My Dearest Heart …



Michelle at age 2

Our Heart Felt department highlights our readers’ experiences with heart disease from their own perspective. We’re always looking for contributions, so please send us yours. Before submitting, please review our Writer’s Guidelines.

 

When I was first aware of you, I did not like you much. You seemed moody and agitated. People were constantly asking about you and poking and prodding me on your behalf. I hated it and I hated you. You embarrassed me in front of my friends, and no one wanted to play with me. My high school days were no better. The constant name calling in the locker room, the whispers in the halls when you were being monitored by the doctors. I never felt like a normal child. I lashed out. I was awful to my siblings and parents. I didn’t understand, why me? Out of five children, why me? I did not have the tools to cope with it.

Then as a young adult, I failed you. I should have watched out for you. Cared for you better. I am sorry I did not. I chose to forget about you. I tried to have a normal life. As you know, that did not work out. You seemed to get more agitated and sluggish. There were a few times I thought you were going to stop working and leave me all together. But then, I heard you whisper my name. It opened my eyes. I knew I had to start taking care of you if we were going to make it.

We have been through so much in our 42 years, some good and some not so good. You have always been there for me and not once did you let me down. They opened me up and scrambled you around, shoved wires and stents through you. I am so proud of you.

You have done a great job and soon you will be able to rest. I am trying to be mindful of our time left, focusing on each moment. Trying not to look too far ahead. I hate the sympathy I am getting. Some days I want to hole up and hide with you.

It’s hard for people, you see. It isn’t a comfortable thing for some people, they don’t know what to do. But that isn’t your fault, I am sorry if I blame you.

I am not sure if I am ready to give you away. Part of holding on is letting go. I have asked to see you after surgery. To have proper closure, let’s hope they will. It must seem strange to you that you are being replaced. It feels strange to me too. But if I don’t have the surgery, I won’t be around anymore. I know your replacement will be honored and celebrated. As it should be. I promise I will always cherish and love it as I do you.

I hope I have shown you much love and compassion. You should know I am grateful for the lifetime we shared. Your lifetime. Your spirit will mingle together with my donor heart. I will never forget you.

write this with all the love I have. Your Lifelong Companion, Chelle

Michelle Hagerty | Survivor McKean, Pennsylvania

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