Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 14th


Today was not May 14th, but it might as well have been.  I am sitting here in Drew's room where our computer now is, along with many of Drew's things, and where his crib was last year at this time.  At this time last year, on Wednesday night, Drew was sleeping peacefully (I hope) in his crib, and Jordan, Peyton and I were sound asleep too.  I would have just finished his last feeding of the night, rocking him close in the rocking chair and loving the silence and comfort of that last feeding.  I would have just put him down, snuggled up with his special blanket that he always wound his fingers through and with his little bear next to his face where he inevitably ended up putting it.  I know I was only the distance of 4 inches of wall away from him, but from this vantage point, it was way too far.  I wish I had been in here watching him, holding him, near him, as if somehow I could have prevented him from having that first seizure.  We were sound asleep... completely unaware of how soon our life would change.  

On the Wednesday of this week last year, Peyton, Drew and I went out to the Zorn's ranch with the Mom's and Tot's group from our church for a hay ride and a day with the animals.  We went with great anticipation and I'm sure a little chaos getting out the door!  It was a spectacular spring day, and I remember carrying Drew around in the Baby Bjorn for a good portion of the day, trying to protect him from the sun while trying to keep up with Peyton.  Peyton was in his glory, feeding chickens and gathering eggs, riding a horse, playing in the hay, climbing on tractors, and running around unfettered in the warm spring air of the countryside.  Drew seemed to be enjoying himself too, smiling lots, and content to be carried around and to be part of things.  He spent quite a lot of the afternoon in the laps of special friends who felt it no burden at all to give some extra cuddles.  The only strange thing about the afternoon was that he didn't seem to want to eat, and though he had been in the heat of the day, he didn't seem to want to drink much either.  After shedding a little worry, I gave up fighting on that and wrote it off as an issue of too much distraction, that could be overcome once we got home.  

When we got home, I'm sure I fed the boys dinner, but I don't remember much of that part of the day.  I do remember getting them ready for bed, and listening to Daddy read to Peyton while I read and sang to Drew.  I tried to put him to bed but he didn't want to settle.  I picked him up a couple times, cuddled him, tried to feed him again in case he was still hungry, and then put him back to bed.  The same thing repeated a couple times and then he finally settled to sleep.  I thought it was attributable to being overstimulated all day long.  (Was I oblivious?  I know the logical answer to that, but can't help but ask.)  Jordan and I came in to look at and wonder over him before we went to bed, as we liked to do every night with both boys.  I remember looking at him, so peaceful, and feeling so content, so blessed, and so excited about the future.  It wasn't long after that he woke up for a midnight snack and I remember holding him, both of us barely awake, but aware of the comfort of each other's presence.  I remember thinking over the day and planning for the next day as I fed him, anticipating the adventures the next day would bring.  I remember holding him close to my chest, head looking over my shoulder as I patted his back, and I can still feel that feeling of having him heart to heart.  Then off to bed again.  Separation.  That feels like a lifetime ago, and like a mistake I wish I could take back.  It was at that point that I said goodbye to the dream of the Drew I knew to that point.  Not to Drew himself, because I would never take back last summer, but to what I hoped for him and what I dreamed of about him.  

1:15 a.m. Drew woke up crying strangely, in some kind of discomfort.  The cry was not one of hunger or the desire to be cuddled.  It seemed that he might have been teething all day so I thought that was what it was and decided to go give him some Tylenol to see if that would help settle him.  I have gone over that scene a hundred times in my head, sad at how poorly I handled it - how unobservant I was to what was really happening.  I didn't realize he was having a seizure until I tried to give him his pacifier back in hopes of not disturbing him too much by picking him up or turning a light on, and he couldn't keep it in his mouth.  I tried again.  He still couldn't keep it in.  At that point, I was fully awake and instantly alert - I turned the light on low to check him.  He was shaking in his crib, helplessly flailing about, with a look of what might have been confusion in his eyes.  Shock.  Act.  Move.  Think.  Go!  I picked him up and took him into our bedroom, trying not to wake Peyton up by yelling at Jordan, but wanting to scream at the top of my lungs for help.  I put him on our bed and turned the lamp on, waking Jordan up.  I remember thinking, "I never imagined calling 911.  I guess this would be the time to do that.  All those years of thinking those are the numbers you never accidentally want to hit - overwritten in less than a moment."  Drew lay there, still shaking, looking to the left, and if I didn't know better I would think his eyes were saying, "Please help me."  

