The best kiss I ever got

The best kiss I ever got

Sunday, June 26, 2011

#24-The Last Days

The next couple of days seemed to creep by slowly. Our home was filled with dear friends, family and the sounds of Jeremy Brooke's little friend calling and leaving messages on the answering machine that rung out through the house. He would say in his little Forrest Gump voice, "Brookie, this is Jeremy. I was just calling to see if you were feeling better. I'm building us a log cabin and I'm going to take you fishing when you get better." It seemed like everyone just froze and listened when he called. He wanted to come see her and the teachers had asked numerous times to bring him but he lived with his grandmother and she was very old and backwards and was scared to let him go with anyone.
Timmy and I just stayed by Brooke's side, holding her hand, letting her know that we were there with her. Our hospice nurse stayed right there too along with Dr Fackler who had cancelled all of her patients to spend Brooke's final days with her. We were setting by Brookes bed talking when suddenly Brooke sit straight up in the bed. Brooke could never sit up alone so we all jumped up. She was having a seizure. One so violent that it had threw her straight up in the bed. I leaped on top of her and began to pray as hard and as loud as I could. Finally after what seemed like a good 10 minutes it stopped. We then realized that all of the swelling had gone out of her legs and feet and had traveled to her brain. We propped her up in the bed to reduce most of the swelling and prevent anymore seizures.
I could never ever express the pain I felt to think that Brooke would ever have to suffer. So far up until now she had just slept, she had no pain, and def no seizures. It was as if she was fighting so hard. Becky was there with us and I was expressing all of this to her of how she continued to fight and immediately she said, "Millie, that is all you and Timmy have ever taught her." I said "what do you mean." She then began to remind me of all of the times I had told Brooke to fight, and how strong she was, and how God did'nt teach her to swim to let her drown, and that she could do all thing through Christ who strengthened her. She said "Millie, she doesn't know how to stop fighting." That hit me like a ton of bricks. She was exhausted, her little body was wore out..and yet she was still fighting. Not for herself but for us.
Timmy and I knew what we needed to do. We sat down by her bed and held her little sweet hands. Hands so sweet that they looked like they were lightly covered in pearl dust. I began to tell her how that I knew I had told her all of her life to fight but now she could rest. I told her she didn't have to fight for mommy anymore because I was a big girl. I would be fine and Jesus would take good care of mommy and daddy. It was time for her to just rest.
That night we had very little sleep. My husband who as you know by now is a big jokester took the stethoscope we had used to listen to Brookes heart and put them in his ears and placed the other end on the bible. He said, "I need to hear from you Lord maybe this will help." About 5am, Timmy woke me up. He said, "Mommy Brooke woke up and when she looked at me I heard her say that she is tired." I jumped up out of the bed, looked at her and her little eyes were circled in black. Her hands were dusty grey and her lips the same. The selfish part of me wanted to just scream as loud as I could NO!!! You can still heal her Lord! There is still time... but looking at that little girl who had fought all of her life and was so tired...all I could say was God please have mercy on me...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#23 Our last Mother's Day

