Sunday, February 3, 2013

About them: M&K

With my blog re-model coming soon I have been motivated to spend sometime updating what will soon be our new tabs. You will get to see them once we go live this week!

Below is how I will introduce our amazing children in the about us section.
I hope you enjoy!

Kendall Grace.

She is the fourth corner to our square. Without her we are incomplete.
But the reality is Kendall has not almost died, she has no visible scars, she is healthy, pink and full of life.

As she grows there is sure to be the normal “girl” dramas but none will compare to the drama that Mason has faced in his life.
All of this said that doesn’t mean that we don’t love her and it doesn’t mean that we love one child more than the other… Nothing upsets me more than this notion.

Let me fully introduce you to our little girl, Kendall Grace.



She has the opposite temperament of Mason. She is not even a year old and we can already tell she is full of life, she will challenge us, she does not sit still, she will more than likely be the athlete in the family and she LOVES her brother.

Kendall was born second and she was born into a heart family.
Who’s to say it is better to be born into a heart family or to have your “normal” world turned upside down by turning into a heart family?  I am personally thankful she will not have to watch her brother endure surgery after surgery and I am thankful that I only had to hide tears from one child not two.

I feel like I am always trying to consume and take her in before she is all grown up.
She has given me the gift of having a healthy child… but even that is different. I have been too close to every parent’s nightmare and in the shadow of my fears it is different.

I am a sibling and I can not imagine life with out my sister. My greatest fear for Kendall is that she will lose her other half to heart disease. Then YEARS from now when Greg and I are gone she will be left alone.
Even at 10 months old, Mason is a HUGE part of her life.



For years I was preoccupied with how the loss of Mason would impact our life (mine and Greg’s).  Would our marriage survive and how would we move on??? But, now I am consumed with how it would impact Kendall’s life. Now the burden of anticipatory grief has almost doubled to include my worry for Kendall who I would not lose. This is twice as overwhelming.
I know a lot of families living with anticipatory grief. So how do I rise above the challenge? That is still something I struggle to figure out fully. But every morning I face this fear. I face it because I love my family too much to fail them!

We have TWO beautiful children. One who was born with a broken heart and the other who is heart healthy. Both equally perfect and beautiful.


Mason Garka.


I have spent a lifetime willing Mason to survive, a million seconds holding him in the hospital, and thousands of hours staring endlessly at his face. His face is almost more familiar to me than my own.

He is perfectly broken.
All the time people say “if you didn’t know what he has been through you could never tell”. That is the blessing and the curse of heart disease.
Now if you took a second and genuinely observed my child shirtless. You would observe 5 puncture wounds (from his chest tubes), the “zipper” on his sternum from his three open heart surgeries, you could feel his protruding sternum and you would see the numerous marks littering his neck, groin and arms from his IV lines keeping him alive.



I don’t write this for you to think our life is awful or to feel bad for us. Our life is WONDERFUL but we will never get past the terrifying parts. They have become a huge part of our lives and shaped our future giving us accidental purpose.
I will never hide Mason’s heart defect and I would NEVER be ashamed of it.
Mason’s beautiful heart has given me a platform. I am involved with charities and I speak out. I don’t care if I make the public uncomfortable with our everyday life. I prefer the discomfort to any pity or shame.
I have a choice I will either make strangers uncomfortable or Mason will learn to be uncomfortable. I choose strangers. For them, the discomfort will be short lived. For Mason it is the rest of his life.

This blog was created for Mason. It has evolved the way we have as a family.
I hope someday my children enjoy this virtual space as much as I have enjoyed created it.





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