"Is it time yet?" "Mom is it time to go yet....is it, is it?" For two months this is the question of the day from my Cora. Every year she is so overly excited to embark on her journey to Heart Camp. Her infectious smile is all day long, and her excitement everyday is like Christmas morning. She jumps around like a crazy goose, and tells anyone who will listen to her, that she LOVES Heart Camp.
Camp Joyful Hearts, the actual name, is sponsored by Cincinnati Children's Hospital, (www.cincinnatichildrens.org/service/h/heart-institute/patients/camp-joyful), and every year they offer the opportunity for children, like Cora, to go be a normal kid! They are surrounded by children with the same health ailments as them. Nurses are there the entire week assisting with medications and at hand if needed for anything else.
For Cora, it is dream come true each and every year. As she has said so many times, it is a safe place for her to be her. She is surrounded by children who can relate to her struggles, who encourage her, wait on her when she falls behind, and loves her unconditionally. She doesn't have to go into long explainations trying to make others understand her and her flaws. She can share things she keeps pent up most of the time, and she can be free to be "normal" without being judged!
For me....I am so overjoyed there is a place like this for children with congenital heart defects. A place to go and experience camp without the concerns! But it is also sad...knowing this is the only time of the year my sweet child feels she is accepted by others. It pains me to think so many adults and children judging someone who doesn't fit their idea of norm! Will it ever stop? I pray so often that a little bit of Jesus seeps into them, shedding light upon the dim, and breaking a mold created by a society, who needs to learn to just love unconditionally!
As we countdown to Heart Camp, less than 24 hours, I will join Cora as she basks in anticipation and giddiness, for the moment she can be free to be herself for 6 days out of her year!
Blessings until next time!