Betsy has been a little preoccupied of late. First the flooding. Then she moved. But by far the biggest challenge on Betsy’s plate has been her daughter’s surgery.

Betsy is privileged to be mother to Kirstin. Or Kirstin Sunshine as Betsy calls her. Kirstin is a special needs child, although I think of the word “special” in a different way when it comes to her.

Kirstin can neither form words nor see. She cannot sit up on her own or walk. She will forever be locked in a state of childhood bliss that many of us would like to recapture. She can, however, charm you with her infectious laughter and buoyant personality. She loves music of all kinds. Kirstin finds ways to communicate in the most charming manner and that’s why I think she’s special.

Kirstin needed surgery to straighten her spine. It is a worrisome thing to any mother when a child has surgery, but Kirstin cannot tell the doctor where it hurts or even if it hurts. Anesthesia is a problem.

Betsy worried. But Kirstin is a tough little cookie and she came through with flying colors. Betsy stayed at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with her daughter for seven straight days because only Betsy can accurately gauge what Kirstin needs and when.

Betsy reports that Kirstin is getting back to her old self. “She broke it down to the Black Eyed Peas and James Brown yesterday.”

Betsy also knows how to grease the wheels with the staff at Vanderbilt. She’s gotten them cookies from the Hermitage Bakery. Kirstin’s doctor’s name is Dr. Lovejoy. Could anything be more appropriate?

You want to give out a mother of the year award? I’m nominating Betsy right now.

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