m. After a few messages and a little coordination, I ended up here. Parked in front of this colorful architecture. I grabbed my camera, took the shot, and dialed. 320.630.xxxx. "Hey Katrina." "Yep, I'm here." "I don't see it, but I'll head that way."
"Okay, Yes, I found the green ramp." "I'll see you in a minute."
There she was.... waiting for me. We exchanged smiles and a fierce hug.
We sat and talked for a while. She shared the details of her pregnancy, the startling 2nd trimester news, "my baby has a heart defect", their plan, her delivery, and her scary week that led up to her 8:01 p.m. message to me. I cried. I apologized for crying. She assured me this was okay, but it didn't ease the pain I felt for her. She just looked at me with a smile and explained why she was out of tears, but I knew she was exhausted.
We continued talking as we rode the elevator. Honestly, I was too nervous that I don't recall what we spoke about. We walked a few halls then stopped here... C3121. It was dark inside. She looked at me and said, "He'll have lots of cords around him." I teared up. "It's okay, everyone cries when they walk in."
Quietly, she opened the door and I followed her in.
She leaned against the bed rail, and I pulled out my camera. I just stood there. I intentionally hide behind my camera because I knew this would be hard. As I stood there watching this mother, a former full-of-joy bride of mine, I couldn't help but imagine myself in her situation. I felt weak. I felt mad. I felt like yelling for her. But she just stood there. I knew the sound of my shutter would pull her out of this moment, so I waited a bit longer...
As I stole this photo, she nodded and asked me to proceed with my assignment.
A soft voice echoed, "Did you get everything you needed?" Yes... Yes, I did.
She walked me out, we took the car down two floors, and we stood here & spoke softly for another 20 minutes. She shared her plans to discuss the options with the doctors. She was excited about going to Boston!
A day or so later, I saw the news! The doctors gave approval - they just landed in Boston!
I've been following Grayson's progress for the last few weeks, and today I saw this post, "My heart is heavy today. My baby is going in for open heart surgery this afternoon. I know that is what we've been waiting for, but I'm not sure if I could ever be prepared or ready for this. I love you with all my heart baby boy."
Although this was the hardest assignment of my life, I am honored that they asked me to document this chapter of their lives. If you'd like learn more about Grayson, and follow his progress, I'll invite you here: https://www.facebook.com/graysonsheart
Stay tuned for an upcoming post about how you can help contribute to Grayson's recovery. xoxo