You never know when it's going to hit you. Or, in my case, completely overwhelm you. For me, it was at 2am this morning. I woke up in a sweat, images from the moment I knew Gavin was having a seizure in the emergency room flashing through my mind like a movie that I couldn't turn off. As much as I tried... I couldn't turn it off. Did I miss something in that moment? When I looked down and thought he was having a seizure, was he really not breathing and I was wrong? Was it really a seizure? Did I screw up? As much as I can see the big picture in Gavin's death, there are still lingering thoughts that creep in every now and then. By 5am, I left my wet pillow behind and just got up for the day. The shower is a great place to lose your mind... and I did.
You never know when it's going to hit you. As grateful as I was to go back so we could thank the E.R doctors and nurses and respiratory staff that worked on Gavin that day in April... and as happy as I am to work on Gavin's birthday project for the children's waiting room... it is not easy for me be in that hospital at times. I replay the day from the second I walked in with Gavin in my arms to the second we peeled out of the parking lot racing a helicopter to DuPont - hoping he wouldn't die in route. But the truth is, I don't have to be in the hospital to have these feelings - recall those moments. It can happen anywhere... and it does.
You never know when it's going to hit you. The pressure I sometimes feel to make things perfect. The waiting room project is one of those things. At this point, I am confident it won't be done in time for Gavin's September 29th birthday, which is such a bummer. And there have been a few surprises that have disappointed me late in the game. But I am hoping, in the end, that the result doesn't disappoint any of you that have donated. And, more importantly even, I am hoping that the message to Brian will come across - to others and to him one day, when he's old enough to really understand. That this waiting room re-do was inspired by him. That he mattered that day - and every day. That we heard him and we did something about it. And that, because of him, children who are left waiting at a terrible time in their lives will be able to experience some temporary joy in that room.
You never know when it's going to hit you - but I suppose this time I should have been prepared. This Saturday, September 21st, should have been Darcy Claire's 3rd birthday. And the following weekend will be Gavin's 6th. We will have cake... and we'll celebrate... but man, does it suck. Through the night, if I wasn't seeing images of CPR on my little boy's tiny body - or reliving the moment when we were asked to say our goodbyes - I was wondering how things might have been different. If Darcy made it... would that have somehow changed the trajectory of our lives? Of Gavin's life? I don't know... probably not.
All I know today - on this appropriately rainy and dreary day - is this...
I must grieve Gavin. Whatever the hell that means.
I must grieve Darcy.
I must parent Brian.
I must grow Hope.
That, and putting one foot in front of the other, is all I can do... and I will.