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It’s All Temporary

on January 15, 2017

The air is frigid. Snow is covering the ground, some white, some tarnished by footprints and dirt. Flowers and plants lie dormant beneath the cold snow. The trees are bare and appear lifeless without the lush green leaves that typically dance in the gentle wind. Most days, clouds cover the sky like a blanket hiding the shining sun that so many look forward to.

It’s gloomy this time of year. Often times, this gloomy weather seeps into our moods. We wake up somber wishing we could stay in the warmth of our beds. Blessings seem to be gone along with the colorful outside life we long for. A warm drink and flickering fire temporarily allow a smile to form. Time with family during holiday celebrations cause the gloominess to subside for a moment. Joy sneaks in with the pitter patter of children’s feet descending the stairs to see the presents beneath the Christmas tree. For many, a promise of new beginnings creates an excitement as the new year sneaks in.

Now days, I find myself dreading the new year more and more. As it nears, I fall into the depths of reliving the downfall of my daughter’s health. On January 1, 2015, she was rushed to the children’s hospital with signs of illness and respiratory distress. Doctors accessed her condition and began to treat her. Her situation improved temporarily and then plummeted. On this day two years ago, I sat in a nearby conference room as Audrey was removed from one form of life support and placed on another. It was the last resort to allow her body a chance at healing. She coded. Doctors worked diligently to bring her heartbeat back. They were successful, but could not prevent the damage of a stroke, or others that were unseen.

My husband and I rushed to her side as soon as we were allowed, but stopped in our tracks with the vision of so many machines working to provide her with life. She lay on the bed medically paralyzed, awake beneath the mixture of medicines. I knew she was there hanging on to life beneath the gloominess in my view, much like the plants outside.

I clung to a hope that spring would arrive for her, and she would awaken with a refreshed life. I looked for those small blessings to get me through the long winter of her illness. A flutter of her eyes would stir excitement in me. My mood would get better with any movement of her left side. Occasionally, her body would grow used to the medicine causing her to sleep. Her eyes would open and search for me. When they locked on mine I could sense her fear and hope for Mommy to help. This image still seeps into my thoughts causing my chest to tighten and tears to sneak down my face.

I fought for her alongside the medical team. Some days I fought the medical team to fight harder. The end of that fight came on February 18, 2015. I had prayed for God to provide me with answers, to make it clear if the time came to let her go from this earth and into his arms. And he did. The damage to her body was far too severe for her to sustain life without her machines. Even with the support of machines, her body was failing. She was uncomfortable. I sensed she felt pain.

My heart was broken in a way I had never felt before. Still, I looked for the blessings. I received one final night with my baby girl. I held her for the first time in over a month. I stroked her face, and pushed back her hair. Her eyes opened. I no longer saw fear or hope for Mommy’s help. Her hope lay in someone else now. My hope did, too.

When the time came for final goodbyes I looked around to see our closest family and friends packed into the room where I spent my final night next to my daughter. Each person spent time with her, stroking her hand, telling her their final goodbyes. We read her stories. I read “You Are My I Love You” to her for the millionth and last time. Her brothers lay their heads next to hers. I’m not sure they completely understood what was happening. They just knew they had to say goodbye. Our closest friends and pastor stood by as I told my daughter do not be afraid. Jesus would take her by the hand and guide her to a beautiful place called Heaven. She would feel no pain. My prayer of her healing would be answered, not in the way I had hoped, but in a way that would last forever. I asked her to meet me by the lilacs and believe that she will. When sadness creeps in, which it does often, I imagine her with a smile on her face and bouquet of lilacs in hand. She is reaching to me as I run to her.

Our favorite music therapist had been sitting by playing his guitar as we spent these final moments with Audrey. With a nod of my head he began playing “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. Here comes the sun. Here comes the Son. The Son would guide her home. He would care for her in a way that I could not.

I miss her in a way that so many could never understand. This time of year is so difficult for me. Visions of that last few months play over and over in my mind. I cry a lot. I feel so broken, but still look for the blessings even as temporary as they are. The brokenness is temporary, as well. Everything this side of Heaven is. My hope is in my Savior. One day, He will take my hand and guide me to that beautiful place where the lilacs are always in bloom. It’s the place where I will find her waiting.

 

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One response to “It’s All Temporary

  1. This is absolutely beautiful. I got chills as I finished reading your blog and I am crying. I lost my newborn baby, Jensen, this past August. The darkness and cold temperatures of this time of the year seep into my body and affect my mood in such a way that I want to go to sleep and not wake up for another few years. I am so sorry, sweet mama. I feel your pain and I am with you. Sending you lots of love.

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