A Story of Love by Linda M Rhodes
Written on December 24, 2009
Christmas, is a bit sad for me this year….I know I have been away for awhile, but would love to share this meaningful story with all of you it’s from my heart, and brought tears as I wrote it….Merry Christmas to all, wishing every one of you are surrounded by ones you love and your hearts are filled with happiness.
My Littlest Angel
“Mom….where are you?” my Son asked me as I answered my cell phone when it rang. I was just stepping from my car, in the parking lot of the very hospital where my Son was calling from.
“I’m on my way, I’m in the parking lot Honey,” I answered, fighting to hide the fear I was feeling deep in my heart.
“Hurry Mom….it’s nearly time,” my Son replied and I assured him I would be there shortly, and a few minutes later I was there with him, in the birthing room where my newest Grandson was to be born.
April’s Fool Day, was this an evil joke, or perhaps the best trick of all. I knew we were facing menacing odds, and none of us knew what to expect. The news was grim, doctors not giving any hope, the prognosis wasn’t odds for him to live, but rather how long. The only thing we could do was pray, and believe me I was.
Joining me in the room, my Daughter in Law’s Mother, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother. My husband was working away, I had called him and he was on his way, but it would be awhile. It was up to me to be the rock, the voice of comfort for my Son, if our prayers were not answered in the next couple hours.
We talked quietly, taking turns offering my Daughter in Law comfort or encouragement, then the moment why we were here arrived…..and the moment was scary to say the least. Birth, the moment of instant joy, when new life is brought into the world, however it was not like that, not this time. I was present for my first Grandson’s birth as well, it was exciting, happy and overwhelmingly wonderful. This time fate would not be kind, and the fear in my heart was justified. I was sick and instantly worried for my Son and Daughter, when my little Grandson was born. His color was a tragic purplish blue, and it appeared he was gasping for every breath he took.
I can not describe the pain I felt, for my Son, my Daughter, and the lifetime they were going to be denied. In this age of miracle procedures, transplants, and modern medicine, nothing, and no one could save my tiny little Grandson. He was so small and helpless, yet he was fighting to live, his spirit undaunted. God do you know how hard it was for me to hold him, knowing his fight would end tragically, but praying with all my heart for the biggest miracle I could ask for. I felt so weak, so insignificant, I could do nothing to help him, all I could do was love him.
Loving him turned out to be the easiest thing in the world to do, moments after his birth the nurse gave him oxygen, and his color cleared becoming normal. He actually cried, bringing tears to everyone in that room. Our emotions were running the gauntlet, and it was hard to maintain composure. I looked at my Son, seeing the tears in his eyes as he kissed his Son, this was just not fair.
I had my camera but was reluctant to take pictures not sure what my Daughter and Son
wished under the circumstances. My Daughter reassured us that she did want pictures, so I took them, as many as I could, I took pictures of my Son, my Daughter in Law, her Mother, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother, all of us holding this precious gift of life. My son took my picture holding my dear little Grandson, you see we didn’t know how much time we had. Minutes were precious, no one knew if he’d live a day, a week or…..if we only had moments.
No one left, only more people came, each one needing to hold what now I can see was our true miracle. This little child brought a smile to each and every person who held him, the love in their eyes as they looked at him, was a miracle, the miracle of life.
Knowing there was no medical cure, nothing to change what would eventually happen, my Son brought his Son home the next day. Visiting in shifts, someone was always at my Son’s home helping, trying to make every moment in my Grandson’s life comfortable, showing him all the love we could while we had him with us. I can say with great pride, there has never been a child loved more. This dear child was never put down, he was cuddled and held lovingly in someone’s awaiting arms from the moment he was born, until the moment he breathed his last, five and a half days later.
The most special moment for me, was that first night, while everyone else slept I cuddled him soundly rocking him gently throughout the night. He wrapped his tiny hand around my pinky not letting go. I will never let go of his memory as long as I live, he will always live in my heart, the one he captured the moment he was born.
The worst moment, for me was when my Son had to hand over his tiny little Boy over to the personal from the funeral home whom came to collect him, after. My Son held onto his Son not wanting to let go of him, this moment broke my heart. I cried at the funeral, trying hard not to feel angry with God, and his choice to take my Grandson away from us. I was failing miserably, until during the service I was made to realize, life regardless how short is meant to be celebrated.
Also during this painful service, I understood finally the five days we were given to love our precious Angel, was a gifted miracle in itself. Being there the moment my Grandson was born, seeing his blue color, I believe it was the faith and love in our hearts that allowed us to keep him with us for the time we were given. Knowing the love I felt holding him, and seeing the love my Grandson was able to give to everyone who touched him, is something I will never forget. Although even in writing this tears fill my eyes, and I can’t help wondering what if, thinking he’d be rolling over now, laughing, giggling, even crawling, all those things little ones do to capture your heart.
Why share this tragic story….now at Christmas time, well maybe just to remind you and myself, the most important things in life are the moments and love you share with ones you hold dear. Life is a gift, what we do with it is so extremely important, as you just never know….Merry Christmas my littlest Angel….I love you.