Saturday, July 12, 2008

July 20, 2005, a date now etched in stone

I have been sitting here dreading writing this post. I have been dreading it knowing how hard putting that day into words will be. There are no words to describe my aching heart. The void I feel in my life.

On July 20, after calling and finding out Isaac had a great night, after reading stories to him into a tape recorder, we arrived at the NICU. We walked in and there was a team of people around our son. A nurse came walking toward me and I knew...I knew by the look on her face that what she was about to say would change my heart forever. She hugged me. She looked at me and she said, "it won't be much longer. He waited for you to get here. You need to go be with him and tell him that it is okay to let go. His little body is just giving out. There is no doubt in my mind that he waited to have you hold him one last time." I immediately got sick. I ran out of that room and across the hall to an empty patient room where I threw up. This was all happening so fast. I had tried to be prepared, I had tried to be realistic, but I was hopeful. I prayed with my whole heart that God would heal my baby. The nurse followed me in and held my hair and got me a washcloth to wipe my face.

Then she looked at me and said "Ok, now you need to be with him." I told her I couldn't, that I didn't want to see him die. I just could not handle this. She said ok, but went and got Howard anyway. He brought Isaac to me. We sat on a bed, the three of us holding each other singing to our baby boy as Isaac's heart rate continued to slow, his breathing became erratic. The nurses came in and out periodically to check to see if he was alive and the last time she came in, she shook her head. He was gone.

We held him for a while longer. I was so scared about what holding my dying and then dead child would be like. I can say that while I never hoped to live through it again, it was not at all what I had anticipated. It was not scary, he did not struggle, it was peaceful. He was there, and then he wasn't. He drifted gently into the arms of his Heavenly father as his earthly mother and father sang him lullabies. I was there when that sweet soul entered this world and I was there as he quietly drifted out. We kissed him and took one last look, hoping to soak it all in, to etch his presence into our souls forever. Then we handed him over. We were stunned.

We did not expect our day to go that way. He had been doing so well. We packed our things and headed home. I needed to hold Luke. I needed to be reminded of God's goodness. The elevator ride down was long and lonely. We watched as other families came to the maternity floor with carseats to take their children home. This was a luxury we would never get to have with Isaac. He was gone. It felt so strange to leave the hospital that day. In my hand I carried a bag of Isaac's belongings. Not Isaac, just a few of his things. Six days, all summed up in a plastic drawstring bag. I waited until we got to the car to let loose, but then the floodgates opened and I cried, it all felt so unfair. Where was the justice in any of this? We were good parents, we would have given Isaac a good home and we would have tried our best to raise him to be a man of God. We would never have that opportunity. I wanted to believe God was with us, but I surely did not feel him. I felt as alone as I have ever been. My soul ached. My heart shattered. Howard began to drive toward home.

It was a rainy day and as we pulled out of the parking lot I took one last glance at the hospital desperately hoping I would wake up and realize this was all just a nightmare, that God had not allowed this emptiness to fill our hearts, that he DID love us and that he saved our boy. As I glanced back that was not what I saw, what I saw was a rainbow. It stretched across the sky over the hospital that day. I am convinced that God painted it there just for me. He knew I needed a sign, a sign that he was in fact there. That he would carry us through this. That he promised never to leave us and that even in the darkness there could be beauty.

9 comments:

Devin said...

Kristy,

My heart has just been breaking as I have sat and read your last several posts about Isaac. What you have gone through is almost unbelievable.

The faith, grace, and strength that flows from you even in the retelling of this story is amazing. You are not required to share all of these deep, emotional details with complete strangers (though, I know how healing blogging can be....I've done it myself this way many times); yet you do share, and you do open up about your circumstances time after time....and I, for one, am a better follower of Christ for it.

I feel (and have felt) many of the same emotions that you describe. "How can a good God do this....I am a good parent....I would have given my child a great home..." and on and on.

But, I still come back to the fact (as you obviously do as well) that God is good, no matter what the circumstances are. He and He alone knows best.

Thank you for sharing this. Even in the rawness of what has happened, your testimony has blessed at least one life today. And, I am certain, many others as well.

I will be praying you through this difficult month.

Devin in Illinois

Christa said...

Thank you for your words, and thank God for rainbows. Crying with you.

ajc4ever said...

Thank you so much for sharing the story of your beautiful Isaac. I've wondered about his story for so long. You and Howard are such wonderful parents to all 4 of your boys. They are as blessed to have you as you are to have them.

You have been on my heart a lot the last 3 weeks and I have been praying for you.

Corie said...

Kristy,
Its as if you wrote down the same thing I did on the day we held Larson...."I was so scared about what holding my dying and then dead child would be like. I can say that while I never hoped to live through it again, it was not at all what I had anticipated. It was not scary, he did not struggle, it was peaceful. He was there, and then he wasn't. He drifted gently into the arms of his Heavenly father as his earthly mother and father sang him lullabies. I was there when that sweet soul entered this world and I was there as he quietly drifted out."

The same thoughts and emotions rang throughout your post. I have been struggling to sleep the last few nights with many thoughts and reliving again and again things in my head. Mostly I think lately about how I walked down a hall without my baby. The hallway seemed long and narrow and although we went out a "back" way, I still saw a mom walking her newborn down a hall in their bassinet to her room. I was pushing nothing. Taking home momentos. We laid in bed that night with the fireplace on and surrounded by our other children. My c-section was fresh and the pain real, but no baby to wake with in the night. Just thoughts...too many thoughts.

Oh how I ache for you Kristy. I know those raw feelings and they don't just go away. To think you have done this 2 times just breaks my heart. Your faith is amazing, your honesty encouraging and your story a true testimony of Gods grace. He gets us through moment by moment.

sumi said...

Kristy, I just real all of your posts about Isaac with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing your precious little boy's story with us.

You are a blessing,
Sumi

So Blessed said...

I am praying for you, sweet Kristy, and Howard and your boys. Thank you for sharing these beautiful words about your precious baby boy. My heart aches with yours in your pain and sorrow. Your family is a living testimony of our heavenly Father's love and grace. May He bless you all abundantly and comfort you.

Love & prayers,
Susie

The VW's said...

I believe God painted that rainbow just for you too! What a reminder of His hope and love for you at such a heart breaking time in your life! I am sitting here with tears in my eyes, crying for you and the pain that you've gone through, yet feeling so thankful that God showed you that rainbow and that His promises for you and your family are abounding!

May God Bless You! I know that I've been blessed by you, through Him! Thank you! I'll be praying for you! Keep your eyes on the sky! I have a feeling that He'll be showing you more rainbows throughout your life!

Kim (marygracesummons.blogspot.com) said...

Kristy,
All I know to say is that I love you, that you know God loves you. Thank you for sharing this day with us. How beautiful it is to know that you and Howard sang to your sweet Isaac as he entered into the arms of Jesus. What a beautiful scene. Howard's prayer was beautiful - what a wonderful Husband God gave you and your boys. I am sorry friend, I am just so sorry.
Loving you from Texas!
Kim

meela said...

THank you so much for sharing this Kristy.