- That she is such a loving, wonderful daughter who always seems to offer such good, loving advice to me when I am perplexed. She is very fair, open-minded, and very smart.
- And that she had open-heart surgery at the age of 21 for a very rare congenital heart defect that was never detected until she was running on the track team at Sac State and collapsed. We were very lucky that they were able to find what was wrong and correct it. Most people that had her condition were diagnosed during the autopsy! I thank my lucky stars that she has survived and gone on to get married, build her dream home, have a wonderful daughter (my Natalie!) and be a best friend to her identical twin sister, April.
Life always has a way of working out, doesn't it? We can be given the most terrible of tragedies to deal with but it is the "living through" them that makes us who we are today. We learn and grow and figure out (mostly as we're going along each day) how to deal with these things. Because most of us haven't experienced these things before in our lives, we are forging a path that we have never been on before. It is important to be able to look back later and see that how we dealt with it and the path that we chose to deal with it was the proper one. We must have no regrets.
My account of what she experienced and what her sister experienced are quite different. I was alone at home when I got the phone call from April and when she said "Kimberly's been in an accident" and then hung up. I thought "car accident" and "how did this happen? I just talked to the two of you not 30 minutes ago?" But, it turned out to be much more serious.
When we arrived at the hospital ER with the Fire Chief from Georgetown Fire Department driving at top speed, we never intended to see our daughter prone on a table, eyes open but not seeing, and starting to posture. Doctors were coming in and out constantly; nurses scurrying around as quick as possible. Probes being attached and neurological tests being performed before us. Fortunately, her toes curled when probed with a sharp pen...a sign that she had brain activity. I knew everything that I was supposed to know and sometimes I think that I knew too much. The doctors didn't offer much information, not wanting to worry us. But, having a husband who was a First Responder made information accessible. I whispered in Kimberly's ear constantly while I was standing next to her, telling her that she was strong, that she could recover from this, and that she was being watched over and taken care of by people here and above. I covered her in thoughts of white, healing light for hours and hours knowing that prayers to the divine can and would work. And they did!
I don't want to go on and on about all the details but suffice it to say that she ended up recuperating, they diagnosed the problem after a week in the hospital and many tests, and the anomaly was corrected a month later with open-heart surgery. This surgery was a very rare surgery. Only 100 reported cases in the world and only about 7 surgeries performed for what she had.
And months later, when we had to return to the hospital ER for another incident, we visited with the nurse that was present at that time. He asked us if we knew anything about statistics and did we know how many people survived after presenting in the ER like she did? We guessed: ONE?
He said "That's right. She was the only one that had ever survived since he had been working in the ER." What a miracle this girl is! What a gift. And the fact that she has an identical sister (well not totally identical because she had all the same tests and does not have the same anomaly!) that loves her, spends free time with her on the weekends, and that they share marriage to brothers (!), what an incredible thing. Not everyone comes into this world with someone that they will spend the rest of their life with and totally enjoy each other. Twins have a special bond. And I don't think that bond will ever be broken. They both have open hearts. Kimberly's has just been repaired and made stronger! April's open heart came from being with her sister at the right place and the right time. April was her angel. April watched out for her. Without April being there at that time, Kimberly most likely would have died.
I am so thankful to have two such wonderful daughters in my life. I feel as though they were my gift in life. And subsequently, what they have brought (and will be bringing forth) in this life has such a deep, spiritual meaning to me. They have shown me what it means to have "an open heart".