I sit here thinking about this past year and all that comes to mind is 2019 is one to be remembered. Our family has dealt with our share but this year has topped anything and everything we’ve ever known. There was so much loss. Grief. Sadness. Tears. Frustration. Hopelessness. Despair. There were times, multiple times that is, that we were certain we were going to have to bury another child. Our hearts were completely shattered. So many questions. Questions of how we would ever come back from where we were at? How could we go on if Wally didn’t survive? When would we get to come home? Would Wally receive a heart in time? We pushed on. We remained strong despite our fears. We held on for dear life. And we were on our knees daily praying to God for a miracle. A miracle we received at the price of another little boy. A little boy who’s parents In the worst moments of their life chose to give the most selfless gift. A gift that we will never be able to repay. A gift that saved our sons life.

I look at Wally now, sleeping so peacefully, and tears run down my face. At the beginning of this year, I wouldn’t have ever dreamed we’d be here. Our prayers were answered. And I find my self all in my emotions. Fear of what’s next. Pure happiness that our baby is thriving. Grief for what we have endured. Sadness for our donors family. I still have nightmares. The ptsd. The memories. The anxiety is soul crushing at times. But I look at Wally and I beam with pride. I’m so unbelievably proud of him. Proud to be his momma. He’s a happy, healthy, two year old boy that got a second chance at life. A life I know he’ll never take for granted.

Along with the sicknesses. The appointments. The therapies. Working on ourselves and our marriage. Trying to be the best parents we could be. We also suffered some other pretty big losses. Our friend Metz who we loved so much passed away. AJs grandpa (one of the sweetest I’ve ever known) passed away. Difficult diagnoses that we are still trying to wrap our heads around. We question God frequently. Why us? How much more can we take before we break?

It’s hard. This life we live. But one thing that is true that has always been true is we are strong. We are Gods children. We are better people than we were a year ago. We live and love with all our hearts. We put our faith and trust in God. We will not let loss and grief defeat us. We will not let satan win.

We are blessed you know. In every way, shape, and form. We have the most amazing family. Friends. Community. But most importantly we have Wally. And we have each other. Sometime I worry about what’s ahead. What else we will have to endure. But we’ll do what we always do. Hold our heads up, push through, remain strong, and love each other through the good and the bad. Our God is an awesome God! He gave us a miracle that is Wally J.

Well never understand why things happen the way they do. Well never have all the answers. But I have to believe that God has this amazing plan for our family. For our Wally.

We thank God every day for our medical team here and at Luries, our family, Barth family, our friends, our community, and all the support we’ve received. But most importantly we are so very thankful for our donor and donor family. This time of year, the holidays, without your child is unbearable. We know that all too well. I pray that knowing their little boy, a hero, our hero, saving so many lives makes this season a little more bearable. I just know that our sweet Henry met him at the pearly gates and gave him a big hug for saving his brothers life.

We leave 2019 ready for what 2020 has to offer. Hopefully nothing but good. 😏

Life is what you make it. We could remain at rock bottom. We could throw ourselves a pity party. We could be negative. But what kind of life would that be? So instead we choose happiness, love, and positivity.

What we look forward to in 2020:

*We look forward to continuing to watch Wally love life. Witnessing the miracle that he is. We hope this is the year he’ll start walking!! We pray he remains healthy and we can limit our hospital stays. And our hope is that God guides us in being the best parents we can be, for him.

*We look forward to our trip to Florida this summer to reunite with our Barth Family!! Cannot believe it’s already been two years since we’ve seen them!! Ahh so excited!

*Working on our health and fitness

*Paying off some debt 😩

*Taking time for ourselves and our relationship

*Spending quality time as a family

*Hopefully giving back by doing some volunteer work

*But most importantly, loving and enjoying every second with one another

I saw this piece of writing below on Facebook the other day and I thought it fit perfectly. We’re still alive and will continue to fight. We will always have hope for better things to come.

We hope and pray every person reading this has a safe and happy new year! May God bless each and everyone of you.

Thank you for following our journey. It’s not over yet 😉.

Love always,

—AJ, Kelsey, and Wally Bastian

For some of us, this year was brutal.

Painful. Grief-filled. Heavy.

Not the best year, to say the least.

It can feel tempting to just want to jump ahead into the mentality of a new year, and new beginnings.

But I think it’s important to stop for a moment and recognize that even though this year could have wrecked you…

You’re still here.

You’re still alive, still fighting.

Although you might feel so eager for this year to end, it’s possible that someday you look back on this year and think, “that’s the year that grew me.”

This might be the year that you pleaded with God, day in and day out, for the strength to take just one more step.

It might be the year you cried more tears than ever, and begged God to take away your pain.

It might be the year that you learned how much you needed Him because only He could carry you.

I know it’s hard to see it now, but this awful year might be the one that shapes the rest of the years to come… in a beautiful way.

So, look into the next year with hope and expectancy.

But don’t dismiss what this year held.

It held strength and courage each time you got back up.

It held a fight of faith each time you fixed your eyes on Jesus.

You are still here.

And God will continue to fight on your behalf.

~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog

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