Eighteen. 18! Sweet, sweet 18! That’s how many years Dan Hott has been my Valentine.
Eighteen Valentine’s Days ago, he managed to steal my heart in a green checkered shirt and a walk along the Potomac River. Who knew a BLT at Ruby Tuesdays would find us here down the road. Hummmm,…. I guess God knew what He was doing. Whether our first Valentine’s Day, 15th Anniversary, or my 46th birthday, excuse me, can I tell you something? My heart will still do a flip-flop when I see Dan Hott enter a room.
Which makes me wonder: does Dan’s heart flip over for me too? Does that big ‘ole heart of his go skippin’ around when he sees me? Does his heart race when I enter a room? Well, I know his eyeballs roll around a bit. That’s usually when I come in talking about a topic that I am certain will shatter the earth and change the world. Needless to say, he typically rolls his eyes at me. ;-) But, after 18 Valentine’s, what is my husband’s heart doing?
Husbands. Isn’t it hard to read what they are thinking? Do you ever wonder if you still melt away your husband’s heart? For Dan, I have seen his heart melt away during a special song or memory. I have watched him tear up at moments that make me jump around; like seeing Violet go to her first dance. For a tough guy, he really is a softie with a heart of gold. And you know what? When we first met, 18 years ago, Dan didn’t have a place in his heart for Jesus.
No. No Jesus. Nope-no-sir-ree! No God. No – nothing.
Dan was the ever calculated scientist. A civil engineer by education and an environmental contractor for Chevron, Dan’s heart just could not logic much more than cold, hard facts.
But God had a plan.
In 2003, during a church service I managed to drag Dan to – again! – Dan’s heart did change. While listening to this Christian rocker dude with earrings and a pop belly sing one random Sunday morning, Dan became a Christian. God had a plan.
Before that, God had blessed us with a daughter in 2000. But this was all to the credit of science. (Just wait…) Our Violet was an ICSI baby. “Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, (pronounced eeksee) is an in vitro fertilization procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.” A doctor told Dan that he had less than a 2% chance of ever fathering a baby without ICSI. So, we spent $20,000 and charged Violet on our American Express credit card.
But God knew otherwise.
Are you ready for this? Now, I should tell you that Dan has a h.u.g.e family. Thirteen, yes 13, siblings and countless nieces and nephews. Years ago, I attempted to count all the Hotts and managed to remember 164 immediate family members. Yes, I know it sounds crazy. So, the news of needing science to enlarge our family was a little hard to swallow. But guess what?
Three months after Dan brought Jesus in his heart, we.were.pregnant! Dan’s heart was so happy. When Isaac was six months old, we were pregnant again.
God’s heart was happy!
And so was Dan’s. Here is when I need to pause. Has this ever happened to you? I would step back and take a moment to evaluate everything. For me, I felt sooo blessed – beyond belief. I was a SAHM with four, yes 4 beautiful babies with a husband that adored his family. Then, when the boys were just 3 and 4 years old, Dan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Shortly after, Dan’s heart nearly killed him.
God had a plan?
Come on, right! How could this be happening? We waited so long for a family, now we would have to figure out how to live daily with not only the movement struggles from Parkinson’s Disease but now, well, now a cardiologist tells Dan he has something called Brugada Syndrome. This illness causes an unusual heart arrhythmia which is not only fatal, it is also genetic.
My heart was breaking. Please, not my kids too.
Just a week later, Dan underwent surgery and an ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) was installed.
God had a heart.
So, you see, no matter how hard I try to be my sexy or seductive self (as if that’s possible) and attempt to make Dan’s heart go flitter-flutter, a machine will keep him beating at a nice and steady pace. But this is a good thing, especially considering the alternative. That crazy summer was spent celebrating life and our family. As school approached, the WVU geneticist advised us that our children needed access to AEDs (automated external defibrillator) in their schools. Since it is genetic, it was possible that they may experience a sudden cardiac incident. West Virginiadoes not require schools to have AEDs.
Yet! And itsn’t it interesting how God has a plan? Here, in the season of Valentine’s Day, I received a call from WV Delegate Cowles at the capitol. This week, he introduced HB4442. The purpose of HB4442 is to require AEDs (automated external defibrillators) in ALL public schools. This bill, under consideration of the Education Committee, chaired by Delegate Mary Poling (D-Barbour), not only is a testament that AEDs save lives,…
…so does Jesus. He saved my Dan’s heart.
Have a Heart! Make HB 4442 at law by emailing Delegate Mary Poling today firstname.lastname@example.org or call (304) 457-2206.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine….” – Proverbs 17:22
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