Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Holding on to hope

I am positive that there are a few things in life that you can never be prepared for.

Seeing that tiny piece of you on a hospital bed with a machine pumping his lungs full of air, that air I admittedly take for granted all day, every day. Watching his body move and knowing its not being done by him is a strange realization. It takes some getting used to. You don't know what to expect. How much will he move, will he open his eyes, what is our new normal? It took me some time to adjust.. It was totally unreal. I needed a moment to gather my thoughts...We headed down to the lobby, grabbed a coffee and trekked to the parking garage. I opened the hatch to our trunk and just sat there letting it sink in. We didn't talk much, both kind of quietly picked our emotions up off the floor and gave them a good dusting. Pushed the negative out and let the positive settle back in. Out of the hospital room....just outside away from everything as I processed our "new". 

We ran into Hunters dad on the way out. I could tell he already knew what was going on. Our boys were neighbors again..only a sliding glass door to separate us. There isn't much that can happen around here without the other families noticing. As we walked out our eyes met miles before we did..there is something that happens when two scared souls suffering the same pains lock eyes. Its like all your thoughts and fears intertwine and there are hours of conversation had without the need for a single word..the connection in that gaze speaks about a level of pain few have ever experienced. A helpless pain. The pain of a parent that comes as they watch their child tiptoe on the very thin line of life and death. It's an understanding that can only be fathomed by someone in our situation. Truly An unforgettable moment. You share the same horrid life experience and you know the odds are someone has to when one of us teeters a little closer to stepping over that thin line, you feel sadness for them, not only because you have come to know and care for them but because you know it could easily in an instant be you. I'm sure a sorry and a sigh were exchanged somewhere in there...but there is nothing more memorable than the unspoken.

 We spent the rest of the day with Hud and our nurse Katy. I can't relay the importance of an awesome nurse during these stressful long term hospital stays. She is a complete match to our personalities. She loves to play with our daughter, she laughs at our jokes (probably the most important thing of all) and I'm always able to talk to her whether it be about my emotions, experiences or of course Hudson's medical issues.. Being completely comfortable with the person responsible for keeping your little one alive always makes it easier when you are on your way out for the night. I will always remain thankful for the days we have nurses like that.

When we arrived the next morning we were greeted with a rarely closed curtain in the first room. We entered Huds room and found the glass door joining us to Hunter unusually closed as well. I thought it odd, but sometimes during in room procedures or discussions they will close the partitions.  As I rotated around I caught sight of Hunters monitors. The screens were dark, my heart sank. That sweet boy was waiting for a transplant and no monitors could only mean one thing. His dad sat cradling him in his arms...then getting up to place him back on his bed. Instant grief washed over me. I wanted to run in and see what was going on...ask a million questions...hug them...cry for them. In the same sense I didn't want to intrude, I battled with myself as to what would be the most appropriate approach. I wanted to imagine it wasn't happening only feet away from us. I wanted to pretend the reality away. If I don't believe in it, it can't exist.  I caught glimpses of the hardest moments any parent can imagine play out. He exited the room...I seized the opportunity, stepped out of Huds room and as he was talking "y'all did everything you could" to his Dr. he began to break down. I instantly interrupted the conversation and wrapped my arms around him to comfort...I'd have done anything (seriously, anything) to make them feel better. I whispered "I am so very sorry" squeezed harder.....backed away, grabbed his arm and said the only thing I could offer..."if you need something, please don't hesitate"..I wish there was something more profound that I could have rattled off instead. Regretfully, that is all I had. There really are just no words. Shane and I were in total disbelief for the rest of the week. We still talk about Hunter and I doubt we will ever forget. So, to that sweet faced little man who always knew when to pull off his pulse ox and toss it out of his crib for attention, the soft little voice that always wanted yum yums, the 1 1/2 year old who touched so many easy now, sweetheart.
Nothing around here is easy, nothing.

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