Monday, May 28, 2012

2 years, a mama heart, & perspective

This time 2 years ago, I was pushing...  and in just 2 short hours I would hold my blonde-haired, blue-eyed, 5lb 10 oz bundle of love.  It surely was a taste of heaven.  But today, I found myself sitting in the pod at work talking with a mom of one of my patients.  Her son is dying... his pain is almost unbearable and she said she feels numb.  We cried. I tried to be strong; but ever since that first time I held my son, I have a mama heart.  And that mama heart broke as I watched this mom with her 18 year old son...

I guess this is strange way to start out a "birthday post" for my boy.  But perspective is a gift... and today brought much of that.  I have been given a gift and I am grateful.

It is so easy to get caught up in if our children are meeting their milestones, or sharing, or eating healthy... are they sleeping through the night, do they still have a paci, and are they really biting the kids in the gym?!?  Of coarse we care about these things... but sometimes, I just stop and think of where we could be.  Again, grateful for this gift.

I never knew in those first few moments of being a mama, it would change me forever.  I love that I can kiss boo-boos and they are all of a sudden healed... I love that my boy reaches up to grab my hand to jump off the sidewalk because he trusts me... and I love our snuggle time before bed because he knows mama is always going to be there.  I want to pour my life into my precious child, and I thank God for the strength to wake up each day with new mercies!  Fresh perspective is such a blessing...

About 2 months ago I was the bedside nurse of one very special 4 year old boy... He was previously so full of life. He loved to dance, play, and make all the doctors and nurses laugh.  He was adorable! Cancer stole his life, but not until the very end. He began to take a turn for the worst... we believed it would be days if not weeks before he passed.  That Saturday was like any other, I saw my name assigned to that little guy and I smiled.  I always loved having him, even at the end.  After my morning assessment, something just didn't seem right.  He was scared, staring at the light, and wanting someone near to him... I was trying to manage his pain, comfort mom, and care for my sweet patient.  As the minutes passed, I knew we didn't have much longer.  At 11:00 that day I watched as our sweet patient passed into the arms of Jesus.  But the part that has forever gripped my heart was when I told his mom, "This is it, hold your baby boy."  As the words tumbled out of my mouth I literally thought I was going to pass out.  I wanted to do whatever I could to give her one last second with her baby... My heart was pounding... I wanted to run out of the room and go straight to get Barrett.  My friend grabbed my hand and whispered, "just be strong right now."  I fought back the tears as we watched mom throw herself onto her son and yell his name.  Oh, the pain that she must have felt...  I know the pain I felt, and yet it was her son.  Her son was no longer suffering, but her son was no longer with her...

I have asked the Lord, "Why would you take this child?"  We will never know the mysteries of the Almighty, but I know that God is working for good... even amidst immense suffering... His presence was there.  There were so many little details about that day and that boy's life and death that have changed me... as a nurse, as mom, as a person.

That night, after work, I came home to my own little boy... happy, talkative, and full of life.  All I could do was whisper, "Thank you God for my son.  Thank you God for my son."  He looked at me later that night and said, "night night in mommy's bed?"  Of coarse I said, "Sure!"  I needed that little boy to be near to me that night.  I needed to hear his slow steady snore throughout the night.  I needed to feel his cheek against mine.  I needed to feel the warmth of his little body snuggled up in between Ray and I.

Of coarse I have to separate myself from my patients and to keep professional boundaries, but I will always have a mama heart.  I will always be devastated at the passing of one of our patients. And I will always come home more grateful for the time that I get to be with my precious son.  It is a gift.

So tonight, I am staying up until the clock strikes midnight... just to be sentimental and to reminisce about 2 years ago.  It seems like he has always been a part of our life, and then again I can remember it all like yesterday.  It was a day that changed my life... forever.... for the good.

Ever night I sing "Jesus Loves Me" to Barrett while we rock.  Tonight as we rocked and I sang... these words went deep into my heart...
"Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, 
But He is strong."

I have to remind myself everyday that Barrett belongs to Jesus.  Barrett is weak.  This mommy is weak. But Jesus is strong!  Simple truth, big perspective!

Happy Birthday Bear Bear,
You are 2!!  Yeah!!  You bring so much joy to mommy and daddy's life!
You make us laugh so much!  I love watching you have fun with your friends and
play!  I love watching you play ball.  You love sports so much and I am
sure you will be a famous sports star someday! :)  I love that you enjoy 
reading your books and how you say, "AMEN!" at the end!  I love when 
you wear your headphones and dance around the living room!  I love 
how you LOVE your family and say their names ALL the time!  I love that
you like the outdoors and always want to go outside!  I love that you love
gum and candy!  I love when you say, "Annoying!"  I love so many things 
about you... but most of all I love your heart... its gentle and kind, sweet and
funny, loving and happy!  I don't think my love for you can grow anymore... 
You are our world!  Grateful for these 2 wonderful years with you, but 
excited for many more years with you!  XOXO Mommy <3 

happy 2nd birthday barrett boy!!


leslie.kidd said...

This is such a sweet post! As I watch my baby growing in me and seeing her movement, I can't imagine losing her, but also realize that she belongs to the Lord and she is in the best hands possible - God's loving hands. I can't wait to experience all the wonderful things you have in these past 2 years! :)

Ash said...

leslie! i can't wait for you to hold your little love!! its the best <3 praying for you and baby girl!!! xoxo

leslie.kidd said...

Thanks, Ash! I appreciate it...I'm getting more and more nervous and scared the sooner the due date approaches! dun dun dun! :)

Shannon said...

Ash your post had me in tears. It is so sweet, but really does put things into perspective. We never know what can happen in a split second, and working where we work I really do believe helps keep us grounded, and helps us to appreciate our own little blessings. Happy Birthday to Barrett!
-Shannon H

Ash said...

Thanks Shannon <3 You are an incredible nurse! I am so privileged to work with nurses that have such amazing hearts!! and that just happen to be awesome mamas too!! xoxo

Mimi said...

Thanks for sharing Ash! And thanks for reminding me what a gift our children our. Love ya girl!

abbey said...

You had me in tears too Ash! Can't imagine being in that kind of pain...I want to treasure each and every day I get to spend with my babies!! thanks for the perspective. thankful for your little Barrett, and glad we could celebrate his little life with you guys xoxoxo