oh when will this day end? it was a hard, difficult day. going to church this morning was terribly hard. we had flowers in front in honor of seth's "first Heaven bday"..... i didn't see anything but those flowers from a year ago. so many beautiful flowers. we were so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love. we were overwhelmed today as well. it's hard for me to stop my mind from doing the "this time last year game". this time last year we were being told that seth was in a car accident, being brought into this little room with a chaplain running to be by our side, being told by a friend of greg's (another physician who graciously went with seth in the ambulance to evaluate him) all of seth's injuries. i remember greg kneeling in front of me saying "honey, he's gone". i remember being so very confused that right after that they ushered us back to see seth and them telling us to talk to him that he may hear us. i remember thinking that seth was always so scared...how horribly terrified he must have been (looking back....he was already Home at that point - no fear any more)
i remember our parents and family and friends coming to the hospital to be by our side while we waited for seth's body to finally stop. i remember stroking seth's hands and kissing them over and over and smelling them thinking that i want to never forget that smell. i remember seeing his dirty little fingers and thinking 'oh i just want them to move, please move them buddy, tell me you're still here with us!' i remember singing to him and others singing with us. i remember how wonderful the nurses were to us that night. i remember it being daylight savings time and thinking that i have to endure one extra hour of waiting to say good-bye. and then greg's brother telling me that we had one more hour to spend with seth.
i remember talking with the gift of life guy. him taking us back to another little room. sitting there talking over how we could possibly help someone else and thinking that some family somewhere was on the verge of getting 'their call'. i remember him asking to 'give him 24 more hours so that they could harvest more organs and greg and i saying that we just couldn't do another day....we needed to get to the kids and tell them that seth was gone. i remember going back to the room to tell our family our decision to try and harvest at least his kidneys and eyes. oh how i wanted his eyes to continue on.....he had THE most beautiful eyes - they truly were windows to his soul. i remember after telling everyone we asked to have a circle prayer. people prayed and i remember thinking during the entire prayer....this can't be happening - he's going to be alright, he's going to sit up and jokingly tell us 'haha - i tricked you all!' i remember thinking that we need to know that we could glorify God even in the midst of our worst nightmare. i remember singing the doxology after that prayer.... 'praise God from whom all blessings flow....praise Him all creatures here below....praise Him above the Heavenly host...praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost' . i pray that we WERE able to glorify Him.
i remember saying goodbye. through sobs and tears telling seffers goodbye. our pastors and wife had come with us and one of them did the MOST beautiful thing for our boy. we all prayed and then they laid their hands on seth's head and blessed him....i don't know why it touched me so, but it was the most beautiful thing they could have done at that moment. i remember leaving seth's room and going to the waiting room and collapsing into a chair. it was so surreal...i could hear everyone around me, but i wasn't there....i was numb. i left in a wheelchair. i remember getting to the van and looking back at the door just as someone was entering the hospital with 2 white containers and someone shouting out 'we're bringing in the two kidney pods!' and thinking they were for seth....our boy....our little seffers. i was numb.
i remember sleeping all the way to allendale where the kids were at mom and dad's and that as soon as we hit the driveway i was given the strength that could only have been from God Himself. i remember abby meeting me at the door to the van asking with terror filled eyes 'mom, did seth die' and me saying that we needed to go and have our family meeting inside with everyone. we were surrounded by our family....we needed to have them there just in case the kids needed more help than we could offer. i remember greg and i and the kids sitting in a circle on the floor and me telling them that seth WAS in a car accident and that he broke both his legs, his arm, that he alot of his organs inside were hurt, but that most of all his head was really hurt badly and that seth got his new room today. to which andrew answered "I want a new room" "no honey, seth died today". how could i have just told them that? this was all so terribly, terribly wrong. it was a time for us - our family - to just sob over losing seth. the kids had alot of questions....mostly about the accident, but also some heavy Heaven questions. i was so glad that we had family surrounding us.....they truly were lifting us up and helping us through the most difficult times in our lives. i truly believe that God was right there in that room....crying right along with us - and at the same time giving us the strength to be strong for the kids.
i remember greg and i and the kids all sleeping together in the living room for the first week - we didn't want them going to bed and just think. i remember family being at our house the entire week - i LOVED that.... i didn't want to have a quiet house. they were all together making the seth stars we handed out at the funeral, sharing sweet memories, holding each of us up. i remember the next day - monday - having to go to the funeral home. we had our parents go with us....how could we make these decisions? obituary, service bulletins, visitation hours, horrible decisions. i remember going to the floral shop to pick out the flowers. brian and amy took care of us in such a loving way. i honestly can say that it was in the middle of hudsonville floral where i finally let it go. how absolutely embarrassing and yet i felt God's love through them.....such a gift. i remember going to the cemetary to pick out a plot - what a joke....how do you pick out a piece of land to place our son's body? it was so bitter cold and windy - fit the situation. i remember going to school afterwards. once again being completely surrounded with God's love by the teacher's there. we wanted to ask the upper deck to sing at seth's funeral - they did such a beautiful job.....we will FOREVER be grateful to them for that. i remember going home and collapsing. how did i get through that day? ONLY by the grace of God.
i remember so many times when we felt the grace of God. from the overwhelming outpouring of people visiting, to the ladies at school providing food during the visitations, making it through the funeral. i truly didn't think i could....again ONLY by the grace of God. my friend, chariss, was taking pictures throughout that week. i wanted to share 2 that were so beautiful...they NEED to be shared.....(bugger....i can't get them to move down here - they're uptop). both our brother's taking such care of our boy...i love to see the beautiful trees in the background - just a reminder of God's faithfulness.
i know some may be thinking.....how could she share these memories....shouldn't they be saved just for their family? i don't think of it that way.....i needed to share so that if anyone is EVER asked by God to give up something they NEVER thought they could - i want you to know that our God DOES and WILL give you the strength to survive....through family and friends praying you to stay in your 'grace bubble' - you WILL make it through. we're not alone....God is truly carrying us and there is NO sweeter place than to be in the arms of God. we've experienced that this past year.....seth experienced that almost a year ago today. we've almost made it through this first year - and we can honestly say....God IS good - all the time.