1.       the quality of being thankful

2.       readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

3.       us


Neave is out of surgery and faring well.

Here’s what happened:

Yesterday was maybe the longest day in the history of the world. Matched only by…today. And what I assume tomorrow will feel like as well.

We arrived at the hospital before 6 am. Kate was able to accompany Neave into the O.R., until the anaesthetist and slumber took over. Surgery began around 8. And so we gathered in the surgical waiting room and proceeded to do just that. Wait. And pace. And drink tea. And watch the seconds tick by. And count the chairs as they filled up. And guess where the doctors were from based on their accents, as they came to inform other families that their respective children were out of surgery. And pray. And drink more tea. And stare at the automated screen that looks like an airport arrival/departure schedule. And watch her name just sit there…”In OR”.  And count the chairs as they emptied. And panic. And make inappropriate jokes to ward off the tears. And drink more tea. And wonder why no one had come out to give us an update yet. And wonder. And wander. And worry.

And then, 13 hours after it started, Dr. Hopyan, the orthopaedic surgeon, came out to tell us that Neave…was ok. The surgery had gone well. They had removed what needed to be removed. Replaced her femur with 20 centimetres of her own bone from her left leg, along with some donor bone, and a metal plate and after all that, she was doing well. He said that she’d be moved into recovery shortly and then we’d be able to see her. We thanked him and oddly found ourselves unable to catch our collective breath. Some battles are so stressful that even their endings are not met with relief, because something inside of you knows, this is just the beginning of the war.

We waited for 2 more hours. We’d been first into the waiting room and we were now the last. Apparently, just before they’d closed the incision they’d decided to do a little adjustment and so the surgery had continued. And our panic catapulted. Back to the pacing. And the waiting. And the praying. After a total of 16 hours in surgery, all was well and we were finally able to see our girl.

She is now awake, alert, feisty and handling this like a hero. As Shane has pointed out to us, when you type “Neave” into your phone, it autocorrects to “BRAVE”. Even Apple knows it’s true.

Speaking of brave. I can’t tell you how proud I am of Neave’s parents. They are my heroes too. Watching my sister navigate the complicated waters of our medical system is nothing short of brilliant. She is an exemplary mother. And I couldn’t have chosen a better man to father my niece. I wish my own parents were here, (for a hundred reasons), but one of them is so that my dad could shake Shane’s hand and tell him he’s honoured to have him as a son-in-law.

One of the things we did to occupy ourselves between the pacing, the tea-ing and the peeing, was to read your messages. Your kind, inspiring, heartfelt and loving messages. And there have been so many of them. I can’t thank you enough. For every word. It feels like you’ve wrapped your arms around us in a giant, virtual hug. There is something magical about the communion of energy. When everyone joins together to send prayers, thoughts, positivity and love…something big happens. Bigger than any one individual alone. Thank you for creating a ripple. It has reached us. We are riding its gentle waves to the shore.

Please keep ‘em comin’! Neave is in a lot of pain, which they’re managing with meds. We are hopeful that all will heal well within her new miracle legs. We have a long and winding road ahead of us, but she is equipped with a great team – from her docs and nurses, to her wee friends, sisters, family and community at large. So keep sending strength, patience and fortitude to Neave and to her very weary parents and family. I’ve decided to change the adage from “one day at a time” to “10 minute chewable chunks”. We can do anything…for 10 minutes at a time.

I shall sign off for now. Sign off, but with much gratitude. Gratitude for the gift of Neave in my life. Gratitude for my family – I don’t know what I did in a previous life to have been so lucky to have inherited them. Gratitude to be Canadian and to have access to this skillful and world class group of doctors, nurses and specialists. Gratitude for steeped tea with 2 milk, or (thanks to her Irish friends), 2 cream for Kate. Gratitude for the strangers who donated blood and who signed their donor card and thus contributed a literal piece of themselves to her future. Gratitude for sleep. Gratitude for Netflix Kids. And gratitude for all of you, our army of goodwill.

Mother Teresa said “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love”.  Sending so much love, that it hurts.










21 thoughts on “All’s Well That Eventually…Ends

  1. Thank you for the update on little Neave, Megan. I’ve been wondering and praying and hoping. I will continue to do so! Something tells me that you have no idea what joy and inspiration you bring to others — me included. Thank you for including me in your circle.



