I knew all the statistics. I read every diagnosis. Every time, I walked out of that office - I prepared to bring my son home. Ready for him to join the crowd.
I prepared his space just days before. He has a baby blue wall, his boxing gloves ready for the fight, and an empty frame that reads "Announcing..."
It was so hard, so foreign, pulling the car up to the valet area on that very windy day.
This time I didn't have to figure out another new car seat or seat belt configuration, I just picked up my wife.
On the way home, I caught myself doubling back to make sure he was breathing, just as I did as a new nervous Dad every time before. But instead only hallow silence filled our car on that long road home.
I didn't know what I would feel, walking into our room, as we arrived. I put down her overnight bag, and his too, right by the bassinet's side. I never knew I'd want to change a poopy diaper or wake up every two hours so bad in my life. I would give up all my worldly possessions to see him open his eyes, to hear him say "dadda" for the first time, to take those first bold steps.
I am a man that has been blessed with many children. Each so beautiful and unique in my heart. I will record their dances, their t-ball games, and graduation day. I will tell them how wonderful they are to me and to their heavenly Father above. And David, oh my son David, how I can't wait to see you and your new perfect, little pure heart.
I had three sons just as my father did. I'm proud to be my father's son, I'm one of three just as Andrew, Joshua and David. I pray for my father, as I hope one day they will pray for me too. This crazy road.
I have a child in heaven now. What a beautiful sound. I can't wait til this pain fades so I can clearly hear the beauty in that sound. This road I'm on why is it here, why now?
I opened my bible tonight. The first time in about three months. I opened it to read this: Psalms 25:4 "Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow.5. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you." A Psalm of David
I have shouted angry words at him. I have petitioned for a miracle. I have cried when he didn't answer my plea. He knows me. I don't understand why, nor begin to try to comprehend it. For "he has heard my cry for mercy." (28.6). This road I'm traveling, isn't for me to understand, but to know he has a plan for me.
EMOTIONS: It wasn't three hours ago I hacked my sister's facebook and laughed out loud. The three of us laughed together on the couch. The two of us cried together in bed. The New Normal, as they say. I cry harder, I taste differently, I see deeper, I hear my girls laughter, and I think of you. My life is changed forever.
After we came to bed, Heather and I watched old home movies of our children. They were dancing, singing, laughing in the tub. All happy tears, thankful tears, but also tears for our precious baby David.
A Tangible Hug
My company has donated certificates for each of our children to go to an un-named bear store in the Oaks Mall, and build a stuffed animal in memory of their brother. When Kateara told me this news, we were still in the hospital. I was out in the hallway, whaling an echoing cry. All I could think about was how our children needed that tangible something for them to hold on to.
I have on my phone an audio recording of his heartbeat, that Heather sent me from the doctor visits I had to miss. We will try to record his heartbeat and put it in the bears for them to hear him. I'm thinking Heather and I may get one too, true story. This was an answered prayer.
SIDE NOTE: We are also waiting on the cremation process to take place for the funeral. They said 4-6 weeks. As each day goes by, we keep thinking how we would like to do his Goodbye Celebration, a bit sooner. Stay tuned....