Meet Mary Alice Goodwin. Born in Walnut Creek, California on October 24, 1990, in the John Muir Medical Center. Six months after her birth, my mom was admitted to the same hospital and I was born. So, when I tell you I have known this girl since the womb, you better believe it's true.
Funny thing is, this isn't the beginning of our story. It would take a good chat to give you all the details, but all you need to know is that our father's have been best friends for as long as Mary and I have. They grew up together in the Bay Area, went to school together, and started families around the same time. Both men ended up back in Northern California at the time of Mary and I's births. A year after I was born, my family moved down to Southern California while her family moved to Washington.
Despite the distance between our families, the friendship remained strong. See? This is us a few years later at Disneyland. That's Mary, sitting in the front row - right next to your's truly. Aren't I darling? (I am the one on the right)
On June 19, 2010, a vessel in Mary's brain burst and blood flowed into her skull putting great pressure on her brain. It was later learned that Mary was born with an AVM (Arterio-Venous Malformation), a huge cluster of vessels, in her brain that only 1/1000th of 1% of the people around the world are born with - 1-3% of those people ever have a bleed from the AVM.
In the hospital, she became known as Miracle Mary. Her survival is truly a miracle. I am forever grateful to my Father in Heaven, who has kept her alive and watched over her since June 19. I am also grateful for the power I have felt in my own life during these scary times. I have felt the hand of the Lord guide me to be strong when I reached my breaking point. I felt His arms around me, lifting me up, when I needed to be Mary's rock.
Over the summer, I drove up to Washington to spend a long weekend with Mary after her AVM had bled. She had already spend much time in the hospital recovering and regaining her linguistic skills. I didn't tell her I was coming and our reunion was quite emotional and something I will never forget.
In a matter of hours, Mary will be undergoing a craniotomy. In layman's terms, this just means brain surgery. The doctors will be going in and removing the tangle of vessels.
It is now 2:07 and I sit here - filled with anxiety. I couldn't sleep right now even if I tried. Yes, I am scared and I can't shut my mind off, but I also feel at peace. Deep in my heart I know that everything is going to be okay.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day. Please remember Mary in your prayers.
Dearest Mary, you are my best friend. I love you. You are the strongest person I know and I am forever grateful for your friendship. Your example and testimony strengthen me every day. Your spirit is bright and I constantly look to you for guidance and direction. My prayers and thoughts are with you at this time. You are tough and this surgery is going to be a breeze. I can't wait to see what you look like with a shaved head :)
“The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”