Please forgive us.

This was originally only published on Facebook and Instagram.  I’m posting it here to keep it where I can find it.

Okay guys. This is hard. Hard to read and hard to see. I’m trusting you with my words and my soul.
Five adults
Four children.
A beautiful day.
Everyone helping. Talking. Loving.
Kids playing in the drive with old toys.
New treasures.
Back turned for a moment: lend a hand.
Out of sight.
Cannot see him.
Cannot hear him.
Run through the open door:
“Is he with you? Do you have him?”
Just a moment, not more.
“He’s not inside!” I yell, and everyone moves.
Down to the lake.
Just in case.
Just in case.
I thump around the path and down to the water on stiff legs, tightened with fear.
Scan the glassy surface, smooth as the eye can see, but for a break.
Just a break.
Surely not.
I step up on to the board walk.
I see him.
I scream. And scream. And scream.
As I run to him and pull him from the water, I scream.
Brock tears to us, fast as a blink, to hold him with me.
Yelling, “CALL 911!” his voice icy with terror.
Squeeze his chest, tip him, clear the water.
He is cold, but he is not blue.
No pulse. Tilt head. Breath. Breath.
One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen.
Breath. Breath.
I clear vomit from his mouth over and over.
I breathe into his tiny mouth for him, and pump his heart.
I move his oxygen. He is not blue.
Breath. Breath.
Compressions and breaths and clearing his airway.
I hear his lungs fill. I move his blood.
Someone comes to help.
Then EMS arrives.
I fall away from my baby as I let them take over. Hundreds of rounds of CPR and now I just watch.
My steel resolve disappears and I am keening and wailing. Screaming and sobbing.
My baby. My baby.
Brock holds me. My sobs join with his. We can’t look at each other.
Only at our baby.
They work and work. They fight for him.
We ride to the hospital in an ambulance. We beg him to come back.
Please choose to stay, Rory kai.
Minutes in the ER. Minutes like hours.
The doctor comes out.
“I’ve got a heartbeat.”
We scream our relief and joy and disbelief. He is not gone.
He is not gone.
Airlifted to the children’s hospital by a team of airmen fueled by love and kindness.
The most amazing team of doctors and nurses and therapists.
They keep him alive.
They stabilize him.
I can touch him. Hold him. Kiss him.
Brock puts his hand on Rory’s head and whispers sweet words.
You can go in the kitchen whenever you want, buddy.
We warm his body. He was hypothermic. His brain function may return as he warms.
It may not.
We didn’t know it then, but we were gifted 24 hours with our sweet boy. Enough time to hold him and kiss him and fill him full of all of our sweet love.
His brothers and sister come to see him.
They cry. But they smile. They love him.
They will miss him.
He is slowly fading.
His lungs can give no more.
We nod when asked, and they pull out his tubes.
He is just my baby now.
Lying in my arms.
He breathes. Again and again, he fights.
He gasps.
I ache.
Brock sobs.
It hurts to watch him.
It’s okay to go, Rory.
You can stop fighting.
Thank you.
I love you.
I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
You can go. I will be okay.
My hand on his chest as he slips away.
My lips on his face over and over.
I need to remember how he feels.
I need to never forget.
I hold his hand to my cheek one last time. His sweet fingers on my skin.
In a single instant, his body is no longer alive and yet I am sure – I am SURE
He is not gone.
He is not gone.
He is only different.

We love you Rory Kai.
Thank you for allowing us to be your parents.
We love you now, then, and always.
I’m sorry we could not save you.
Please forgive us.
Please forgive us.
Please forgive us.