Monday, April 15, 2013

Heart to Heart Luncheon

On Saturday, April 13, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Heart to Heart Luncheon put on by the Intermountain Healing Hearts group. Oh, what a blessing this event was to me!
I had debated for the two weeks prior if I really wanted to go.  I was really unsure if I would feel included...not because of the women (I knew they would welcome me with open arms), but because of my situation.  This was a group of women that were mostly still fighting their fight with congenital heart defects.  Most of them still had their little children and I wasn't sure I would feel comfortable.  I didn't want to be the mom there that represented everyone else's worst nightmare.  My baby was gone...and every other mom in that room had thought about that happening. I would be the reminder. However, I talked to a few other angel moms that had gone to the event in the past and they encouraged me to go, if I felt up to it.  They gave me a little bit of an idea of what to expect.  So, earlier in the week, I was ok with going.

Then, on Thursday, I made the realization that it would be the two month anniversary of Joshua's angel day and I started to panic again.  I was a little bit of a mess on the one month anniversary and I wasn't sure I wanted to have any breakdowns in public.  However, on Friday, I decided if I was going to have a breakdown in front of any group of people, this one would be the one to do it.

So, I woke up on Saturday with all the feelings of the anniversary as well as being completely nervous.  I changed my outfit twice (I wanted to be comfortable).  I was so grateful to be driving up with a dear friend and fellow heart mom.  At least I would have one person there with me.

Once I got there, I realized very quickly that I had nothing to be nervous about.  There were the other angel moms I had met and they all came up to me and gave me a hug.  Some even remembered the anniversary, which was more than I could ever ask for!  I also met a number of other wonderful heart moms that told me how they have read Joshua's story and they were so excited to meet me, which was so strange because I felt the same way about them!  The connection I felt with each of these women was so amazing.  It felt good to talk the medical talk again (feeding tubes, ICU, surgery, O2 sats, etc.).  It was so much a part of my life with Joshua and something I just don't do anymore.  I felt connected to Joshua and my love for this group grew by the minute.

The afternoon just got better with the speakers.  One of the angel moms spoke about the journey we all face and no matter where we are in our journey, we can draw support from each other.  She is one that I look up to so much and her words were perfect.  The next speaker was Tiffany Peterson, who is a professional inspirational speaker.  Two things stood out to me from her presentation:  (1) have your spiritual first aid kit ready to go. (scripture reading, prayers, etc.  Anything that helps you spiritually) Have these things ready for the moments you will need them most.  (2) When you are ready, take the time to think about your trial in life as a gift. Our adversity is a gift wrapped in unattractive paper. We can take the time to be sad, frustrated, mad, and disappointed, but when we are ready, we should take the chance to see the benefits of our situation. Along these same lines, she quoted her mother, "If you're going through hell, don't build a house there!"
Our speaker, Tiffany Peterson.  She was wonderful!
There was a point where we all stood in a circle and linked arms. It was then, with that physical representation, that we all felt the strength that comes with many. This is a journey as a heart mom is rough, but I feel so blessed to be in the company of such amazing women. I felt the truth that our strength as a whole was greater than the sum if our individual parts. We are stronger when we depend on each other.

I'm so glad I went. It was the perfect place to be on that anniversary. Thank you to all the amazing women for the hard word and dedication taken to put this on. I feel so blessed to have you in my life.

The decorations were beautiful!  Thank you Krumpets Home Decor and Hoopes Weddings and Events for making it so!

Each of us received these beautiful Heart Mom pins and all the Angel Moms got these Angel Mom pins. 

My dear friend who came with me to the event.  LOVE YOU, GIRL!

The Wall of Heart Heroes!  It was humbling to see pictures of all the heart kiddos. 

Joshua on the wall of fame.  I loved seeing him on there! 


  1. I am so glad you went and had a great experience. Let's plan to go together next year ok? Hopefully Kyle will be on board with me taking a road trip since he will be done with school!

  2. Stephanie what a beautiful post! I'm so sorry we didn't meet! I so wish I could have met everyone. I'm so glad you came and so glad you felt comfortable. I didn't know if I should go either but talked myself into it. I'm so glad I did. It was a spiritually recharging day. I hope today is okay!
    Much love,
    Jenn Petersen

  3. I'm glad you were up to coming, and glad that you enjoyed yourself. It was wonderful seeing you. Hugs!


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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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