Thursday, November 24, 2016
Mom~ Part 3: "Funerals are for us, not for them..."
Finding out that my mom passed away, while I am not just living far from home, but now in the hospital with a critically ill child, even further from home, is almost more than a daughter can take. I have a very close, loving family. They all, and I do mean ALL, still live at home in Ohio. I am the only one who moved away. Today, the burden of guilt and distance was almost too much to bear. But I had so much love and support holding me up, along with Rowan preaching words of wisdom that I just could not argue with.
The thought of leaving my son, in the midst of a 2nd transplant, battling multiple complications, in an ICU, in a hospital 2000+ miles from home, makes me feel like passing out. But the idea of missing your own mother's funeral...equally nauseating. I cried to my family back home in Ohio, but they all assured me that they understood, and told me that nobody expected me to leave Rowan to come home to Ohio. I talked to Brian and the kids, and they likewise assured me..."we will go, its ok, we know you can't leave Rowan." Still, I battled myself internally all day.
But Rowan gets things better than I do. He is an old soul, in a frail little boy's body. He knew what to say to me ALL DAY. When I told him that I didn't know what to do, he held my face at told me, "Remember Mom, funerals are for us, not for them. She's already in heaven...she won't be there. It's ok if you aren't either." He followed up by telling me, "She's in a better place. She's with Jesus and all my friends. I'll try to dream of her in heaven. I won't even wait until bed time...I'll do it when I nap today." He also reminded me, "We still have to look for the good Mommy. Even now." So we did...
Had Rowan not gotten so sick, had he not been moved down to ICU, intubated and on dialysis, I don't think my Mom would have felt such an urge to travel here so suddenly last month. God may have mysteriously used Rowan's critical state, to urge my Mom to come. Had he not...had she not, we wouldn't have gotten to hug her one more time, I wouldn't have the photos I do, she may not have had the peace she needed. And the nurse who had Rowan the days that my Mom was here, stopped by our room tonight. She hugged me and she cried with me in disbelief. Then she shared with me that while I was out in the waiting room with my sister and niece, and everyone was getting ready to say their goodbyes that weekend, she witnessed something. She said it was just my Mom and Rowan and her in the room at the time. Mind you, they came when Rowan was still in a pretty bad state. He was intubated when they first arrived, then extubated the next day. He barely opened his eyes, and did not interact or speak much at all. But this nurse shared with me tonight, that Rowan turned towards my Mom and whispered "I love you". It was the last words he ever spoke to her. I would never have known that, had this nurse not witnessed it herself and shared it with me tonight. So grateful to know this now. See, on my Mom's Facebook page, the last post she made was this...less than 6 hours before she died. She reposted my latest blog about Rowan's hearing aid. I know how much she loved Rowan, and he does too. Thanks to the nurse, it also warms my heart to know that my Mom knows Rowan loved her too.
Brian said something today that really hit the nail on the head, as a way to describe just how spiritual and giving my Mom truly was. He told me "I can't help thinking that your Mom probably went up there so she could tell God face to face that he could have HER, but he wasn't touching her grandson (Rowan:) Then when my sister and I talked later, we also said that the whole time Mom was here in Seattle crying and praying for Rowan at his bedside, she was probably telling God: "Take me. Take me. Not Rowan." We all agree, that's just who she was. We all agree, she is up there with Him now, not just watching over Rowan, but pleading for his life, advocating for him...reminding God, "you're not done with him yet". If Rowan needed another angel to look out for him from above, I guess I can let go of my Mom here on Earth.
I hope you understand me not coming home to Ohio for your funeral Mom. I hope Dad, Jen, Amy, Meghan and Brian are right, that you would want me to stay right here by Rowan's side...just as you stayed by mine so many times before.