The Well Magazine Winter 2012 - Page 12

Kick for Daddy My breath and my memory fade in and out when I think back to the morning I lost my angel boy. What I know of the story—the parts before I “blacked out” — is that the morning had started like any other in our home, with rituals. My parents were asleep in their room. While Spence got ready for work, I made the coffee just the way we like it. Meanwhile, Christian was having his own party, moving nonstop it felt. “Kick for Daddy, “ I remember asking him as Spence placed his hand on my belly. Christian obliged, while Spence and I kissed good-bye. I headed back up to my office to begin another ordinary workday from home. Sometimes, I gasp all over again, remembering the thud in my heart when it fully hit me that I’d be going home without Christian. For several weeks during hospital visits, I envisioned Christian in my arms as Spence wheeled us out, proudly smiling and giggling over our little boy. We cremated Christian. His remains now sit in a heart shaped urn in our bedroom, on our chest of drawers. Pictures of him adorn our home. The choice to keep his memory close and sacred helped me make my way back home. I knew his short life had blessed me and that I was still blessed to have a loving family coaxing me back to life. A Fourth to Remember Healing and grieving never happen like we’re told or like we see in the movies. Days that were once made up of hours By God’s grace, Spence decided to suddenly become a series of slow moving come back up the stairs to give me minutes. The weeks, the months drag on one more kiss. Sometimes, I’m without any discernible difference. I haunted by the thought of how our don’t know the moment that I first belives, my life, might have changed, gan to breathe a little deeper, only that it Erica with husband, Spence, anticipating Chriseven ended, if he hadn’t come bouncing tian’s arrival. began to happen. A smile here, a smile there back up the staircase to find me douand a tiny understanding that maybe some bled over, bleeding and coming in and Daddy with his shiny red toy, a 1981 Corvette. of the prayers out of consciousbeing prayed ness. for me were Even now, I working. struggle to recall I held that how long I was hope tight until out, how long it the day we took the ambucarried Daddy lance to arrive and to the hospital, how long before fully expecting, the doctors knew like Christian, that Christian was he’d be coming gone. Each memhome. ory that does My daddy was come back brings another battle with my breath and with tears. strong. He’d already survived a kidney transplant in 1995 and I remember the doctors in the intensive care unit asking if I years of unfounded fears that his new kidney would eventually wanted to hold my baby. I didn’t hesitate. Yes, I said. I needed fail him. Ironically it wasn’t Daddy’s kidney that failed. He died to see him at peace. Although I didn’t remember much about of an undetected blood clot in his lungs that caused him to the near death part of our experience, I did have the mind to have a heart attack. Doctors and nurses spent almost an hour know whatever I endured was a trauma for my child too. trying to resuscitate him – but there would be no bringing him When I held his long, little body, the first thing I felt was back. peace. He looked so serene, so calm. Spence and I would hold I can still see Daddy lying peacefully, just like Christian. I him several times before the hospital released me to go home. The Well Magazine / Winter 2012 12