Today started out with the typical routine of getting the kids up, ready and driven to school. I went about my day, oblivious to its significance until I opened up Timehop. It was as if I had been mindlessly jogging along when suddenly I was clothes-lined at the neck, knocked down, choked. Nora is always, always so close in thought, but I hate to think of her in the place that she was 4 years ago today.
Today is the day that we casually strolled in to the ER at Children’s expecting for Nora to get some IV fluids and then we’d be on our way back home. In the terrible, awful blink of an eye, the true gravity of the situation was revealed. One minute we were checking in at the desk, the next we were in the shock and trauma bay. I kept getting glimpses of her sweet skin through the mob of doctors and nurses surrounding her. A very controlled and professional dire urgency assumed the room, but for me standing in the corner about to lose my mind, being literally held up by my husband. I always knew back in that dusty corner of my mind that our time with Nora was limited, but I never dreamt it would end like this. And then it didn’t end. She was stabilized. She survived the surgery to correct her stomach that had somehow flipped and cinched off the blood supply. Gastric Volvulous, as it was medically termed. And all the while, where the FUCK was my maternal instinct warning that something was terribly wrong?? How could I have let her go through the night like that?? I was (still often am) tortured with guilt. “There’s no way you could have known,” the doctor with the soothing voice explained, “This type of thing is such a fluke, especially in children. This is something that usually happens to little old ladies.” Little old ladies, huh? This sweet baby girl with such knowing wisdom in her eyes, well beyond her years. This baby who didn’t care much for cartoons or baby shows, but who loved to watch Matlock and Texas Walker Ranger with her afghan across her knees. This Lady Baby with the old soul. Her stomach flipped. Yeah, okay, God.
May 18, 2014 was the beginning of the end. It wasn’t Nora’s heart or her lungs that we kept such special watch on. It was something that was completely under our radar, and I suspect that God planned it that way. While I was pregnant with her, we prayed, begged and pleaded to be able to have just SOME time with her, “Even if it’s just a couple of hours, God!” Instead we were lavished with 18,633 hours, exceedingly more than we had asked for.
“I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
Funny, the way that someone pops into your mind and is on your heart and then you see something like this.
I was getting Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and remembering the hearts that were featured on their cups four years ago in June -not February.
I remember going though DD drive thru while you were pregnant with the Little Love -while it was still winter and feeling gutted after learning about her diagnosis.
I remember praying to a Maryknoll Missionary (oh, what is his name?) -asking for his intercession that you get to hold your living baby, and know when she could fly to eternity after at least some time with her.
I remember hounding him the day of her delivery for you and William to hold her and for your other kiddos to see their sister.
And I hoped and prayed that your sweet girl would know she was loved.
As they say in go-fish, I got what I asked for.
Lots of love and prayers for you and your family.
Aleisa, I don’t know you and I don’t even know why I’m responding to you but after reading this blog post today, the tears are just ever so present. I have followed your journey with Nora and always enjoy any updates on you and your family but today, today just broke my heart. That Momma guilt! I think we all have it. We think we should know every detail about every child we bring in to the world, that it should just be instinctively there. For the most part it is, but the rest of the times it’s not. There is only ONE who knows every detail and sister, that ain’t us! Jesus knows every detail of us, and each one of our loved ones. That’s HIS responsibility, not ours. Offer yourself some grace. If God wanted you to be aware of what was going on with Nora, HE would have told you. Had he told you, you would have fretted and worried and carried on differently than you did. Instead you enjoyed your time with Nora, all of you did and as abrupt as her ending was, YOU are not responsible for that ending. I have watched (read) how God has carried you and your family on this journey, how your story has impacted many around you that you don’t even know. I’d say Nora has a lasting legacy! When I see a heart in the clouds, 3 birds together or lady bugs I can’t help but think of her/you/your family. Don’t think that Nora didn’t have an impact on this world, she absolutely did. Don’t let your mind wander to the what if’s, it doesn’t do anyone any good. Nora is happy, healthy and completely healed, Praise God! Be happy about the 18,633 hours (even though it wasn’t enough) and move forward on this journey. Leave any guilt behind because that is NOT from God! Satan likes to play with our minds, don’t give him that playground. Wishing you and your family well. I do appreciate your openness and honesty in all your blog posts. Would love to see how the rest of your kiddos have grown. Take care sweet momma! You are strong, you are a good mom, now go enjoy those kiddos and hubby this summer. In Him,Misti Stafford-Lipps
Many prayers and hugs for you all.
God bless you, Yuskos.