My Friend Gretchen, Her Sweet Family, and Her New Life

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This post is a bit different but what will not change is the fact that you may need a tissue. So go ahead.  I'll wait while you go and grab one....done? Great. Here goes. You may either know or recognize this family because they've been on my blog before. Our friends Josh and Gretchen are very near and dear to us. We've known them since we were dating and now we are closer than ever with them. Actually Kendon has known them longer than that but a fun tidbit of info. is that they were at our wedding and had crushes on each other but hadn't made anything official (don't worry, they eventually did : ) ). A lot of our friends are in the same chapter of life as us (we love Jesus, have young families w/2 kids, and are trying to figure it all out).  I just cherish my friendship with Gretchen. She is the funniest person I know and so giving of her time and talents. So, so giving. And she makes it easier for me to go through this long but beautiful stage of life with littles. If that wasn't enough, Josh and Gretchen are parents to two beautiful little girls, Finley (3) and Hazel (1) and own the oh so rad,  Metronome Coffee.

It was February 2nd (the day before Superbowl Sunday) and we were told that Gretchen and the girls were in a car accident. All we knew was that the girls were okay but Gretchen was at the hospital.  A little while later I found out from another friend, small details here and there but nobody knew just what had happened or what eventually would happen until 1 week later.  I asked Gretchen to tell her side (obviously the best one to tell it) and share it on the blog.  The pictures at the end of her story was a session that Gretchen wanted to do to celebrate her new life. It is beautiful. Enjoy.

"It was the day before Super Bowl Sunday. It had been a bit of a stressful week, I had thrown my one year old Hazel her first birthday party, had an audition for a musical, had a callback for said audition and my husband was gone every day well into the evening because he was judging for the Northwest Regional Barista Competition (NWRBC) in Seattle. I had learned I had gotten the part I wanted in the musical that I wanted the day before and I was ready to take a break from all the stress and go out and celebrate. I arranged for a friend and I to carpool up to Seattle to go to a NWRBC after party and my mother-in-law had agreed to come over to watch the girls, Finley (2) and Hazel (1). I put on my cutest most alternative looking outfit to mingle with the baristas and I cleaned my house as not to horrify my mother-in-law when she came to be with the girls, all that was left was going to Costco to restock on diapers. Ahhh yes, Costco at 2 pm the Saturday before Superbowl Sunday. I loaded the girls up in the car and we were on our way. Once in the craziness of the Costco parking lot, the hunt was on for an acceptable parking spot. I wasn't expecting anything too amazing, just something closer than Timbuktu, when I spotted it. Someone was about to pull out of the third aisle in the second spot closest to the store! I put on my blinker but was blocking a lot of traffic while waiting so I turned up the row and flipped a U-turn to wait a bit more out of the way. Suddenly, as I was watching the person finally back out of the spot, I felt very dizzy. I thought to myself, "Man, I hope I don't faint," and the next thing I knew, it was over an hour later and I was in the Emergency Room of St. Joseph's Hospital. I was disoriented, waking up to police officers, doctors and nurses all rushing around me, when one nurse stopped and said, "Your girls are fine, they miss their mom, I will bring them in to you." That's when I lost it.

The next day I was told the fainting had been caused by my heart having a cardiac arrest known as Torsades but they didn't know why my heart had arrested. The following week was spent in the hospital and filled with lots of tests and confusion but it was finally discovered that I had a fairly rare, genetic heart defect called LQT3 syndrome. It was decided that the best course of action was to install a pacemaker and defibrillator as this particular type of heart defect is a quick, quiet killer and one of the deadliest types of Long QT syndrome.

Now the process of viewing my life through a new lens has begun. A lens that sees that life can change in the blink of an eye. One that shows that I now have a story to be shared in the hopes of positively impacting others whether it be spiritually and or physically. Finally a lens that reveals that I am not in control but there is someone who is and I can trust Him with my family and my life." - Gretchen