Today is the three year anniversary of the day I pretended to have hope.
Me. The ultimate harbinger of positivity. Gavin's biggest champion. His strongest advocate. I stood by his bedside and... pretended.
His tiny body had endured several major cardiac events. He died in front of us more than twice, only to be brought back. But not far enough back. I'm his Mommy. I could tell. Four different times, crowds of people rushed into the room and we were pushed to the corner to wait and pray and fear and beg. But that night, when it was just the three of us in the room, I looked into Gavin's eyes and I knew he had one foot in Heaven.
I mentioned my feelings to Ed and he was mad. Not really mad, just the "don't say that!" kind of mad. I mean, I get it. I am the one that is typically buoying us up. If I lost hope, what could he hold onto? So I pushed it down and let the Mama bear come back out.
Every doctor that came into the room had me glued to their side. I pushed to have the eye doctor come to check his eyes. Since Gavin had been through a severe (and I mean beyond your comprehension kind of severe) corneal abrasion in the past, I worried that he was at risk. His eyes had remained open - his pupils different sizes - since his first cardiac event in the emergency room the day before. The doctor came and, sure enough, he had an abrasion on one of his eyes. I was devastated. But I also knew - in my heart of hearts - that Gavin wasn't feeling pain. I knew at this point that a corneal abrasion was the least of his concerns... and mine.
I told everyone "We need a miracle. Please pray for a miracle!!" I wrote THIS post asking for just that. I mean, Gavin HAD experienced a miracle or two in his little lifetime. That much was true. But as I sat in the corner and quietly prayed through tears, I told my God that I knew.
I think knowing is a very powerful thing. With knowing often - not always... but often - comes acceptance. So the next day, I stopped pretending. I just knew that it was not going to end with a miraculous "comeback" for our superhero. And with that knowing, I was able to spend the next few days with him peacefully. I didn't have the usual panic of trying to help him - trying to fix him - trying to save him - trying, trying, trying. Instead, I spent my time memorizing him more. Sleeping next to him. Singing to him. Bathing him. Ushering him.
He had one foot in Heaven. I know this for sure. But make no mistake, he was there in that room. He felt our embraces. He heard our words. He enjoyed his favorite songs. He gave us so many gifts over those four days that we will never forget. Not the least of which was Hope. There is no other explanation why I woke up on my birthday on the day that he died KNOWING that I was pregnant... KNOWING that it was a girl... and KNOWING that we had to name her Hope. Gavin knew before me. I can't explain how I knew - but as you now know, I was right. Hope was born seven months later. I will always feel like Gavin gave me the news of his sister's impending arrival. Perhaps they met each other when he was rising and she was falling.
There are days when I feel like I abandoned Gavin on this day in 2013. That I "gave up on him" in some way. Admitting that I knew is painful. The true, medical reality was that he really wasn't going to come back. I think everyone knew this was the end...and we were all just waiting. But I suppose sometimes I feel like I was supposed to be the fighting, wild eyed Mother all the way to the end. I just couldn't. I felt like Gavin deserved more as he transitioned from Earth to Paradise.
He had one foot in Heaven. And now, so do I. How else can I continue to hold his hand until my day comes to be with him again? I will never let go of his hand. And he will forever hold mine.
Of this, I am sure.