Breathe…that’s the word that kept haunting me all day today. As I sit here quietly thinking through the moments of the day and the moments of the same day only a year ago, it suddenly occurred to me why “breathe” stayed in my thoughts all day. I figured it was because breathing was the only thing I wanted to feel today for fear of letting in the emotion. I figured that “breathe” was the simplest and safest way to get through the moments of this solemn day.
“Breathe! God please let her breathe!” That was my frantic prayer as I watched the trauma center doctors and nurses try so valiantly to save our sweet baby girl. We begged God to let her breathe, to stay with us. We so didn’t want her to go. That was it…just breathe!
It’s remarkable how the brain works to process the pain we feel in life. We were in survival mode, “just breathe Harper and we can help you with all the rest.” But that was not part of the plan in her book of life. Her life we loved and were clinging to was coming to the end. But was it the end or the beginning? Sure it was the end as we knew it, but what a beginning it was from the moment her breath left her body.
As I think about how this past year has unfolded it occurs to me that her breath really never left us. I see now that this year has been filled with family and friends willing to breathe her life back into our hearts . It was so hard at first. Some days we didn’t want to breathe anymore because it was too hard to face the life that breathing gives, the life without Harper. Some days we just wanted to hold our breath so that nothing bad could happen. Some days we felt like we could breathe, then the grief would creep back in. But loving family and friends constantly surrounded us, breathed for us. Their support filled us with breath at just the right times. They breathed Harper’s breath into us through their many acts of love and kindness. That feeling of her breath in our own lungs is what keeps us going!
Today we know that sweet Harper is still breathing life into our hearts. We have also seen through the Harper’s Hugs project that Harper is breathing into thousands of hearts across the world! What a blessing it is to breathe in that love everyday! So instinctively I listened to my heart today…I was feeling Harper’s breath and I thank my God for answering my prayer!