Dear Jackson,

May 28, 2011

Something to think about

Filed under: 1 year-old - 2 years-old — Tags: — aJOHNymous @ 2:15 pm

A few days ago, a friend posted a link on Facebook that really shook me. The link was to a post on a blog written by a mom of 6-month old triplets and a 4-year old boy. The post itself was nothing short of heartbreaking. It seems that about two days prior, one of her triplets was found in his crib not breathing. She tried mouth-to-mouth, but got no reaction. He was eventually rushed to the hospital where he was revived but was essentially comatose. To make a long story short, it looked like he’d become a victim of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). He was barely clinging to life and they were about to begin tests to determine whether or not he was brain dead.

Like I said: this shook me. I mentally put myself back into the hospital in the days following your birth and I remembered how hard it was for us to see you the way you were. Then I realized that what this woman was going through was far worse and my heart sank. Her son was looking at a bout a 2% chance of survival. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what that must be like. And then I started thinking about your unborn sibling. He/she will likely be six-months old right around Christmastime. I can’t fathom having to go through something that after only six months of perfectly normal infanthood. I think it affected me so much because I am a parent. I know that parental connection. I have that with you and I’m about to form another connection with your sibling.

I felt horrible for this woman and her family. One some level, I can understand what she’s going through as a parent, but on a much deeper level, I have no idea what it must be like to go through something like this. And to top it all off, she’s been blogging about the whole ordeal daily. That’s crazy. I don’t know if I’d be able to do that. It’s been difficult to read the past few days. And that brings us to today. Only 6 days after finding her son unresponsive, she’ll have to watch as doctors wheel her son into an operating and remove his heart and other organs for donation.

6 days. That’s it. From perfectly healthy to deceased. It’s an incredibly sobering thought. 6 days of Hell. And she recorded every agonizing second of each day in her blogs. I suppose that’s why I connected with them. She’s doing much the same thing that I am doing in these letters to you. She’s recording her family’s history in real-time. And like all histories, we have to encounter tragedies.

Because her latest post affected me so much, I wanted to share it here in this letter to you. It’s important to not take life for granted because it can be gone in an instant. It’ll be hard not to think about this little boy, Owen, who died today as you, your mom, and I all celebrate your sibling’s 6-month old birthday this winter.

***

May 27, 2011 • 9:00 pm

Warrior March

The anesthesiologists came at exactly 6:15. She asked me if there was anything she could do and I said to take note of the time when she turns the ventilator off. She promised.

We all walked Owen down to the operating room. A warrior needs his army when marching on to battle. And that’s just what we did. The nurses silenced as we walked by. Doug walked with his shoulders puffed up. I felt so proud of my son. I could feel the respect from the staff for my little Owen.

I pictured all of Doug’s army men standing along the wall, paying their respects. Samurais and everything.

We walked down to the swinging doors, where we said our goodbyes. One last kiss. One last pat on the head. One last hand hold. There I stood. Waiting for the doors to swing open from someone else coming or going. Sneaking another peak of my little warrior marching on to his last battle.

While I already know he wins this battle, I asked Doug if thought Owen would be scared. He told me of course not. He died in bravery and in strength. Our child completed more in his life than anyone else we know.

***

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