I remember clearly what I was doing three years ago.
March 18, 2009 I'd woken with the sun rising. I was on the 9th floor of the Johns Hopkins Children Hospital, having dozed the night away next to Montie while he tried to fitfully sleep through his pain.
I was eager to get up & be somewhat coherent because I knew the docs would start rounding before 7am. It could be difficult to get the surgeon later for questions, so being ready with questions and/or suggestions was best.
I was so thankful for the beautiful day, waking up next to Montie, that I took a picture of the sunrise...
Throughout the day I ran downstairs for movies, drinks, any food that Mont might be persuaded to eat. There was talk of Montie going home & so much of the day was spent focusing on his blood thinner levels, whether we could have the correct meds at our local pharmacy to control his levels once we returned home, and talking with pain management.
All was arranged & it was a "go". As dinnertime approached, there was a party going on down the hall for all the kids & their families. We took turns going for food but we were mostly eager to get everyone & everything loaded into the car & headed home.
While Marshall took the girls for food, I began the painful process of getting Montie up & dressed to go home. My little boy was in so much pain this time around. Not only did he have the 10" long incision pain on his back, but most of his boney back was covered with a huge, grotesque-looking hematoma. For those not familiar with the term, it's basically like a very painful, extreme bruise.
While I was buttoning up his red flannel, snowman pajama top, he had his arms around my neck for support. My face was near his because I was leaning into him, so he wouldn't have to stretch his arms (and his back) more than necessary knowing it was painful.
And then he shocked me by kissing my cheek & telling me how happy he was to be going home.
This moment is etched in my memory forever. Montie was such an affectionate child with me. Maybe some would call him a "Momma's Boy"... but he was a hugger, never free with kisses.
And soon thereafter we were on our way home. The girls were with us because they were always so excited for homecoming day. They love their brother & were very familiar & comfortable being at Johns Hopkins.
But we were never happier then when we could all be home again.
Because Montie was in more pain this time, he wasn't able to walk up to his bedroom to sleep. And because he was taller & in so much pain, we determined we wouldn't try to carry him up the stairs but rather we'd sleep in the family room.
Marshall made a fire... we got Montie as comfortable as we could on the couch... and I made a make-shift bed on the floor next to him. And that's how we spent our last night together.
Montie was a homebody like the rest of us. I find some comfort that he passed away after he'd gotten home & it didn't happen in an impersonal hospital room.
But there are those little questions. The what-ifs... What if he'd gone into cardiac failure while he was still at Hopkins? Could they have saved him? Would he have even wanted that? I try not to play this game, because I'm pretty sure it could literally drive me insane.
And though there are so many fantastic memories of Montie being silly, kind, loving, fishing, playing PS3 with his friends, having sleep-overs, making videos with his sisters, holding his hand, watching him zip around on his beloved red scooter, watching his brow furrow when deep in thought, doing science experiments, reading in bed... they're just not as satisfying to my soul as holding my boy on my lap while he twirls my hair (to the intense irritation of his sisters!)
I miss him every day & will miss him forever until we are reunited in Heaven.
|This is the last picture taken of Montie...|
June 6, 1998- March 19, 2009