Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Last Supper

  I remember the last time I had dinner with my friend. The dinner before everything changed.

We met at Applebee's and just to get to dinner was such a feat for us both. Work schedules, sick kids, husbands working overtime. Sometimes a simple plan Is the hardest to make happen.
When we finally made it to dinner we were just happy to be there. We chatted about all the things that friends chat about: 

Funny things our kids did
My frustration over my 4 year old arguing with me about clothes
Her same frustration that her 3 year old feels the same way about her clothes.
The amount of food her son can eat.
Budgets, coupon clipping and the wish that sometimes are husbands could help just a bit more.
Our upcoming vacations both first vacations for our families.
Our excitement for summer.
The softness and beauty of her newborn Daughter. Elly.
My continued wish/jealousy that I wasn't ableto have the third child I yearned for.

The usual subjects of two busy, tired, but loving mommas.

During dinner and our catch up, I joked that I would like to have her baby and could she give me her. All in jest of course.

She joked that I could take the other two (temporarily)  because the baby is so “chill” and that she was "one" with her mommy. Elly was the easy baby that makes you want more babies.

We talked about the sweet things that newborns do and how beautiful her daughter was.  They were just at our house for a play date so my girls and I had hugged, kissed and snuggled on Baby Elly. She was everything her momma said. Easy, beautiful, warm and lovely.

For a moment we talked about a serious matter – not our normal subject. It was me who brought it up. I asked about if they had a will and if so, who would they leave their kids to?  I said we didn’t have one but it is on our list of things to do. We talked about our worries if we, the mother’s were to go before their husbands. 

The usual fears of a mother who would leave their children behind. It was not our normal conversation, nothing serious are even at the time, something we could possibly imagine.

She said we are on her list of people she would leave her kids with.

 I felt honored.

As we finished our dinner we discussed our weekend plans. We were finally going to a flower nursery and filling up our empty flower beds. They were laying low because they had a new baby and that is what families with new babies do. 
The upcoming dance recital for their three year old. 
 We finished our dinner, paid our bills and tightly hugged in the parking lot. We headed home. A promise of a play date soon and a quick "love you" we headed our separate ways.

It was the last supper as we were in that moment – 
2 mommies - 2 daddies - 5 kids between us. 

2 days later on a warm April Saturday, in a flower nursery way out of the way. I missed a call from my friend. It was not normal for her to call me so early on a Saturday so I hurriedly listened to her voice mail.

 She told me that Elly was being life-flighted to the hospital and that she wasn’t breathing. Her voice put fear in my heart. I yelled to my husband that we had to go. Our flower pots half loaded. I quickly paid and Brian jumped in the car. As we traveled I called her over and over. No answer.

I prayed out loud and in my mind over and over that Baby Elly was okay.

Babies are resilient, please let her be okay.

Don’t do this to her mommy. Please let her be okay.

Please, please answer your phone. Please let them be okay.

Silence for 30 minutes. 

I walked in the door trying to patiently wait for a return call. Finally I told my husband that I was going. I was going to the hospital. I had to be there. I had to know if they were okay.

My phone finally rang – It was her.

I listened to my friend sobbing that her daughter was gone. Her baby had died. My sobs matched hers and I fell to my knees. My husband got me thru the moment, so I could go and help my friend.

It was the moment before the moment. I got back up and grabbed my keys. She said I didn't have to come. I told her there was nowhere else I would be. I steeled myself for the grief I knew was coming.  I will never forget the sound of her voice in that moment. I wish we could go back to our hug and hold just a second longer.

Have you been there? How did you handle it? Share with me, as I am sure if you have been there, you know. These are the calls that are life changing.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stephanie,

    I have been there. 20 years ago, my best girlfriend "H" lost her son to SIDS when he was only 4 months old. The sadness and loss is not expressible or explainable. It does soften over time, believe it or not. H and her husband went on to have 3 really awesome kids, and I am their proud godmother. We always remember their older brother who is in heaven now. Your friend must be a special kind of strong.