The emotion hit me for the first time this morning.

At Starbucks. While ordering a Venti latte with oat milk and three pumps of peppermint. I didn’t have a Starbucks order before this hotel stay. My sister told me what to order because I don’t speak Starbucksese. This latte is delicious. And now I have something to give up for Lent.

I have no idea what triggered the emotion but there it was. The first wave of tears. The first tingling of fear. A catch in my voice as I placed the order. All in front of the perky barista with the purple streaked hair.

Tomorrow morning, in the first surgery of the day, Dr. V and Dr E will operate together on Becky’s heart. We have met both doctors and have complete confidence in their abilities. We are entrusting Becky’s life to their hands. Dr. E said that their team performs 20-30 of these procedures per year. ASD and VSD are among the most common heart defects in children.

He even used the word routine to describe the procedure to correct these problems. Which caught me off guard.


Routine is steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. Routine is Friday night pizza and a movie. Routine is my husband running out of gas.

Routine is not open heart surgery. But it is for these doctors. And that means we are taking Becky to the right place. I am eternally grateful for their expertise and skill. Simply stated, they will save our daughter’s life tomorrow. But first they have to stop her heart.

Becky’s operation will last approximately 4 hours and she will be on a by-pass machine for 1.5 hours. I asked the cardiac nurse practitioner how they stop her heart. She explained that the heart needs certain nutrients to function. When the heart is deprived of these nutrients, it goes quiet. When those nutrients start flowing again, the heart begins beating.

Becky’s Covid test posted to her electronic record last night. As expected, it was negative, so she is ready to go. Mom and I are attending to the details of moving out of the hotel and into the Ronald McDonald House. We both need to pack and Mom needs to finish a puzzle. I’ve spent my day tying up some loose ends. Greta and Angela will come tomorrow to help with the move after we’ve left.

I’ve been flooded with texts and emails from people. My brother John and his kids were playing Operation when he received the call confirming her surgery. How apropos. The support from family and friends, far and near, indeed around the world, is overwhelming. I simply cannot express my gratitude for the prayers and goodwill.

Becky has an army behind her. In front of her. Above her.

Team Becky.

The Becky Bowl kicks off at 6:30am tomorrow morning. I will provide the play-by-play as I’m able.

16 thoughts on “Routine

  1. ❤🙏❤🙏❤🙏❤🙏❤🙏Aunt Barbara, Uncle Jon & AuntCynthia (the 3 Ms are with dear sweet Becky😇😇😇


  2. Hey, have confidence in the doctors and still say a prayer. I’ll be with the many others thinking of you all and saying prayers to our Gods.

    Oh…and I had open heart surgery fourteen years ago, was a much “higher risk patient” and you’ve beaten me up several times at Fluid Running (can we say that?) since then!!!

    My doctor was about 6’6” with massive hands. First thing I asked him was how he get them inside me!

    Positive thoughts and prayers, G.


  3. Great Uncle Tom is watching over her and I am praying for Becky’s successful surgery and for the Doctors’ amazing skills to repair Becky’s tiny heart. Praying too for Becky’s complete recovery so she can return soon to her love-filled life with her sweet family. 🙏🙏🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️😇😇🥰


  4. We’re with you, Kathleen. We’re just SO with you!!! Through all these long hard months, you and Sam have made some difficult but very right decisions. This is one of them. We’ll be starting our day tomorrow morning early, in Church, praying for Becky, for her surgeons, for all of you. Love and hugs, to infinity and beyond! ❤️


  5. Praying tomorrow 8 a.m. for successful surgery and no problems. Dearest Lord, guide the surgical team tomorrow and bring your mercy to Becky through the surgeons.


  6. Sending thoughts and prayers to Becky, Becky’s doctors and medical team, and you! 💗💗 Can’t wait for the Becky Bowl report


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