Kara Gallup - Protective bubble…Do or don’t?
Kara Gallup is a prior Probation and Parole Officer for the State of Missouri and currently a Senior Sales Director with Mary Kay. Along with being a Sales Director, Kara is also a boy mom, farm wife and a Cardinals-loving baseball mom. Kara has been married to Darren for 17 years. Last but not least, Kara is and always will be a “Heart Mom”.
Let me first say every mom wants to protect their child from bumping their knees, runny noses, getting bullied, nightmares, up-set stomachs, broken bones…I mean come on, the list could go on and on, right?!?
Now, let me set the stage…I’m sitting in a conference room at Children’s Mercy, in a wheelchair (no one would let me get out of it) two hours away from home, with about 15 to 20 friends and family members. Who is speaking? The one and only Dr. Hubbell, he was the cardiac physician that greeted Dylan off the helicopter. Dr. Hubbell is showing us pictures of Dylan’s heart on a big screen. He is explaining…we have no idea what he is talking about. He is explaining more…we still have no idea what he is talking about. I'm in a wheelchair, looking at pictures of my 15-HOUR-OLD baby boy’s heart on a big screen. What questions should I ask Dr. Hubbell??!!?? Well, let's get real. There are thousands of questions to ask, but WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT. We are new to this “heart thing.” Fifteen hours new to be exact. But….the question I ask is…What kind of life will he live? Dr. Hubbell responds, “I have no idea.” I ask again…but what kind of life will he live? And again Dr. Hubbell responds as kindly as he can, “We really have no way to know.”
Sitting here typing this, 15 years later, that moment still rips my heart out. I didn’t know it at the time, but that moment is when my protective bubble was brought to life…OR was that the moment my protective bubble was shattered?
I'm moving away from the protective bubble thought for a second but I also need to bring this up. Why do you think I asked Dr. Hubbell that question? It’s because I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t believe I was strong enough or good enough to raise a child with special needs. Did I not think I was enough or was it I just flat out didn’t want to? If I’m being honest here, I probably didn’t want to. You see, this was my first baby and I wanted the dream of being home with my new baby doing normal new baby things. But here I was, sitting in a wheelchair, two hours away from my home, looking at pictures of my baby’s heart on a big screen, being told they have no idea what kind of life he will live. If you have ever had a thought like that, it’s ok. If I am the only one that has had a thought like that…well, let's not tell me…lol.
Now, back to the protective bubble. Did my bubble come to life in that conference room or was it shattered? You see, I think I already had my bubble in full force before Dylan was born. I was his protective bubble 15 hours ago. As I sat in that conference room, it was pretty obvious that Dylan was already living way outside that protective bubble, and I couldn’t do anything about it. This wasn’t a runny nose I could fix…this was a heart!
How do you cope? What do you do? Here is how I cope: my faith. If I didn’t have faith, I wouldn’t get far and Dylan wouldn’t be a 6’2” 15-year-old, phenomenal baseball player. I pray every night that God provides His hedge of protection around Dylan’s heart, mind, body, soul, eyes and ears. You see, it's not my bubble Dylan needs to be in, its God’s bubble Dylan needs in. I can’t protect my kids from everything, but God can. God has a plan! Every time Dylan has a procedure, I know that room is FILLED with angels and Gods hands are guiding the surgeons hands. You know...our surgeons are God’s healing hands right here on earth.
The first year Dylan played Jr. High basketball, every time we traveled to one of our surrounding small towns, I always mapped out how to get to the closest hospital. When I was mapping that out, I wasn’t trusting that God had it under control. Was basketball difficult for Dylan, yes. Was it making him stronger, yes. Did Dylan get frustrated because he wasn’t the best, yes. Did he turn purple, yes. Was I worried, yes.
God has an amazing plan for Dylan and for each and every heart kid. He never gives us more then we can handle and He gives our heart kids the ability and grace to overcome obstacles. Can you imagine the character our heart kids have and the character they continue to build? My heart kid is amazing and I know yours is as well!
Protective bubble you ask?!!? I say...NO! Trust...trust there is a plan, trust God’s plan is better than ours, trust God has it under control! Allow your heart kid to be all they can be, allow them to push themselves, stretch their limits, see what they can do! Let's get real….as moms we can’t fix their hearts. We are not in the operating room working on them…right? We have NO control over what is happening in that heart.
Trust ,my dear…trust…take a deep breath…then watch in amazement and thank our good and gracious Lord He gifted you with a “Heart Kid.”