Think of a time you leaped into a transformation. Did it change your life forever?
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
I looked forward to my daily afternoon journey to the gift shop for fresh popcorn made by the volunteers of St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston. It was such a welcomed time as I made my way downstairs for not only an emotional break but a breather from my daughter’s claustrophobic room.
With time to think I remembered it was Leap Year day. Can you imagine having a baby on this day? When do you celebrate? I wondered but soon blew off the notion and moved back into the moment.
Kellie, my 28 year old daughter, was not very happy with me or the doctors that day. A hint had been dropped the day before that she might get to go home today. She looked forward to her last trip in a wheelchair to the car after spending three different times on the tenth floor within three months. Open heart surgery for a mechanical valve replacement, two repairs to a dissected aorta, and the removal of an aneurysm made it a challenge for her to return for two additional surgeries due to a staph infection. She was more than ready to go home…and so was I.
“Hey, Kel, look what I got!” In one hand I held the warm popcorn and in the other a present from the gift shop. “What is it?” she asked. “Open it and you’ll see.” Her eyes sparkled as she pulled the tissue paper out of the box and exclaimed, “Oh, its beautiful!” Anything with butterflies thrilled Kellie. A teapot and cup to match brought a quick smile. I gave her a wink and said, “Couldn’t resist it. Thought you’d enjoy a ‘spot of tea’ while you recover at home.”
After her father arrived to spend the evening with her I gathered up some items so as to get a head start on the next day’s move. “I love you…I’ll see you tomorrow. Hang in there…one more night.” I said to encourage her as I bent over to drop a kiss goodbye on her forehead. She rolled her eyes and cracked a smile. With arms loaded I managed to give her a thumbs up before walking out the door.
I plopped down on the couch when I got home to watch a little TV and get a good night’s sleep for the long awaited day, March 1st, to bring Kellie home. What I never expected was a phone call from her dad at 11:00pm announcing Kellie had gone into Code Blue from a pulmonary embolism. How could this be? I was with her all day and everything was fine. I was in shock.
When we arrived back at the hospital we realized the Lord called our little butterfly home on February 29, 2008. Kellie literally leaped into Heaven on Leap Year Day as it became her eternal birthday. My butterfly leaped into the arms of Jesus.