Hello! Welcome to my blog, Surviving with Heart. This is my “journal” that I hope may help people to know they are not alone in this world of suffering. Life can throw some pretty hard curveballs, but it’s how we pick up our cross and carry it each day that gives us comfort and joy to live out our lives the best way we can.
My name is Mary Beth. I am the 3rd of 7 children and have a twin brother named Bobby. He is 14 minutes older and always likes to round that number to 15, but I quickly remind him the correct number. They say the first shall be last and the last shall be first, right?! 🙂 . I am an Auntie to two precious little girlies and a handsome nephew. My family is absolutely everything to me and my biggest blessing in life.
At the age of 23, my life had changed forever. I was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart defect I never knew I had since birth. On August 28 in 2012, I had my very 1st Open Heart Surgery and May 27 of 2015, I needed another Open Heart. Only this time, I needed full Mitral Valve replacement. My most recent surgery was beyond bittersweet because you have something inside you that’s taken away, but also given something to keep you alive. It is an unexplainable feeling. It’s still hard to wrap my head around at times even though I’m coming up on my 1 year anniversary soon.
These last 4 years have been nothing short of many tears, hardships, and losses, but also many blessings. I am slowly adjusting to my “new normal” as there is no cure for my defect. This title, Surviving with Heart, became extremely powerful to me when I realized it was time to accept this life I was given. It was time to choose beauty behind my scar rather than what it portrayed externally to me. Over these last few years, I have hit many more bumps in the road to adulthood. Living with a severe medical disease is one thing, but to know you may not get to be or do what you dreamed about in life is another term to face. Having a Congenital Heart defect is something I would never wish upon my worst enemy, but I have hope going through two brutal Open heart Surgeries and recoveries will eventually lead me to my purpose in this life.
I am still not sure where I belong or what I am suppose to do and for the first time in a long time, I am at peace with that. This horrible, yet beautiful defect has allowed me to stop rushing through life. I used to think I needed to be married , have children or the perfect job by a certain age . I have had it ALL wrong. I am learning my plan isn’t what is truly right for me. Wouldn’t it be awesome if God sent a letter with his plans written on paper in the mail?! This is where my Catholic faith plays a pivotal role in my search for understanding my “new normal.”
On my blog, you will find everything from CHD awareness to my special role as an Auntie. Although this life is hard, I will do my best to survive with heart and grace! Please know, I am praying for YOU along this crazy, yet beautiful journey through life.
“Let us understand that God is a physician and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation”. -St. Augustine