It's been over a year since the last time I held Nova, whole and well, alive and alert, just minutes before his open heart surgery. In roughly six weeks, I will commemorate the fact that a year has passed since he died. It's hard to believe sometimes that's it's already been a year. And yet, other times it seems like so long ago that I last buried my face in his chubby little neck.
It has been a year since he was last mine, completely mine. I relinquished my son to a team of physicians, in hopes that they'd return him in better condition than when they received him. Of course, surgery and more surgery, medication, complications and infections... They took my beautiful vibrant baby boy from me before death had a chance. In a way, the 21st is the one year anniversary of the day I let Nova go. That was the day I had chosen to kick off my American Heart Association Charlotte Metro Heart Walk 2007 fundraising campaign. Unfortunately, it was not a day that I managed to do much of anything... so today is now the day.
I know that this last year has weathered my grief, smoothed it just a bit, made it more possible to run my fingers along its edges without drawing blood. If that's true for me, then I know it is exponentially true for the Poetic Acceptance readership, especially with my recent absence, and shitty habit of not returning emails or comments.
But somewhere there is a mother struggling to survive her first day without her child, and somewhere there's a mother whose child will die tomorrow... because as many as 40,000 children will be born with a congenital heart defect this year - making it the #1 birth defect, and nearly 4000 of those children will die, making CHDs the leading cause of defect related infant mortality in the world.
It is for those children, and those mothers, that I ask for your support again this year. Last year, thanks to your unbelievably generous support, I raised $3623, and Team Nova's total topped out over $5000. I sincerely hope that I can meet and even surpass that amount this year, because there simply isn't enough money allocated annually to Congenital Heart Defects research. I want to do my part to face that challenge, and to change those statistics.
So... Support Team Nova 2007, please!