Second time round

“Pizza isn’t on the heart-healthy menu, is it?
-Noah Steinle ordering dinner the night before his second open heart surgery”

As soon as he walked in the room I knew something was wrong.

Why are you so grumpy? I asked him. “I’m not grumpy.” he said, slouching in the chair. We’d gone to pick him up for his routine infusion appointment. A pic line in his arm for antibiotics 24/7, Noah wore a man purse, the strap over his shoulder and across his chest.

Back at rehab six days,  he’d been in the hospital a month. Admitted to the ‘nursing home’, a physical rehabilitation facility, Noah was the only patient under eighty-five that could feed himself and wipe his own mouth. Staying a week, we managed to get him dismissed early, excited to be back at rehab.

Three days later, Randy (Noah’s dad), Autumn and I visited. Already sensing his itch to be gone, I begged God for stay-fastness. Noah fought tears as we left.

Now Wednesday, “I don’t want to go back to rehab” started the massive fight on the fifty-minute drive to Austin. Not our best moment, Randy and I wanting the same thing, not to bury our son, let fear take over. Sobbing at his immature parents, we apologized, tail between legs.

Wind kicked out of my day, we arrived in Austin. I watched Beth, Noah’s step-mom, talk patiently and gently to my son. Nodding, he listened. Randy and I walked behind, needing her in our lives.



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Shelley Steinley

My mission is to give love, hope and beauty to the world in my art and writing. I believe that anyone can achieve their dreams and that all things are possible. I create art to inspire and write books to build confidence and hope. Creating laughter, fun and happiness on a level higher than most people thought possible, I want others to experience true joy in living.

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