Today I've been thinking a lot about just where we were two years ago -- as we were sitting by our little boy's bedside waiting for him to take his last breath and finally find the peace and healing he deserved. I'm not sure anyone could have possibly prepared us for that last marathon -- the period after we took him off life support. Everyone assumed he would peacefully die in my arms after the ventilator was removed, after he had not taken triggered any breaths on his own for over 48 hours. They thought he may last a few hours but no one dare thought he would fight for 52 more long intense hours. Gavin never did follow the rules, not in his birth and certainly not in his death.
Those last 52 hours, at that time, seemed like a nightmare. after we had held Gavin, had Madison say goodbye, and after all the doctors gathered to pronounce his death and as the vent was removed, we mourned and said goodbye. After death didn't happen, we mourned, grieved and said goodbye another ten or so times until it actually happened. Ugh. What a mess. Adam and I didn't sleep and only would eat what people would bring us to the bedside.
We spent those 52 hours engraving the memory of Gavin into our hearts. Seriously studying ever inch of his swollen little body. In the last 52 hours of his life he layed on the bed in a diaper with no blankets. I remember stoking ever square inch of skin on his body -- and to this day I remember how it felt. I remember the scent, I remember the color, I remember finally coming to the harsh realization that this no longer was my little boy -- it was just a shell, a shell that was falling apart and ready to die.
So many things went wrong in those last 52 hours. Gavi's doctor was out of the country and no doc could possible give him the same care -- no doctor could possibly understand just how complex and how not by the books our little boy was. There are so many things that I could be angry about surrounding his death but looking back I treasure every moment those circumstances gained us.
God knew what he was doing.
So many times is life when we are in the midst of the struggle we fail to see that the issues that cause us turmoil and pain might be the very things that in a few years we thank God for. God gave me those last 52 hours to memorize my little boy -- the sounds, the scents and gave me time to come to the place in my own heart and mind where I could see that this swollen shell no longer was a good home for my fighter -- that he needed to be in the most amazing arms ever -- the arms of God.
After Gavin died I tried to hold his body. It only lasted a few seconds -- My mommie heart knew that he was no longer there. I couldn't feel him -- I felt his body, but the Gavin I knew and loved had already left and the shell he left behind really had no meaning. I layed his body down on the bed and both Adam and I gently touched his cold skin and said goodbye.
I don't claim to understand why God choose Gavin to live a life of suffering and endure a difficult death -- but I choose to believe that God prepared Gavin for his life here on earth and what we may have viewed as painful suffering, Gavin perceived as once step closer to the most amazing reward ever -- heaven.
So much I don't understand. But by choosing to find hope, joy and peace, I am ushered into an amazing place of healing. Healing that by most would be incomprehensible. I mourn the loss of by baby boy, but at the same time I feel him closer than ever. He no longer is my child to watching grow here on earth but rather is simply woven into my very being.
As we remember his death, I choose the celebrate his life.