The year my sister was dying as a result of a congenital heart defect that is common and successfully treated now with surgery, but then posed an enigma to physicians, she was given these little red dress pins from the American Heart Association.  Because the congenital heart defects wasn’t the mission of the American Heart Association and she had never received support from them, we felt a little funny about them, but then we looked at the dress.  It was flirty.  It was girly,  It was Rosie.  So we wear them proudly because though they are to raise awareness of women’s  heart health, to us, they raise awareness of adults with congenital heart defects and in particular, Rosie.

Like the little red dress, she had spunk and sass and a bit of a quirkiness to her sense of humor that made us laugh often.  A ride anywhere with her was sure to end in giggles because she could find humor in the most prosaic things and quick quips were spoken in the driest tone making the delivery of the message as funny as the message itself.  I don’t know if we’ve ever laughed as much since she’s been gone.  

She also carried herself with a confidence that is portrayed in that little red dress.  She had multiple scars from five open heart surgeries but a dipped neckline didn’t bother her.  She was proud of every one of them and never let it bother her when people stared and pointed and made negative comments.  Those were her scars of life.

So we’ll wear the little red dress pin and celebrate Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day by delivering heart pillows to pediatric patients, whether they be newborn or 36, like she was when she had her last open heart surgery.  We’ll wear red and “think Rosie”.  We’ll remember the grace and courage and spirit she showed even as her body, her heart, gave out.

Remembering Rosie.  Wearing red.  Feeling sassy through our sadness wearing the little red dress pin. 

God, let her know we love and miss her…we know she’s right there with you.