Today I paid a visit to my high school friends who have a 14 month old at the very hospital that Trey earned his wings. I had hoped to never be there again yet my husband I went there briefly to deliver the toiletries that we collected for the families who stay there with the kids. It was so hard back in April when we were there even to be in the waiting room but my calling was greater today.
My friends has a son in April of 2012 who was born with a heart problem. Most recently, they have been with him at the children's hospital for the better part of over half the year before he was flown to California to receive treatment and hopefully a liver surgery which was necessary for a heart surgery that would improve his quality of life. Due to further complications they had to return to the local children's hospital and remain in limbo as to what will happen short and long term.
I have been very hesitant about visiting them due to my experience and memories with Trey at that hospital. The staff there was more upfront about Trey's condition than the hospital he was born in and they treated all three of us with dignity and respect in our time of need. Hospitals always fill me with great anxiety but this particular hospital erupts the ultimate fear of reliving such a hard time. But when they returned from California the need to be with them and their son over took my anxiety and fear.
I was completely confident upon my departure to the hospital. It was not until approaching the hospital did the butterflies begin to flutter. As a descended down into the depths of the parking garage searching for a parking space my mood was descending as well. I was nearly at the bottom of the parking garage and the fact that so many loved ones were there to be with the children there weighed me down. It should not be this way.
I exited the elevator without trepidation into the very waiting room I dreaded and promptly got a water. I texted my friends that I was there and took a restroom break while waiting for them to come down to meet me. The steryl smell of the restroom caught my breath and took me aback. There was a voice in my head that is normally my husband saying "Be strong for me" but it wasn't his, I feel in my very soul it was Trey. I composed myself before meeting my friend in the lobby and hugged her the way I have wanted to for months.
Entering the very elevators that I traveled before did not daunt me but arriving at the floor we spent so much time in was testing. As we walked down to the family waiting room my friend asked me if I was ok and I told her I had to be. We visited briefly joking around and relaying our experiences. I observed their strength and humor with the situation.
We headed up to the PICU (Pediatric ICU) and the familiarity of the environment resonated as we checked in at the desk and were allowed access. I knew the drill of washing my hands before heading to visit their son. Entering his room, I wanted more than anything than to lay my eyes upon him and touch him. He was kept comfortable due the machines that had stabilized him after his cross country journey. I found myself remembering how Trey was kept comfortable in his fragile state and recalling how Trey reacted to our visits, calm with me, excited with his Daddy.
I inquired about the plan for him and it seemed that the focus was mainly on the short term, there was little information on the short term. They left to meet with doctors and I stayed with the Little Bubba. I talked with him about Trey and how I asked him to stay by his side through everything (ever since I asked I have not felt Trey near, what a good boy!!). While were they were in their meeting the time came that I needed to leave to pick up our daughter.
I felt extremely proud of myself for braving my fears to be there for my friends. Their strength is inspiring even though I know they have their hard times. I plan to make more visits now that my initial visit proved beneficial all around.
There have been people, initially my daddy, who have said that I am in the ideal person to be of help to them. It is not clear what the future brings for the Little Bubba but I am proud that I can be there for my friends and him even though I hate that there is a reason I have to be. I am blessed with a son who inspires e and a daughter who is healthy. I feel like I am getting my graduate degree in parenthood although I thought with our daughter was what I was learning for.
There are so many parents struggling in the name of a child who is fighting conditions that a child should never know. Many have told me that they are more patient with their children because of what happened to Trey. My love burns brighter for both of my children because of my friends and the strength they exude for the love of both of their children but more for the strength of their son, the same strength that Trey showed but for a longer duration.
Trey fought a valiant fight with his heart issues and Little Bubba continues his fight. Their hearts are connected because of their strength despite physical strife and the love that shines through them.