Just discovered Endless Hope? Read Our Story on the top menu, and at least posts #7-12, 15 & 19 to catchup…Welcome, there’s lots of hope…
Today is Friday, May 9th, 2014. Lots on my mind while driving home from work tonight, reviewing the day, projects, tasks, spreadsheets and working out problems in my mind…you know, unwinding. As I got closer to home though, someone came to mind that I felt I need to try to connect with, just to say I’m thinking of them…that mom that lost her little girl suddenly back in December (posts #13+16). Don’t have her contact info, but decided will pass a message through a friend of a friend, for when she’s ready to chat. Right after I thought of her, I realized I’d have about 3 hours of alone time at home…that means it’s probably time to blog again. I have lots of pieces mostly done…they’ve been sitting here since February, but how to finish each with enough hope to publish and not depress anyone has been the part that has begged me to procrastinate from it all. We’ll its been a couple hours since I got home, and am now finally getting to this after working through catching up my Facebook account. My heart is going out to another mom with a sudden loss of a little one almost exactly a year ago. My heart bursts with joy for yet another mom with a new baby born this week. I think I know what I need to write about…after sharing my continuation of our tough story from post #19…
(Journal Entry, Tuesday February 4, 2014 – Deep breath and continue typing…)
Tuesday September 20, 2011 (cont’d)
7:15 am – My husband hopped up on the bed beside Brandon and began CPR immediately. He had taken charge and innately knew what to do. Our younger daughter, almost 13, came flying out of her room next door, and older son, 16, ran up from his room 2 stories down, both woken by our screams. What a horrendous way to be awakened, and even more horrendous…was the reason why, once they saw what was happening. I asked my daughter to please help me find a phone, and she ran off purposefully. Our son joined his Dad on the bed, on the other side of Brandon, and took over doing CPR on his younger brother. (oh, the sobs and tears can’t be held back now as I type)
7:17 am – Our daughter brought the phone and I tried frantically to remember how to dial, as all our voices overlapped with screams and pleadings of “No! Brandon!” alternated with crying out to God desperately for help. When I went to dial, somehow I pressed 7-1-1… thinking that was logical…and I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working! In this hysterical state my brain was frozen. I then realized I had forgotten to press TALK. After hollering at the phone asking why it still wasn’t working, I finally realized my mistake and instead dialed 9-1-1-talk. I was panicking that this was taking ever so long! (According to the phone records I found later though, it was all within the same minute). The first operator came on and asked my phone number in case we got disconnected, which I slowly relayed – my brain in shock. She then asked what city I was in and whether I needed Police, Fire or Ambulance. I replied with “Ambulance”, though my mind was assuming we were much past that. It was the most sensible choice of the three, and maybe there was something they could do, maybe those paddles would work, like in the movies…I was absolutely desperate for a fix to this.
Random thoughts….I mentioned “first operator” above, because we had a computer/modem phone at the time, so when you dialed 911 it took you to a central emergency operator, then they patch you through to your own city’s emergency dispatch. Man I remember it feeling like a very painful process suddenly for the $25 bucks or so we were saving per month!
Deeper thoughts….it just broke my heart imagining what the kids were going through. People can tend to express so much sympathy to the parents, especially the mom, in situations like these – but what about the siblings? They have probably spent more time together, shared more deeply, and in our family, the kids were all so close in age, they had never even known life without each other. Heartbreaking as a mom to know you can’t fix it all, and make the pain go away for everyone you love…or yourself for that matter.
Back to current day, it’s the Friday before Mothers Day (I will write about my first one of those without Brandon maybe next post), but I should catch you up on a special opportunity we had at Easter. My husband and I were invited to be interviewed and share our story of hope at a local Easter Sunday celebration on Hope. We had been taped in advance for a little promo video and everything, it was a cool opportunity! (I was going to put “neat”, but does anyone really use that word anymore? Yikes!) So anyhow, of course we were a little nervous, and of course hopeful that it would go well and we wouldn’t get tongue-tied or too emotional. During the interview we chatted back and forth about (and I paraphrase) the “dilemma of keeping hope” because life does really suck at times. So we were able to share how awesome Brandon was, as well as the hard parts of our story and what we went through. Then we chatted about “the hope of heaven”, seeing our son again someday, and sharing some of the glimpses we’ve had of the “otherside”, and why we’re so sure he’s there. And finally we talked about “redemption hope”, which is how we walk out the rest of our life. We were able to share how we have functioned after loss, how it feels good to give, how we can redeem what is a sad situation. We shared about opportunities we’ve had to encourage others individually or in big groups. Also we talked about getting grief counselling, and marriage counselling, which helped us get out of some destructive ruts.
I felt like even by just sharing our journey with the few hundred people that day, that this was part of that “redemption hope”. We were taking what is obviously bad and untwisting it’s painful grip on us by talking about it and allowing our experience to turn things for the good. I remember at least 8 people that stopped to talk at some length afterward – openness breeds openness. They shared something deep about their own experience with me, or how they were moved by our story and the hope. Some could relate on the side of grief, recent or long ago. Some asked for practical advice to help someone they know in the fresh dark moments of grief. Some just thanked me for being so open about our marriage, so they don’t feel alone in their issues and were encouraged to get help too. Another relayed a story of meeting a kid ,that lived near our family at the time. He was apparently baffled at this unexpected feeling of hope/joy in our home he had noticed when they brought us some baking and we invited them in to our “houseful” somewhere in the first couple days after Brandon’s passing. Wow, that was such an encouragement to me to hear. We sorrow, but not as those that have no hope.
Hey we ALL got “stuff”! What is your stuff? What pain, loss, abuse have you suffered and/or unconsciously continued on to hurt others with? Can I compassionately say I’m so sorry, and beg you to go back and deal with the root cause of any unhealed wounds suffered or inflicted? Could I be so bold? Yes. You and I have so much to give, so much that can be healed, forgiven, redeemed. Get on the path to hope! Begin to turn the tide on your “Bad Day” in your life if you haven’t already. Reach out for help. No one is perfect. Everyone walking down the street always looks so together, hey? But stop and talk to anyone, and you’ll find out we’re all in this together. You are not alone. BUT, your pain can be healed. You can have purpose. You can be effective. You can have hope.
YOU…can help spread this favorite little thing of mine called…endless HOPE… (psst, pass it on)
p.s. Wow, I’m overcome with emotion…full-on sobbing tears…not sadness though…I think it’s gratefulness…thankfulness to feel that purpose surging strong within in me yet again. And……publish