Rain + Guitar + Boredom + Apogee ONE + Great Song = me hooking up with the Queen of California in my hotel room today in Sydney.
Wish I could do more than “whisper sing” but I’m always afraid I’m gonna get a knock on the door because the room next door is full of people that hate soul music.
It was such a weird day. The cool rain and the swirling clouds were out of the ordinary for a mid-July summer. I knew today was the day - and I wasn’t the only one who could sense it. All of the kids were gone. It was just Tom, Mary and myself. It was quiet. My spirit was preparing me for the heartbreak that was getting ready to tear through my life and my human flesh was terrified of what was to happen. Her breathing was slowing down and sudden moments of crying because she was in pain. God, please take this from her. Everyday during her lunch hour, my sister Robin would come and sit with Rebekah during the last few days of her life. That day was no different. Robin and Tim were there to bring laughter and joy and hugs and kisses. Before we knew it it was time for them to leave. Robin gave Rebekah her last loves. I stayed snuggled up with Rebekah when the words I NEVER wanted to mutter came spilling out. “Rebekah, mommy and daddy will be okay. You were the best little sister in the entire world. I am so happy that God gave you to me. It’s okay if you’re ready to go. Mommy will see you again. I promise.” We laid there for a little bit longer. Her breathing seemed to stabilized. Her porcelain skin was returning. She didn’t look sick anymore. She looked beautiful. She never lost that glow. I got up to change places with Mary and to check on Tom when I heard the worst sentence in the entire world at 1:20pm “Heather! Tom! She’s not breathing!!” We looked at each other in absolute shock. I ran into the room and sure enough she was in the presence of Jesus. My heart shattered. It was physically the most painful thing I have ever experienced. I audibly cried out, “GOD YOU HAVE TO FILL THIS HOLE! If You don’t, I will fill it with something and I want it to be You!” Immediately the peace that surpassing ALL understanding flooded my soul. He filled the hole. I got up, walked outside and puked everywhere. I didn’t know what to do so I called Robin, who was just here 30 minutes before, and her and Tim were back within minutes. I called Pastor and as I was talking to him, his wife was beeping through on the other line. When I answered she said, “She’s gone isn’t she?” People could feel that this amazing child left this earth. Within minutes they were at my door. I knew once I called 911 they would take her and we weren’t ready for that. Her little cancer-ravaged body was finally at peace. As weird as it may sound, she looked so beautiful. Tom finally told me to call 911. Wow, what a weird call. We had a DNR from her doctor but no one heard that part. All they heard was that a toddler was dead. I was standing outside when I heard the faint sounds of the sirens when I immediately thought, “Gosh, I hope it’s no one I know.” and then they stopped on my driveway. I was obviously in shock. The firefighters rushed past me to get to Rebekah. They didn’t see or hear me telling them about the DNR. Finally I had to yell to get their attention. These brave men’s faces instantly fell. At the same time, the newspaper, who covered her story, caught wind and I saw my brother-n-law stopping a photographer at the end of the driveway. To this day, Tim holds such a special place in my heart for that. The firefighters and EMT’s were hugging Tom and offering their support before they left. I still didn’t know what was going to happen next, and then I saw a minivan just like one we had pull down the driveway. It was the same color, the same everything. It was the funeral home. Oh…I did not want to do this. I puked again. Here was a strange man coming to pick up my baby and take her where? Soon, I saw Tom carrying Rebekah’s lifeless body wrapped in her favorite blanket and put her in the van. Needless to say, everyone there lost it. This is by far the most unnatural thing that a parent could do. As the van drove away a part of heart left with it. I puked again. After making the necessary phone calls to family and friends the day was coming to an end. I remember it was a Thursday and it was our mid-week church service. Tom and I went and it was one of the best things we could’ve done. He is so loving, so comforting, so protecting. As I’ve continued healing over these past six years, the once gaping hole is still filled with God’s love, faithfulness and hope!
Thank you for letting me share these moments with all of you.