When Luke was 3 weeks old, in the winter of 2003, he went in to respiratory failure from RSV on February 13. He spent a week on the vent and gave us a really good scare. That was when we thought that was going to be the most traumatic experince that we would have with him. I had some post partum complications that day and spent Valentines Day in the ER with Keith going back and forth between Luke and I. The next year involved several bouts of pneumonia- one being in February, prior to his lobesctomy that spring. A few years later we were in the hospital again the month with the bleeding episodes. This was the month that we took him from the hospital without a diagnosis or any treatment options and started the process of reconciling that. Skip ahead 2 years... Luke was again placed on the vent February 10th of last year during that third episode of massive bleeding. So sad that we might have been marking 9 years without Luke or a year after losing him. We are so thankful that we were given as long as we were with him, but pretty unimpressed with Valentine's day all the same.
We have had some wonderful things done for Luke recently that have really picked us up from a really bad stretch- many milestones that we have passed without Luke. The Szempruch family from our church had a star named after Luke- which especially Samuel (who loves space) thought was really cool. We were so touched and honored to have Luke remembered that way. Brooksschool elementary is going to have a scholarship named after Luke to be given to a senior that had attended Brooksschool. We will never get to send Luke to college, but it means so much to us to be able to keep Luke's memory alive in the kids that do get to go on. We have been surrounded by such love and thoughtfulness and for that we are truly grateful. My sister in law, Elizabeth, worked very hard to compile a book full of memories, stories, and pictures of Luke. It is breath taking and I think that I have read it a thousand times already. Four of my dear friends from college came down this weekend and it was a wonderful distraction. Three of my sorority sisters came earlier this fall. Reconnecting with old friends has been wonderful for me in many ways- but having something to look forward to is a good way to distract myself. I had to change our status on our Children's Museum membership because I could not handle them asking if we had "all three kids with you today". The kind lady a the info desk changed my card for me and was so kind and gentle about it. Her family had a recent loss and she understood how hard things like that are to do. We got notification this week that a memorial contribution to Make A WIsh was donated from Luke's "friends at the Children's Museum". We were so touched and amazed that they would do that in his memory. We spend a lot of time there together and have many wonderful memories. Such beauty and compassion continues to pour into such a big wound for us.
Keith and I realized that we have all had birthdays since Luke died. None of us are the same age that we were when we had him. The year has changed. I would like to say that things are getting easier, but it is not. We will be marking 6 months on the 29th and I hope each day the weight of his loss will start to ease. I almost wish that I was angry or questioning of God about this. Then I could work through those feelings and make peace with them. I just miss Luke. There is no healing or working through that emotion. It just is. I am thankful though for my Valentine, a husband that continues to walk this road with me- through the pot holes and all.