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The doctor kept talking but I did not hear any of it. I felt like I could not breathe. I was led into the room where his tiny body lay. There were IV’s and tubes inside him everywhere. His tiny body was covered with a white sheet, only his head was exposed. I slowly rubbed my fingers down his cheek. He was still warm and just looked like he was sleeping only he was a little pale. I carefully removed the tube from his nose and I said, “Shh. It’s okay,” as I did so.
He should be in our home. He should be in his bedroom that was carefully prepared for him with details of his little life already added. On his closet door, there was a picture colored from Gracie of the two of them standing under the sun and blue sky on a field of flowers. His clothes were carefully laid out on his changing table for our day of shopping. He loved to make noises as he pushed little cars wherever he went. He was always carrying a matchbox car with him. Carter had set up a track beside his crib and the two of them would push cars and Carter would race them and Tucker would laugh so admiringly at his big brother. He should be lying in his crib, covered with his favorite blue fuzzy blanket. He should be wearing those cotton baseball jammies that snapped up the front. His hair should be matted down and sticking up on one side. His body should be warm and I would pick him up and put his cheek to mine and sing “Rise and Shine” as we revisited Gracie’s room to wake her up.
But my world had been turned upside down. Things were not as they should be. I had never cried so hard. I had never hurt so badly. I kissed his little face over and over. I could not tell him goodbye. I would not tell him goodbye! He was one year, eight months and two days old. He meant the world to me. How could I say goodbye to all the promises that his life held?
He was an early walker. I knew he was going to be a marathon runner. He was always smiling. I knew he was going to be the classroom clown. He had big blue eyes. He was going to be such a handsome man. He had a perfect father and big brother to teach him everything that a man should be. How could I say goodbye to our play time together while the other kids were at school? How could I tell Gracie her “little baby doll” was gone? How could I say goodbye to kindergarten graduation? How could I say goodbye to baseball games? How could I say goodbye to college plans? And the beautiful wife that I had already been praying for? And the job where he was going to succeed? How could I say goodbye to his big blue eyes? How could I say goodbye to his eyes? I cried and cried over his little body until there were no more tears. But there was a new deep deep pain that I had never felt before.