I just got home from the Barnes and Noble where I’ll be doing a reading/signing on May 12 (Mother’s Day Weekend). This will be my fifth event around Heart Warriors since April 13, but in a way it is the most important to me. Don’t get me wrong that awesome 80+ person crowd of old and dear friends on my birthday was AWESOME. The April 20 reading in Aurora was AMAZING. The Bookworm was such a funky, fun store, and the Grand Junction event was moving. But this. . . this is home, and May 12 is monumental not for the reading but for what happened nine years ago to the very day.
The College Avenue Barnes & Noble appears three different times in my book on pg. 87,166, and pg. 241. It is a place where I have countless memories of buying books when I was pregnant, and failing to find the books I needed when Liam was diagnosed with CHD. There was nothing there for me, so I wrote the book I was looking for. It is a place where Liam fell in love with Thomas the Tank Engine and I sat and watched in wonder as he played, and played as a tiny toddler. It is a place where I read aloud to my children so many times for so many years. This particular bookstore is, in its way, an extension of our home, as our home is full of items from that store.
And May 12 is the day I first surrendered my child to his most dangerous and complicated open-heart surgery. May 12 was the morning, nine years ago, when we were told that Liam might not survive the surgery and the day, but without it he would certainly not survive the week. This year, May 12 is the day before Mother’s Day. In 2003, it was the day after. I spent my first Mother’s Day holding Liam tight, cringing for the impact of what was to come.
So, May 12, 2012, I celebrate how far we’ve come as a family and on the eve of Mother’s Day how far I’ve come as a mom. From a terrified 29 year old a thousand miles from home, to a published author who just turned 38 at my neighborhood bookstore. I hope you’ll come help me celebrate moms everywhere, especially the heart moms. We fight hard and we love big.