I was driving down the road this morning and started thinking about the first phone call I made after we found out the doctors had exhausted all medical interventions... I don't know why that particular conversation stuck out to me today, but it was one of the hardest I've ever had to have. My dad was watching Audrey Nole for us since we had come to the hospital after she had gone to bed the night before. He had been texting us throughout the day with pictures and videos of their shenanigans. There was one particular video from that day that gave us such a laugh; pure joy in a snippet of time.
This was the first time I was going to give him any kind of bad news. Nothing that day had been good news, but there was also no one willing to give us the straight up, no bullshit, hard truth. Our son was dying. That was our reality even before he was born, but it was the doctors' and nurses' job to keep us hopeful. To let us love on and care for George Mason with all the hope we could muster, so he could know it was worth it to fight. So before that phone call around 5pm, I hadn't had any "bad" news to give... this was going to hit him like a 2x4 across the back of the head. I remember sending Adam home to go pick them up and then picking up my phone to call my dad. I didn't even know if words were going to come out of my mouth. The phone rang and when dad picked up, I just cried. He knew. I told him he needed to get Audrey dressed and be ready when Adam got there. George Mason didn't have much time and I wanted to be able to spend however much time he had left together as a family. Audrey Nole had to meet her brother.
I don't remember exactly what we said to each other but I know he was good. He was so good. He just told me he was sorry and that he loved me. Over and over I think. People tell me they don't know what to say about all of this and I always tell them there is nothing to say. So for a situation where there are no words, the content of this one particular phone call was about as good as it could possibly be. I don't remember much else after that phone call before we made the walk to the NICU for the last time... most of that day is a blur anyway. I'm thankful for these random moments when details from his day sit so vividly at the front of my mind. It doesn't come without its share of sadness, but every day has sadness, so it's good when I'm able to write down and process. I know George Mason's day is going to be a blip on the timeline of our lives. His 16 hours will never be any longer. But those 16 hours are going to be the brightest, most impactful, life changing blip I've ever experienced. I'm sad to know that each day means we are farther from holding him. Each day means we are further into this life and he's not in it. Each day makes us closer to the day we might bring our next baby home and that baby won't ever have known their big brother. Those things are so, so sad. But those things aren't the defining details in this life we are living.
Sadness is a part of my story right now but it will be a much smaller part than those 16 hours that George Mason lived. I will remember his day and his precious life for the rest of mine. I will love him from the bottom of my heart for the rest of my days. I will be his mama forever. Those are the details that define this life. I will probably always have a bit of sadness in me, but thankfully I serve a God who is the source of all joy. My memories of my son will be filled with that joy, not the sadness. I will remember my son with all the fondness and adoration in the world.
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! - Psalm 27:14