Saturday, September 13, 2014
Heaven IS for real!
Rowan and I went to visit the Patterson's at their ranch today. Rowan always visits Chrissie's gravesite when we do, and today was no different. What a special time (again). Here are the precious photos...
First of all, here is the picture he drew to take there. He wanted to put it on Chrissie's grave. He said that the left side was "What I see looking up at Chrissie in Heaven", and that the right side was "What Chrissie sees looking down at me."
This is Rowan praying at Chrissie's pink gravesite. Her horse Navidad is praying too.
The flower is the yellow sunflower that Rowan brought with him to lay at her grave.
This is Chrissie up in the sky with light all around her, shining down from Heaven.
She has pink heart shaped wings, and she is pink too (her favorite color).
Here is the picture and the sunflower, tied with ribbon, ready to go...
Here is Rowan, at the Patterson's home with his picture and sunflower...
First he got to visit with Mattie, Chrissie's sister, and the rest of the family.
Then we headed down the hill to Chrissie's gravesite.
Rowan did tie the picture he drew on the pink iron gate...
...but her sister Selah had other plans for the sunflower...she was NOT letting it go.
Praying for his angel friend.
I believe he said "Dear God thank you for taking care of Chrissie in Heaven, and I just know that she is happy there. Thank you. Amen."
Rowan blew her kisses goodbye.
And then we said goodbye to Chrissie's precious Momma Lorraine.
This visit alone, up to that point, would have been special enough for any one single day...
but on the ride home, the day became monumentally special.
Rowan asked me as we pulled out of their property, "Mom, how did you meet Lorraine?" I said, "Rowan, you remember, we were in the hospital at the same time they were." His reply was, "No Mom, I remember how I met Chrissie, but not how you met Lorraine." I said "Well, first tell me how you met Chrissie". He asked, "The first time?" And I said , "Yes".
Keep in mind...Rowan never DID actually meet Chrissie in person. They were both seriously ill children in April of 2010. Rowan was hospitalized with a life threatening septic infection, and was in PICU 1 at Methodist Children's Hospital. Chrissie was undergoing open heart surgery to correct highly complicated life threatening heart/lung defects. Rowan was moved out of PICU 1, to a regular room upstairs, the day Chrissie was moved into PICU 1. She coded and was placed on life support. Rowan had been doing better, but made a turn for the worse and his fever spiked to 106.7. They had to call PICU doctors upstairs to care for him in his room. They brought in the chilling blanket, a machine that pumps ice cold water through a blanket, to surround Rowan's body, in an effort to get his temperature down. I remember how scared I was. It was the worst fever he had ever had. Right before that temperature spike, I had been reading Lorraine' blog about Chrissie's Journey. I knew that she was a mom with a gravely ill child, just downstairs at the same hospital, but I had not met her. Suddenly, Rowan opened his eyes, sat up, looked over at my laptop and said "Mommy, we need to pray for that little girl, she's here too." In my mind, as I looked over at my laptop, I thought, wow, he recognized that she is in the same hospital from that picture. That is all that I thought. Tonight, I learned differently...
On the way home tonight, as our conversation continued, Rowan explained the first time he "met" Chrissie. Rowan said, "the first time I met her was when I had that really bad fever in the hospital and they put those ice blankets on me. She came to my room. She sacrificed her life for me." This was four years ago mind you. I said, "What do you mean? You saw that she went into the same PICU room that you had been in before her?" He said, "No Mom, she came into the room I was in. She made my fever go down. That's how she saved me."
Silence. Speechless. Tears. Chills.
Rowan broke the silence, "Mom, it's almost like heaven is for real. She was in my room. I think she sacrificed her life for me."
I had to pull over to talk to him, ask more questions, etc. Sure, he had nearly a 107 fever that night, so he could have been delirious. But, this was four years ago! How could he have such detailed memories now? And his story jives with what I remember happening that night, I just didn't know he meant she was literally "IN his room".
More history... after the night Rowan is talking about, Chrissie's Mom Lorraine and I met a couple days later when I went down to introduce myself and meet her and see if she needed anything. Rowan started drawing pictures for Chrissie's room soon after that, when he started doing better. He and I prayed for her every night we were there. For 30 days, they were both there in the hospital still. Rowan got better though. He got to go home. Chrissie died the night Rowan was discharged home though. Actually, he is the one who told me that I should check her Mom's blog. When I did, I saw that she had just passed away overnight. I have plenty of posts since then about Rowan's special God-connection with Chrissie, but I never understood how it truly began. How could I? Tonight it became clear...
Rowan did meet Chrissie...he met her in his hospital room, just upstairs from her own hospital room, while he was battling a nearly 107 degree fever, with machines cooling his body, and she was on life support downstairs, with machines breathing for her and pumping blood through her body. I believe him. I have to. You can if you want.
I explained this conversation to Lorraine, Chrissie's Mom, tonight. We were both in awe. We have always felt their special connection, but neither of us understood how this connection was formed since she died before he could ever meet her in person. Lorraine and I both started wondering exactly when this "meeting" took place...and that is where this story gets even better.
I used Lorraine's blog posts, and both of our Facebook posts, and pictures from late April of 2010, and I cross referenced them all. Low and behold, Rowan was on the chilling blanket with that extremely dangerous high fever the night of April 27th into the morning of April 28th. Guess where Chrissie was? Her PICU room was being converted into an operating room for emergency surgery. They had to open her chest up because she had internal bleeding, and blood clots that were blocking the ECHMO machine from working. Twice they performed surgery on her in that room that night/morning. She visited him when her chest was opened up, wide open, life support not working properly because of clotting/bleeding problems. His fever broke when she visited him, which is why he says "she saved my life." How can you not believe? Rowan doesn't know specific dates, he doesn't read my Facebook posts, or Lorraine's blog, yet his story 100% correlates with what he was going through and at the same time Lorraine was posting about what Chrissie was going through.
Here are photos of Rowan at the time of this incident...so, so sick...
This is the machine that was shooting cold water through the blanket that was covering him.
Here are pictures of Chrissie during this exact same time...fighting for her life...
Finally, here are the Facebook posts and blog posts that show the date stamps, that show us what each of these precious children was going through during these profoundly important days.
Lorraine and I both believe Rowan. I would even without these photos and dated posts. But Rowan's story, when combined with them, it just all makes sense now. Chrissie's chest was open, her heart exposed, when she came to visit my son's room that night. And both of our families lives were changed forever. We are so grateful that God has given us this story, this gift, this connection between these two angels...one on Earth, and one in Heaven.
...who never met in person, but whose spirits met in Rowan's hospital room, while they were both fighting for their lives. Thank you Christyn Joy Patterson- "Chrissie"- for saving Rowan's life that night. Thank you God for giving us glimpses of Heaven, here on Earth, through these children's special connection.
And thank you Lorraine, for taking the time to wait until Selah went to sleep tonight, and for her to let go of Rowan's sunflower for Chrissie, and for taking the time and effort to walk it back down that hill in the dark, and placing it exactly where Rowan told you he wanted to lay it on Chrissie's grave. These pictures made him smile from ear to ear. He says thank you! We both do.