Today feels like a good day to stay in bed. All day. Just to snuggle in my soft blankets and cry and cry and cry. I just wish I could skip this date on the calendar. I wish it wasn’t a memory. I wish it never happened. I wish I didn’t have such a vivid mind when it came to recalling things. I wish.... I wasn’t so selfish some times. I know he’s in a better place but I just want to hold him in my arms. I want to breathe in his scent, I want to feel those silky locks, I just want my baby boy back.
I can remember so many details about that day, that night. Rushing to the hospital and trying to prepare my husband for the worst without scaring him. I was trying to be strong, but I really needed him to be stronger and he didn’t know the dire reality of the situation like I did. I heard it in our nurses voice, “Nicole, you need to come to the hospital now.” I prayed I’d never receive that call and when it did, I felt my entire body go numb despite being outside in the hot summer heat. I threw on any clothes I could and Franky asked if he had time to take a shower. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” I wanted to scream, but he hadn’t heard the calm urgency I had in the nurse’s voice. “Be patient with him,” I reminded myself. “This is the day we could be saying goodbye to our son,” I thought as I dressed. When we arrived bedside and I saw the tears in the nurse’s eyes, I knew it was bad. I knew she had done everything she could and it still wasn’t good enough. I knew he wouldn’t survive one more day with us. I remember forcing his little limp body into Franky’s arms. His breathing was quick and shallow, he had just had another seizure and his team had just finished giving him breaths through the seizure. The seizures were causing his poor, tiny body to “clamp down” as I call it and making it difficult for him to get oxygen to his brain. Even in this moment, I tried to take pictures. It would be the last time we could hold him while his tiny heart struggled to beat strongly. All the while, we still begged God to heal him and to give us peace. God did both. He called Ezio back home to be whole and He overwhelmed us with His perfect peace.
But that doesn’t mean this day is any easier. We have a dresser in our room that has his items, his pictures, and his eagle. I can’t bear to bring myself to get rid of anything yet. It’s been two years and it is still too fresh. There is a shirt I wore that night. It’s been washed and folded and sitting on top of my dresser.... for two years. I hate that shirt. I want to burn it, to shred it, it erase the memory of it, but yet I can’t bear to get rid of it. So it sits there, next to the bin that holds his death certificate, that tells me his official cause of death. That he is officially gone. Forever.
And yet, a mother never forgets.
When Natalee was born, I’ll admit, it wasn’t pure joy like I hoped. I tried so hard, but when I pulled her on top of me and she wouldn’t breathe no matter how much they tried to stimulate her, all I could see was Ezio and the moments I prayed I would hear him cry, hear that first intake of breath. With him, I never heard it, but with Natalee, when she did finally begin crying, a relief washed over me. But then so did guilt. Why her? Why not Ezio too? Why does she get to be here and not him? I shouldn’t be feeling this way, but I just accepted them in that moment and forced myself into the reality that God blessed us with another one. One that would live and thrive. Not only one from my womb, but another still. We knew Hailee was coming and that both of them were part of God’s amazing plan for our family.
So while I’d love to stay in bed all day, these little blessings remind me that I’m still needed, I’m still important, and I still have a purpose. I can’t give up. I can only embrace the fact that my love for my son is so strong, yet I still love all of my girls just as fiercely. Ezio will never be forgotten, his sisters will know him, and we will always celebrate him. Good still surrounds this day and I know God timed it perfectly it fit between Khloe’s Day (her adoption day) and the day we found out we were expecting Natalee.
Say a prayer for us today. As we both mourn and celebrate his life and day he entered the Kingdom.