4 Years ago we said Goodbye to our tiny son. Truly the saddest day of my life. I do not wish the decisions we had to make on anyone, nor the sadness. It was a VERY rainy stormy day. I remember Andy, his mom and I driving down to the hospital in the storm in silence. We got to the hospital and Aunt Carol and my sister Jill were there. Jill, Carol and Becky, Andy's mom went to say goodbye to Caleb while Andy and I filled out the paperwork and talked to Caleb's doctor.
Poor Caleb was so sick his body was shutting down and the only thing keeping him going was the breathing machine....which was doing all the work. I struggled so much with the decision we had to make. God was so good to put Fr. Morrow in our lives so that I could talk to him about what we were facing and feel good about it. I felt as though we were holding him back from Jesus, because there was nothing functioning on its own at this point. After Becky, Carol and Jill came from saying goodbye, Andy and I went to be with our son for the last time.
I was surprised how I wasn't crying, and how after struggling with the decision the day before I was relatively calm. They cleared out the NICU of all other parents. They told us to do whatever we needed to do and that they would come over when we were ready. So we sang to Caleb, read his books to him and told him about Heaven and how lucky he was to avoid all the pain and suffering on Earth. After a while - I have no idea where we got the strength as thinking about it now has me sobbing, we told them we were ready. They handed Caleb to us as he died, it was very quick. Caleb was finally in my arms and he was looking at me, I felt in one instant I had a glimpse of heaven through his eyes.
He had been with us 8 days, but was so sick I wasn't able to hold him. Now was my time to hold him, though his body was lifeless, I held him close for along time. It felt wonderful despite the tragic circumstances to be able to hold my son. I was with him at the very end and was able to say goodbye and tell him how much I loved him. I rocked him and sang to him. I kissed his head, things I couldn't do before. The nurse helped me bathe him and change his tiny little diaper. I dressed him and we said our final goodbyes. I think I finally cried when we saw the 3 angels Jill, Carol and Becky who waited for us. The tears continued for along time.
Sweet little Bobby, my BFFs son then 6, cried as Lyn told him Caleb was gone. He asked if it was raining so hard because the angels were sad that Caleb had died. Kids are the best, and it always melts my heart in a good way when one of the children who knew that I was pregnant and lost my baby mentions Caleb. I like hearing others say Caleb's name.
Its hard to remember this day because there is a sadness deep within me that I think will never fully leave. Yet I cannot and will not forget it. Life has been good to me in the years that have passed, though we have had our struggles and endured a miscarriage after we lost Caleb, but here we are 4 years later with our sweet baby girl and though there is an empty place at our table, though we know Caleb will always be in our hearts and is just waiting for us.
An angel in the book of life
wrote down our Caleb's birth
then whispered as he closed the book
".....too beautiful for earth....."
"Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." (John 16:22)