    On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 6:21 PM, Murphy’s Law – A Documentary Film wrote:

    > Meg Murphy posted: ““Gratitude”: 1. the quality of being thankful > 2. readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness 3. > us Neave is out of surgery and faring well. Here’s what happened: > Yesterday was maybe the longest day in the hi” >

  2. Meaghan, great stuff, prayers can sometimes be listened to….hang in, love to all, please let us know what we can do to help….. Ed and Lorna…

  3. Great news! While I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Neave, Chris had let me know first about Shane, then about Neave. Positive vibes sent your way.

  4. Hey Megan We are so relieved to hear that all went well. What a brave little soldier. And thank you for documenting things so eloquently. We send our prayers, and our love to the whole clan. Doug & Linda xxx

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Tears, 6 am in Bucharest; thinking about Toronto and then zoom in to a hospital, then a single room where I see a little girl recovering. I am thinking of your entire family starting this long journey and the courageous way you take each step forward. Best wishes to you all. X

  6. Thank you for sharing your Neave’s journey and that of your whole family through this frightening battle in such a heartfelt way Meghan. Our prayers are with all of you as you hope for the very best outcome.

  7. We are all praying sooo very much for your precious Neave and for all of you. Glenn, myself and our son Kyle do not know Kate and Shane, but through Alex, Kyle’s girlfriend, we all feel we have been able to share a piece of a loving family, 3 amazing little girl’s, a fabulous “Auntie Meg” that Glenn and I love soo very much! We continue to pray for Neave and pray Kate and Shane can continue to find that inner strength that a parent needs to find to help pull them through the next many hurdles they all will be facing. Just please know we are thinking of you all and praying beyond praying.

    Love, Elly, Glenn and Kyle xoxoxoxoxoxo

  8. My heart is happy and heavy at the same time if that makes any sense. I know this hospital well, I had scoliosis of the spine that was to collapse my lung and had surgery to put in a steel rod, and shavings from my hip to fuse it all together. I was 14. It was a long surgery also. I now understand how hard this is on the parents and family. I was in the hospital for close to two months recovering on a striker bed that quickly turned you from on you stomach to bad every so many hours. But the reason I’m telling you this is to let you know how Neive will be the strongest she has ever been. I rallied like most children do in adverse times.
    She will get through this. Our prayers and virtual hugs are plenty my dear friends. Life is a crazy journey at times. I often wonder why we all must deal with so much. But I believe that God sometimes gets put in the background and is always up front giving us our greatest strength when we need it most. He is never far when we seek him. I give all my belief in his will and accept it with honor of a good honorable Father. I believe God is in each one of us to give those hugs and words of strength because we feel it so strongly when our family hurts.
    Please give each other a hug for the great trip around the 1st track. We will win when we are all together. I feel like I was there waiting too. Your strength brought tears to my eyes. I thought of Neive and you all throughout that day and prayed each time. I will continue to do so every day. May God bless each and everyone of you and know that things will happen as it should. Through all of my heart and love. Keep the faith!!!! Stay strong.
    Love Rosie Cromlish

  9. Hello Megan,
    Thank you so much for sharing the updates about your precious niece Neave!
    What a blessing you are to your entire family, especially Kate and Shane, to take the time keep everyone informed about this difficult and stressful journey.
    Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers each day.
    Sending everyone lots of 💕 love and hugs 💕 , stay strong,
    Rose & Barry Dicks

  10. Thank you Meg for another update. It is a relief to hear some news. I am so grateful that you have taken this on. You are doing a beautiful and amazing job. Your writing is wonderful and helps to keep the rest of us fighting strong too.
    We are here as always to support. Constantly sending love and prayers.

  11. Megan:

    Sorry for not writing sooner. I have been thinking about you since your email last week. I’m so glad that the surgery went well.

    Alice and I were at church this morning and in addition to praying for Neave myself, I also filled out a prayer request card, so that the pastoral team will pray for her too.

    Your family is so lucky to have you supporting them. It’s been a long time since we have seen each other, but I have no doubt that you still have the same boisterous laugh and huge heart that you had back during the grapefruit war days of 2002-2003.


    On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 6:21 PM, Murphy’s Law – A Documentary Film wrote:

    > Meg Murphy posted: ““Gratitude”: 1. the quality of being thankful > 2. readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness 3. > us Neave is out of surgery and faring well. Here’s what happened: > Yesterday was maybe the longest day in the hi” >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s