On August 29th, 2011,at 810 in the morning, Keith and I sat next to Luke's bed in the PICU and watched his heart stop on the monitor. We held his hands and let him go Home. I am not sure how we did that, but we knew it was the right thing to do. They had resusitated him several times and he was at the maximum dosage off all the different medications they could give to keep his heart going. They were not working- his lungs had failed which caused his heart to fail. We did not have to take him off the ventilator. His lungs were unable to exchange oxygen even though the ventilator continued (at maximum settings) to breathe for him. The choice for him to let go was not ours to make, but we were able to give him a dying experience in which I layed in bed with him and rubbed his head, hands, and his chest around the chest tubes. His family was able to gather and say good bye. I put his hands to my belly to feel Sarah Jane. Our pastor led us in prayer. Benjamin and Samuel both got a chance to touch him one more time and say goodbye. When we could see he was close to passing, we asked everyone to step out of the room and Keith sat on one side and I on the other and we held his hands. That was the end of our earthly son, and we gave him back to whom he came from, A year later we are so thankful that we ever had him- that beautiful boy.
Keith, Samuel, Benjamin and I lit a candle at 810 in the morning this 29th to start our day. We served a lunch at the Ronald McDonald house at Riley in honor of Luke. It felt good to give back. In the evening, we had a small gathering at the cemetery and had a dove release, readings, and a balloon release for the kids. We shared several of the poems that Luke's friends wrote for him. Keith and I both shared. Mine was as follows:
My little Bear,
I continue to be overwhelmed by how much I love you.
I am so proud of you each and every day.
My heart longs for you, but in truth, you gave me enough joy to last a lifetime.
You were a son that anyone would long for.
I enjoyed you so much- your humor, your love, your thoughtfulness.
It has been a struggle dealing with your absence.
I miss what you brought to our family,
But I remind myself daily that there are no "whys" in God's world.
We have tried to sit back and watch the fruit of your life be harvested.
There are babies in the world because of your influence.
You have led people to Christ or helped strengthen their relationship with Jesus.
Mothers have hugged their kids a bit closer.
There are people who have nominated kids for a Make A Wish because they heard your story on the radio.
Your memorial donations have granted several wishes.
Your presence in Heaven has given people comfort that you are with their loved ones.
You have encouraged acts of kindness done in your name.
We hope to continue to see the beauty that has risen from the ashes of your death.
You are more that my sick little boy who died- you are a joy, a triumph, a blessing, and a gift.
Daddy and I saw what you lived with every day.
We were amazed to watch how you dealt with the bleeding and the limits of your breathing.
I wish more people really understood how brave you truly were.
You rose to the occasion each time you needed to.
You did everything in this world that you were asked to do.
You dealth with the disappointment, pain, anxiety, and the fragility of your life with an uncanny awareness.
You are my motivation everyday to stay in the land of the living.
All you ever wanted to do was to just live your life- your disease may have taken your breath away, but it never got the best of you spirit.
I never took the best of you away from me.
Your last words to Daddy and I were of love and courage.
You found the best in each day and you motivate me to do the same.
You see fully now why this happened to you.
I am content that you can carry that for me until I see you again.
I can imagine your excitement when you hear that I am coming and you can show me what you have been up to.
And then I can hold you again.
Until Lukey, I will live my life with your soul in my heart.
I will parent your siblings with all the love I can.
I will continue to see you bear fruit in this world.
I love you, Luke- then, now, and always.