Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm prepared...

It's been a really tough weekend for a family friend. My mother's best friend had a tragedy. Her niece and nephew lost their 3 week old baby. He was born without a left ventricle. That is difficult to even write much less say or even imagine. The mother of the baby had proper prenatal care, but some how this was missed on all the test and screenings.

Little Baby Tyler was born on July 21st at a mid-state hospital. He was seemingly normal and his doctor noticed he had a heart murmur. Upon further testing, a birth defect became apparent and the baby was transferred to a Children's Hospital to the NICU. Surgery after surgery, fight after fight, baby Tyler was given countless last minute chances. His little chest remained open for all 3 weeks of his life, for emergency purposes I'm sure. An artificial device called an EMO, worked as his heart. Blood was pumped in and blood was pumped out. Tubes, cords, ventilator, fluids all attached to a small 8 pound frame. He fought for every moment of his life.

Baby Tyler's parents are simple folk. Not given many opportunities in life, wanted as we all do, a better future for their baby. Surviving on very little, the scraped and saved every penny to make sure their baby would come home to the very best they could provide. They prepared well. The only thing they had yet to purchase was a high chair. When purchasing items for their baby, they felt if the name on the product was Johnson & Johnson and Pampers, their baby needed it and they made sure they had plenty of it. All of these items lovingly purchased in anticipation of their son's beginnings are now painful reminders of what will no longer be.

Sunday, August 15th, Baby Tyler's fight ended. My mother was there by her best friends side as the decision was made. Baby Tyler's kidney's began to fail and he began bleeding on the brain. His Daddy decided that Baby Tyler was not going to suffer any longer. He knew that this was what was to be and he was prepared....he was prepared. He was prepared to make the most difficult decision imaginable. As a parent myself, my heart breaks at that statement. "I'm prepared to do what needs to be done for the best interest of my son." He was prepared to say, enough is enough. He was prepared to hold his baby in his final moments. He was prepared to give every bit of himself to his son in his final breaths. He was prepared.

How can anyone be prepared to make such a decision? Aunt Berry came to the hospital to take photographs of Baby Tyler and his family in the last few hours of his life. Pictures that I'm sure the family will covet for the rest of their lives. Once the decision had been made, the nurses began slowly removing tubes and equipment that was keeping Baby Tyler alive. As his mother clung to her baby and wailed, there were no words of comfort that could take the pain away. Her baby was dying. Are we ever prepared to hold our dying child in our arms? Could I handle such a tragedy with such dignity? It makes you ask, "Why?" What was the purpose of this child's life here on earth for such a short amount of time?

As the last pieces of equipment were removed, Baby Tyler's father, my Mom, my Mom's best friend stood and held Baby Tyler's little hands and feet. It didn't take long for the sweet gift from God to pass into our Father's arms. Tears, heartbreak and silence filled the room. As Baby Tyler's Dad held his son, he said, "I just want him to move, just one last time." He kissed his baby over and over again. As they left the hospital, they were in disbelief. All the trips back and forth over the past 3 weeks, this was the first time they were leaving without any hope of coming back to see their son. They were no longer the parents of a living child. Now, they have the memory of their son. A son that fought for every minute of his 25 days here on this earth.

I have been consumed with thoughts and prayers for this little family. I have gone to my bible tonight for strength. I have found comfort in hearing the sound of my Brownies playing, laughing, hearing them find delight in each other and even found peace when I hear them cry. I realize that every day is truly a gift. For the last 1,000+ days, I have been given 1,000+ gifts multiplied by two. I don't take any moment of those 1,000+ days for granted, for Baby Tyler is now silent. His parents will never hear their son laugh, coo or cry until they are one day united with him in heaven. My sister came tonight and we worked on the DVD for the family, I choked back tears and my throat swelled as I looked at the pictures. I cannot imagine how Baby Tyler's parents feel tonight. When the chaos of the day ends and friends and family go home, they have only each other to fall back on.

In searching for some scripture tonight, I found some verses that spoke to me. I hope to share these with Baby Tyler's parents in the coming days. Some "Words of Truth" as a dear friend likes to call them and possibly some comfort for them. If you have a moment, will you please say a prayer for Baby Tyler's family? Will you ask for strength as they once again must be "prepared" to lay their little blessing to rest?

Psalm 139:13-18
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Isaiah 49:1
Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth He has made mention of my name.

Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing these little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

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