01-10-11 / Aaden’s 3rd Birthday!
Today is proof of the rollercoaster I am on. I was supposed to go back to work today and felt so good about it yesterday; woke up this morning on the downhill side of the horror of it all. It’s like yesterday was the part of a rollercoaster where you’re gliding along and actually enjoying yourself, you know, before your stomach is forced into your throat by the inevitable instant drop. Last night was the part where you’re slowing ticking up the highest incline you’ve ever been on, as you slowly reach the peak you’re full of anxiety about what’s in store. Today I’m on the part where you’ve lost all control of your own voice because you’re screaming like an idiot as you speed down the scariest, steepest drop of your life.
I woke up around 4ish this morning to go hug Aaron before he left for work, which I never do because I love my sleep and I’m too selfish to get up to tell him goodbye; things felt ok, not great but ok. I knew he was dreading going to work the same as I was and I was just glad I got to crawl back in bed for one more hour to snuggle up to my sweet birthday boy before having to really face the music. I got back up at 5:00 to begin my morning routine of getting ready for work and Aaden was having no part of it, he kept crying out and I’d have to go back in there to comfort him back to sleep. Then it hit me, I was going to have to walk out the door without Aaron right by my side, I was going to have to face people alone and I began to lose all control of myself. It never dawned on me that Aaron and I entering our separate worlds without each other would be yet another mountain to climb. The more I thought about it the more I realized that I physically could not face people without him, my body physically will not allow walk out of the house without a support system; what am I going to do? I don’t think we really realized how much we had been leaning on each other until today and I have completely lost my footing. The last time I went back in the room to get Aaden back to sleep he grabbed onto me like a baby monkey does to his mama and I just lost it. Today is supposed to be my favorite day of the year, the day I celebrate Aaden coming into our lives and changing us forever. Instead, I’m focusing on my own weakness and can’t seem to snap out of it. So I just held him nose to nose and made the wise decision that I wasn’t ready to return to work just yet. I text Judy letting her know that I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t even get half way through applying my makeup without sobbing and having to start all over. She told me that it was ok if I couldn’t do it today and that if I wanted to bring Aaden with me when I came back she and Mr. Smith both felt that was a good idea. My parents have both offered to go with me on my first day back too, now this is the true image of what I’ve become; like a kindergarten kid on her first day of school, not so strong. I can’t be thankful enough for my work family. I have a boss that loves me enough to allow me the time I need off and wants me to do whatever I need to do to make my first day back as easy as possible. I have coworkers that check on me daily and genuinely love me, I’ve never had this in a job before and I could never thank them enough for understanding and encouraging my absence until I’m ready to handle being back. So now that my boy has had to spend his birthday with a sad mommy I have had to ask my parents to come take us to Chuck E Cheese, my least favorite place on earth, so that he can have some real fun on his big day. I feel pathetic thinking I can’t even work up enough courage to take my favorite person in the whole world to do something fun without someone going with me. I long for this part to end. Now that he’s done cleaning his sister’s room that he destroyed this morning I will put on my happy face and get us both dressed for some much needed fun. Bless his heart; he thinks Santa’s coming to his house for his birthday; still not sure how to handle that one.
My parents finally got here and we were able to take Aaden to Chuck E Cheese where my mom bought him 95 coins and the guy at the counter decided to give him 10 bonus ones since it was his birthday; considering each thing takes one coin we can all conclude that he had far too many coins. There are so many little things I love about that kid, the main one being that he is who he is and what you see is what you get; I love his pure soul and outspoken nature that, at times, can bring some parental embarrassment. Another thing I love about him is that he’s cheap! I got so much pleasure out of watching him insist on sitting on one of the games, putting his coin in, spinning the steering wheel a few times then getting up to move on to the next game before he had even started the one he was sitting at. After watching him do this several times I knew that technically I could bring him into Chuck E Cheese and allow him to play on everything for free. He didn’t care about winning the game, for that matter he didn’t care about playing the game; he just wanted to touch all of it at least once. Our favorite thing to do as his parents is to just watch him in action. We love watching him when he doesn’t know he’s being watched; that trip to my least favorite place on earth turned my day around. He knows he’s the center of our world, he would climb to the very top of the play place and get to a window and yell, “hello” really loud, smiling so big and waving; he couldn’t see any of us but he knew one of us would be somewhere close enough to hear him and he wanted to make sure we were looking at him. Needless to say, there were coins to spare, 105 coins for one little boy is just a few too many.
