Saying goodbye never gets easier. Just about a half hour ago, we left Namine in the doctors’ care, screaming for us. Screaming for us not to leave her, to please, please come back with her. My heart breaks every time. My goddamn heart. But it’s not for my heart – it’s for hers. Today is the day we’ve looked forward to and dreaded for five years: the Fontan. Today is the final step in the three-stage process to make Namine’s heart function without further medical intervention.

But it’s not goodbye; it’s see you later. The operation is long – at least six hours, according to the cardiologist, perhaps even as long as ten – but on the other side, a healthier heart. A stronger heart. So while it is with tears in our eyes that we said our goodbyes and loves yous, it is also with hope of a better tomorrow.