The days were narrowing down. Brooklynn was barely drinking any liquids, I would try to get her to drink by taking a medicine dropper and giving her sips of Pedialyte. Her little chest sounded so rattly. I've often heard that before people passed away they would get what is called a "death rattle" and despite numerous patches placed behind her ears it was undeniable that was what we were  hearing. Other than that she just seemed to peacefully sleep. Our concerns about her getting bedsores began to grow. We got her up and bathed her everyday, turned her every hour but the lack of nutrients in her skin from not eating was breaking it down and would soon cause a bedsore. I've always heard that they are very painful often exposing the bones, a horrifying thought for a mother who's child was in Brooke's condition.
With our sleep schedules going in shifts days seemed to run into each other. Saturday was almost over and I realized that Sunday was Mothers Day. Not only was it Mothers Day but for me it would be my last Mothers Day with Brooklynn. I began to pray and ask God to please not take her from me that day. To please wait and let us spend that day together and being the good God that he is he answered my prayer.
At 3 am Brooklynn woke up. It was Timmys shift to set up with her and he was ecstatic to see those big brown eyes. He immediately grabbed the camcorder and began recording me a Mothers Day present, one that i would cherish for ever. There she was with those little brown eyes sweet as can be staring at the camera. Timmy said, "Brooklynn lets tell mommy happy mothers day". With all of the strength she could gather up within her she tried to smile and it was precious. A little time went by and she was off to her sweet sleep again.
Sitting by her bed that Mothers Day gave me lots of time to think and I had so many thoughts racing through my mind. It was like the devil was on one shoulder and an Angel on the other. I would think, "next year I'm going to have to spend Mothers Day at the cemetary mourning over a grave" but then I would say to myself  "Stop! You cant think that way, yes you will be a the cemetary but Brooklynn will be in heaven with JESUS! She will finally be healed. Dont deprive her of her reward!" I told Jesus when Brooke had her stroke that whether he chose to take her or let me keep her I would serve him no matter what. He had more than lived up to his end of the deal and now it was time for me to live up to mine.
The thoughts went on and on. Then I thought of all of the good times and there were soooo many. Brooklynn didn't talk,  but God had such away of allowing us to communicate with each other. For instance..I would wake up in the middle of the night from an intense dream of Brooklynn and I having a conversation. The strange thing was...she would be awake looking at me too. Then there was the time when her hip trouble had began and she was having to sleep propped up on the love seat, I slept beside her on the couch. It was the middle of the night and I heard a little girls voice wake me up and say, "mommy I'm sick". I woke straight up, looked at Brooklynn and she vomited everywhere. But the time I will never forget is when we were in the parking lot at Wal-Mart. I had been in deep conversation with God on the way there about Brooke. I said, "Lord, I love her so much, I've never in my life loved anyone like I do her. Is there anyway that you can let me know that she loves me to." It was a silly request I know but non the less it was a desire of my heart and God says he will give us the desires of our heart. I parked the car there at WalMart to do my Saturday shopping, got her stroller out, went around to her door, lifted her out, placed her in the strolled and all of a sudden she looked me straight in the eyes and in that same little girl voice I had heard so many times before in my dreams the words, "I love you mommy" came. They didn't come out of her mouth but I heard them as if they did and I wept like a baby. God had answered my prayer. I knew that day there was more heartache to come but there was also much to be celebrated. It was once said it was better to love and loss than to never loved at all and how true that is.
Our last Mothers Day together was such a special one. Timmy bought me the sweetest gifts, Tabetha made me the most awesome scrapbook ever, my sister sent me cheesecake packed on dry ice, My sister in laws and sisters bought me several gifts but the best gift of all was holding her and having her there with me. What more could a mother ever ask for.

Monday, June 6, 2011

#22 Preparations

Every second of every day that we had left with Brooklynn was counted a gift. We kept our same routine, every morning she would get a bath, get dressed, and we would accessorize with her matching earrings and hairbows. And every minute those big brown eyes would open we would try to do as much with her as we possibly could. We would set her up in  her wheel chair and roll her to the front door and let her watch as her daddy planted flowers for her. Or sometimes we would just open the bedroom windows and let her look outside and listen to the birds. But there was no denying that she was become weaker by the day.
Her heart rate would go from 55 to 145. It was very sporadic and I know it was wearing her out. Sometimes she would wake up shaking almost convulsively and we would cover her in warm blankets, then 10 minutes later she would be sweating so bad that we would have to turn the temperature down low and put fans on her.
One thing that she would always do is look around the room as if she saw something and she would follow the objects with her eyes and smile. Her nurse said she was sure that she was seeing angels and I fell the exact same way. There was always so much peace in that room as Brooklynn  just laid there in sweet sleep. With time narrowing down Timmy and I had some tough decisions to make. Decisions that no parent ever wants to make. We had to decide where she would be buried. We had no idea where to begin to look. After reeling the ideas over and over in our minds we decided that she would be buried at Lakeside Memorial Gardens. It was so nice there and she loved to go to the lake so it was fitting that she be there. When we called to check on the lots the owner said that we both would have to go there so that we could sign all the necessary paperwork. Goldie stayed with Brooke while we went but before I left I informed Brooklynn that mommy and daddy had to go purchase some lake property but if it ended up that we didn't need it then mommy would put her real estate sign on it and sell it. She just smiled.
When we got to the cemetery the man took us out to show us the available spots. It was so hot that spring, unseasonably hot. I stood there at the end of that cemetery and just gazed across. Everything looked so dry. I remember thinking over and over that I didn't want to be there. As I stared at the dry crisp grass I thought why cant I just lay down here, it isn't natural for a parent to out live their child. Why do I have to go on? Just then I looked straight ahead and there was a large white angel with her arms stretched out. I asked if there were any lots near the angel and he said yes so that's where we decided she would be.
Later that day it was time to pick out her burial clothes. I had climbed those stairs a million times at our house but this time honestly felt like slow motion. I can remember every single stepped as I felt like I was marching to my doom. It was as if I was spiralling down hill and couldn't stop the same time I felt God was holding my hand. It was as if he couldn't keep me from the pain but he would be right there with me and carry me through it.