As I’ve sat here and gone through some of my previous emails that I read while my brain was so hazy and some new ones too I’ve realized the magnitude of the situation I’m living in. Our family is loved by so many, some that know us and some we’ve never met. I had no idea that perfect strangers would be emailing us and offering condolences, love, support, prayers and even services. I had a lady email me from Tyler today that I’ve never met and never heard of, offering to set me up with a photographer from the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization. If you’re not familiar with this organization, it’s a group of photographers with amazing hearts that offer free services to families in our situation. They will come to the hospital and photograph our first moments with him down to our last moments with him; this allows us to focus our everything on him. She then said if she wasn’t able to get that set up for me she would be honored to take the photographs herself; she’s not a photographer but she felt moved to offer that to my family. I don’t know that I would be so strong to offer something like that to a family I’ve never laid eyes on. I won’t need any of those services because my friend Lee-Ann wasted no time in emailing me saying she wanted to do this for us. Lee-Ann is a photographer that I met many years ago. I took Kamryn, for those that don’t know, she is my stepdaughter, to Sears for her 6-month pictures and Lee-Ann was the “picture girl” we had that day. She has since gone on to open up her own photography business called Through God’s Eyes Photography and I can’t think of a better label to be stamped on the first and last pictures of our little angel. I finally worked up the courage to talk to her about it today, and she will not only be at the hospital but she will photograph his memorial service as well. Anyone that knows me knows how I love my pictures, this is a gift that she could never put a price tag on; I offered to pay her and she simply won’t accept. Thank God I took Kamryn in for those pictures 4 years ago and thank God for Lee-Ann; this is one less thing I have to plan.
Many of the emails I get from friends and strangers alike point out that we serve a healing God; they are right. People keep pointing out that earthly physicians have so much knowledge and so much experience but the final say is always the Lord’s. I couldn’t agree more. We hesitate to pray for healing at this point and I want to share the reason why. We know that God can heal, if that is the desire of His heart; we are also aware that God’s will is what must be done here. This is my prayer; that God’s will is done and through that he will hold us in his arms like His little babies and comfort us. I feel that if I pray hours on end for healing I will begin to expect that my son will be healed, it’s only human nature. As humans we are very quick to take what we want to happen and call it God’s will instead of accepting God’s will and finding peace in His decisions for our lives. I don’t want to do that. As a mommy praying for healing over her child that is going to die, this would only give my human heart false hope of his survival. Instead, we have chosen to pray for God’s will and along with that pray that God will use our baby’s organs to allow him to live here on earth through someone else’s child as well as in heaven. As I was lying next to my birthday boy this morning, because he sleeps smack dab in the middle of Aaron and I, I could feel his heart pounding against me; my mind started running wild. What if I had never been given Aaden? What if he had been born with a heart defect that took his life from me and there were no parents out there willing to give life from their child that was destined to die? Then I started thinking of how maybe one day there will be a mom lying next to her birthday baby feeling my son’s heart pounding in her child’s chest; how wonderful would that be? I know that she would think of my baby boy every time she found joy in her baby. These are not easy thoughts to have but my thoughts nonetheless. If God sees fit to provide us with a medical miracle then you will be reading all about that too; I cannot even wrap my mind around the joy we will feel. If he doesn’t then we have taken this time to accept that our baby is not ours to keep. I pray that tomorrow is different; I pray that I’m able to get through my morning without sobbing and get myself to work. If I can’t make it tomorrow then I will continue to pray for these things until I am strong enough to walk out the door on my own to attend to my life.