The paramedics were here in less than 5 minutes.  They assessed him, gave him medication and rushed him out the door.   I was in the front seat of the ambulance as it whisked my baby to what I hoped would be help that could fix the problem.  I remember sitting in the front, watching the trinket dangle from the rear view mirror, joking nervously with the driver (what was I thinking?  Shock does strange things).  When we got to ACH, Drew was swarmed with a team of caring medical staff, while a nurse came near to check on me and make sure I was ok.  Did I need a glass of water, anything?  It took them over an hour to stop his seizure and I can't even tell you what I was thinking.  I just remember trying to move his blanket closer to him in case that could provide some of the comfort I couldn't get close enough to provide.  

After multiple tests that night and so much medication that he was on life support, off we went to ICU, turning a corner that we will never go back around.  I called the family in the middle of the night this night last year, needing their prayers.  I hope I never have to do that again, and that I never get one of those calls.  

I desperately miss my littlest boy tonight.  I love him so much.  Doesn't the grief get easier at this point you could ask?  My answer would be that the constancy of it changes, but the intensity of the grief is almost more painful in the doses that come.  I don't cry all day, and I laugh often (Peyton is still my dear Peyton!), but I do wear waterproof mascara every day now where I only wore it on special occasions before.  Why?  Because I never know when I will get to experience something that will open the bottle of tears, through which I am drawn back, closer to Drew for a moment.  I never mind the tears, I just wish they brought back more than a memory.

I will be ok in the morning, because "joy always comes in the morning."  My eyes will be red, and there will be an empty tissue box, but perhaps I will dream a sweet dream of the little one I love tonight.  If this prompts a tear, turn it into a prayer of thanksgiving for me, that God allowed us to experience both Drew and His love through Drew.  Drew, I will love you forever and more!  I love you.

Peyton and Jordan, I love you too, and am so thankful for you.  You are rocks in my life.  Thank you.  


Svetlana said...

I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks...:( I cannot fully understand what you're going through...It makes me so thankful for my family. I love you, guys!!!

Anonymous said...

Kari, I'm thinking of you today too. That day is forever etched in my memory so clearly. I don't even know what to say, but to let you know that you are not alone in remembering Drew on that perfect day!
Love, Hope

Anonymous said...

As strange as it seems, I am glad you shared that night in its' fullest detail with us. Like everything in life, one can always second-guess our actions in different situations. Please be assured that you and Jordan reacted in the best way possible, especially in light of Drew's very unique circumstances.

I remember seeing in Drew's eyes that even as his health deteriated, he was at peace and that he know his mommy and daddy loved him very much, and big brother too! I also know that despite your pain due to Drew's absence, that he is happier than anyone here on Earth could ever make him.

All this does not end the hurt and sorrow, I know. And please be absolutely sure that we, and many others, continue to pray for your burden of sorrow to lighten, and for your moments of happiness and contentment to increase.

We will never forget Drew, and are looking forward to the day when we all are reunited with him in heaven.

Kari, I don't know how Aisling or I could ever carry the burden you and Jordan have over the last year. In fact, I don't think we could. You are amazing people and God is using you and your experience in amazing ways!

Love you guys,

Steve - what not jokes this time?! no not this time, ;)

Davis Family said...

Oh dear Kari! We love you all.

Dallas said...

I will pray for your family during this time. Thank you for sharing this with us and for sharing your heart!

Marcmo said...

I remember seeing the pictures of your visit to the farm on Picasa about a year ago and thinking how happy you all looked. That was the last I'd heard or seen until December when I started reading your blog. Thanks again for sharing and for reminding us to be thankful.

Our prayers are with you all, always.

Hope Peyton is recovering well from surgery.
Best to you and Jordan.

erinlo said...

Kari- I am in tears reading this post. I remember that day at the farm so well. I remember I got to hold and cuddle Drew for a while and my mom was in town and we marveled over his reddish fuzzy hair- LOVE that sweet little head. I miss him.

Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. What a blessing and honor it is to know you and your family. We love you dearly.

Anonymous said...

Kari and Jordan,
I too remember that day, or should I say middle of the night! I think it was about 2:30am when the phone rang. Our world changed that day as we focused our lives around Drew. What a privilege to be a part of his life and behold his constant trust in we who loved him. I will never forget taking my early morning shifts laying next to him feeling his every breath and enjoying each moment.

Grandad in MT

Sandi said...

Oh, Kari. I don't know you very well, but my heart has ached with yours in your grief. God has given you a gift of words to carry us deep into your heart, into your memories, into your love for little Drew and the rest of your family. As a fellow member of Christ's body, I mourn AND rejoice with you. May you continue to feel His presence in both the moments of tears and of joy. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Kerrie said...

Oh Kari. I too am sitting here with tears streaming down my face thinking about what you went through and seeing you only 2 weeks later in the hospital.

One can always go back and question actions that you did or did not take or what you might or might not have done differently. You can always look back, Kari, and know that you loved. You love with all of your being, all of your heart. I saw that in you from the moment I met you. You and your family are so special, and it is an honour that I was brought into your life.

I am thinking of you always, and especially today I will pray for you as you remember, hurt, laugh, cry, and hold your family close.

I hope that Peyton is healing well and helping you laugh every day (as you say he does so well!).

Love and hugs to you all.


Anonymous said...

Kari and Jordan and Peyton,
My heart continues to grieve for you. So much in one short year!! It seems like so long since little Drew was etched permanently on our hearts. I often think of his fuzzy little head and his great big smile. A picture of such great joy in the midst of such tragedy. I am thankful "joy comes in the morning". You will be in my prayers tonight through the night watch. Love Joan

The Pakosz Crew said...

My dear,dear are an amazing woman. Many prayers of thanksgiving for you in response to tears. If only I could take a fraction of your burden for you. May you continue to have sweet dreams of your littlest wonder.

Nicola said...

I have been reflecting on that day at the Zorn's and thinking of the late night call from Jordan a lot this week. Tears come every time. Thank you for asking us to pray for you when we cry; I will carry this on every time I think of Drew, so consider prayers sent many times each day. You and Jord have been amazing examples of faith during the past year - thank you.

I love you both (and P too),

Anonymous said...

Thank you for shedding more light on that monumental night. The past year has been very tough for you, Jordan and Peyton. But your strength has been a true blessing and eye opener to many around you including myself. We think of you often, especially on milestone dates like this one.

Jason & Leigh-Ann

The John said...

Its an honor to eavesdrop on your heart Kari. Each time I walk away feeling more grateful for what I have and even more in awe of your faith. I think you should consider writing a book chronicaling your "journey." We'll be in Calgary the first week of July. If you guys are around we'd love to come over.

Brandi said...

know that even when I cannot understand what you've gone through, I truly am humbled by the way you have shown faith and your strength which has been such an no other that I know. I think of you so often and I'm still praying.

Greg Ashby said...

Heartbreaking memories. Thanks for sharing Kari. I can't imagine how that night felt, but I've thought about it often lately. Your attitude of gratitude for the time you did have with Drew is an example to me. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


Once again you awe me with your tale. I thank you and your angel Drew for grounding me and making me realize that life is far too short. Big hug from me to you during the next few weeks and months that mark the 1 year anniversary of me meeting that awesome little boy and his amazing family!


schullerfamily said...

That was a beautiful entry Kari. As I sit here weeping over your words, I will lift you up in prayer.
Much love to you.

Melinda said...

What an emotional post as you took us through that night. Thank you for sharing. Your family is upheld in our thoughts and prayers as you cross these milestones along your journey of grief.

Anonymous said...

I often come and check in on how you, Jordan and Peyton are making out. I was so thankful for your previous post and Peyton's improved health. Your account of May 14th again hits the core of my heart. Through your words I am constantly reminded of the wonder and joy our children bring to our life and the incredible gift of good health. My deepest wish for your family is the same and perhaps the bliss of a "boring routine".
Be well,
Kelly Hill (EnCana)