So here it is. The post I've been putting off for over a week. (Two weeks?) It's probably gotten a WAY bigger build up than it deserves. One of the things I'm learning is that sharing the memories of what happened with Seth, the good and the bad, accomplishes a couple of different things for me. It validates and affirms those things happening (especially the good). Some of the negative gets blown up in my head and sharing it helps me to keep it in perspective.. and validates it as well. I shared a negative memory in an email today and was blessed to be encouraged and discover I was not alone in my feelings. But today's memory is a POSITIVE.
I want to share about the last few minutes we spent with Seth. Not before he died but the last time we had with the SETH we had come to know and love during the time we had him at home. Seth was admitted to the hospital the night before his second surgery. Leland and I, taking advantage of the "free" babysitting (my mom was at our house with our three "big" kids and Seth was well cared for by the nurses), decided to have dinner out. A belated birthday dinner for me and an early birthday dinner for Leland. When we got back to the hospital, a couple of our friends, Karen & Cathey, had come up to see us and we're cuddling on Seth. I was glad that he'd had that time and had been loved upon by others in our absence! Here's a picture of Karen & Seth. Can't you just see how much he adored her? Mind you, he knew her voice, she screamed at my belly for MONTHS! She loved him too.
Leland and I hung out with our baby boy for awhile and headed home. The next morning we were up at the hospital early to make sure we saw Seth before surgery. We followed him down to surgery in the elevator.
Once we arrived in the surgery triage area, we had quite a few minutes to wait. During that time, I held Seth. I did that thing you do with babies, you know, when you hold them up facing you? Seth was sitting on my lap. I held him under his arms (knowing I wouldn't be able to do that for weeks post op due to his sternum being opened) and spent LOTS of time kissing him on the neck and under his chin. You know, when you're holding a baby, facing you, and you kiss him on that spot just under his jaw? I spent lots of time doing THAT. Seth was JUST starting to figure out expressions. He wasn't quite to giggling but he did this squealing thing, more like when you inhale rapidly with your mouth open and it makes a squeaking noise. So I'm kissing his neck, he's squeaking, we're giggling at each other. It's one of those moments that I keep telling myself I'm going to remember forever. So often at home I didn't take the time to do that. I was so busy with Seth's needs and the other kids, etc. I'm glad that I made a point to do something sweet and memorable while we were waiting..
I don't have pics of ME doing that but I do have my mom demonstrating the above described technique. (Just in case you haven't figured out what I'm talking about). You can see the joy in Seth's face. He LOVED to be kissed upon like that.
Shortly after those sweet moments, the anesthesiologist came to get Seth. His daddy and I told him we loved him and gave him goodbye kisses.. I remember starting to cry and saying "I know, he'll be fine but I'm his mom and I'm allowed to be emotional." Of course, he wasn't fine, ever again after that. As much as we miss him, he's more than fine now in Heaven and we're left to cherish and be grateful for the special moments we DO have.
To read other people's precious memories, check out Lynnette's blog, "Dancing Barefoot on weathered ground".