Weary & Burdened Ep. 018: The Transition Home
Transition is often difficult.
Moving from one thing or place to a new and different thing or place is hard. I think that’s because change is hard. No matter what state you’re transitioning from or to, it’s as if humans don’t do change well. We become accustomed to things. When a transition occurs it throws us off kilter. Our equilibrium is altered. The balance is lost. Once the new thing or place is landed upon and becomes stable, we regain our balance and settle in. Between the two points though, during transition, things are hard.
My transition home was, at times, unbearable. My heart had broken and some of it didn’t follow me home.
Oh exhaustion. What a tough night. We got our van back from the repair shop. Reuben took the kids for lunch and dropped me off at the hospital. I went in to drop off some clothes, a mobile (David's Christmas present) to another mother where it would be put to good use, and say goodbye to some mom's and their babies.
I saw two nurses I adored (they couldn't primary because they were charge nurses). They were both shocked. They had no idea. They cried with me in the hall and hugged me. They told me how much they loved my son. There were other moms there comforting me and telling me they'd pray for me.
I also met with the social worker. She gave me the clay molds and told me to wait to see them with Reuben. I made plans for David's memorial with the funeral home, something no mother should ever have to do. Being in the hospital was torturous. The social worker said many parents don’t go back because it's too hard. It's the only place your baby has ever lived. It was disgustingly difficult. I sobbed and walked through the hallway whispering to David how much I loved him, carrying his clay imprints. People stared but I continued on. I couldn't stop.
When we got back to Easter Seal we sat as a family to look at the clay molds. They turned out perfectt. We cried in the family lounge looking at David's tiny feet and hands. Every finger and toe was perfect. Thank you, thank you. Such a wonderful gift. We all cried. It was especially hard for Kiana. She "just wanted David back." Sweet girl.
When we got back to the Easter Seal Josh cried for the first time about David. He finally realized David wasn't coming home with us. Josh had looked forward to sharing his toys, his clothes, his bed and playing hockey with David. Not to be. Josh didn’t fully comprehend everything. He asked why David got sick, how the sickness got in his tummy (something the doctors don't fully understand so how do you explain?) and he asked if they tried to get it out. When we told him they did their best to remove it, Josh asked if they used sticks to reach down into his tummy to get it out. He couldn’t fully wrap his mind around it but emotionally he was in tune with what was going on.
The night of the 5th was another difficult night. I stayed awake for so long before going to bed. I was slowly learning the quiet times were the toughest. The fifth was the first day I didn't see my sweet David since he was born. The next day, we’d leave without him.
I will never forget you sweet baby. I miss you everyday sweet honey. Mommy love you too much little baby.
We woke up in the morning and packed all of our stuff and my life for the last 2+ months into the van. We cried as we said our goodbyes to the Easter Seal. I knew I’d miss that place. Not because I loved the room or anything but more because of what it represented.
As we left the Vancouver area I said, "Say goodbye to Vancouver." Josh squealed with joy. Josh was not a fan of "Mister Seals," and he was happy to have me going home with them this time, unlike all their previous visits. Mya and Kiana immediately started to cry. We were going home without David. I just didn't see this in our future and either did the girls. I started to cry. I thought I would become hysterical about leaving. I had feared this moment since I left the hospital the day before but Reuben looked at me and said, "We aren't leaving him behind. He's already gone. He's in heaven now." They were comforting words, I think, mostly because it was the truth. He wasn't left behind, alone or scared. He was watching over us as we left the only place we'd ever known him in. Vancouver will always hold a special place in my heart because of that.
If you've never driven the Coquihalla, or the Highway Through Hell (as it's known on TV), it was something of a miracle that everyone who traveresed the winter driving conditions many times over the course of David's life, did so safely. When we arrived home, I was grateful we made another safe trip.