Our sweet Miles died on Saturday morning. If I could have handwritten all my preferences about how the process should go and somehow snail mailed it to God I don’t think I would have been able to write it any better.
As gut wrenching sad, as the whole thing was it still was beautiful and special. Saturday morning we woke up and one by one the big kids crawled in our bed to talk my ear off and to wrestle Poppa. Even Molly tried jumping up on the bed to get into the mix, but she knows she’s not allowed to do that. We were all laughing and joking and I was getting nauseated from all the bouncing on my bed. It had all the makings for a perfect Saturday.
We were already about to get up when Joey came back in our room and told us that Miles’s monitor was beeping. That wasn’t particularly alarming because he had been having lots of trouble the last several days with his breathing. As a matter of fact, on Friday Miles was only taking 4 breaths per minute all day long. Of course this should have been a clue that he wasn’t going to pull out of this one, but honestly, we’ve seen Miles bounce back from so many scrapes that literally Friday night we were holding Miles while watching Cake Boss and talking about how tomorrow he could wake up and be just fine.
Randy and I finished getting dressed and went in Miles’s room to check on him. His nose had bled during the night so Randy was trying to clean him up. Neither Randy nor I said anything to each other but I think we both knew he wasn’t going to make it. I acted normal as I had the kids clean up all their blankets and pillows from sleeping in the living room the night before. Then I had them clean off the kitchen table. Randy was cleaning Miles up and I went to the bathroom to make Miles’s medicine and as I looked at myself in the mirror I KNEW. I knew I was about to lose my child. I walked back into the room and Randy was lying down by Miles in bed. Randy and I looked into each other’s eyes and without saying anything we knew that he was dying. The monitor kept showing that Miles’s heart rate and oxygen level was lowering. I began to cry and tell Miles over and over that I love him. Randy stayed in the bed with him. Then we told God that we trust him. We Trust You God. We Trust You God. We Love you Miles. I Love you So Much Miles. You Are Free To Go. I Love You So Much.
I asked if I should get the kids. Jocie ended up coming in and immediately she began to cry and asked if he was breathing. I told her that he was dying and that she needed to tell him that she loves him. She ran to him and rubbed his face and kept telling Miles that she loved him. I hurried out of the room to find the other kids. I saw Joey and told him to go to Miles’s room and say goodbye to him. I couldn’t find Spencer and Melody for a second. They had gone outside to clean out the car. I found them and told them to hurry inside. Spencer came quickly, but Melody was trying to find her other flip-flop. She wouldn’t move so I had to go pick her up out of the car and explain to her that Miles was passing away and she needed to go tell him she loved him.
We went into Miles’s room and circled his bed. Randy was still next to Miles while we all cried and prayed and told Miles over and over that we love him. He took less and less breaths and within a couple of minutes he was gone. He wasn’t in pain. He wasn’t scared. His family surrounded him, and I believe he felt loved and released.
Soon Randy left to call hospice so they could come and do their things. Joey, Spencer and Melody clung to me and wept. Jocie went to Miles’s side, laid her hands on Miles and prayed that God would raise him from the dead.
After awhile we said our goodbyes and went to the other room as we waited for hospice to come and take care of his body. We held each other on the couch and cried. As were sitting there Jocie remembered something and said, “Remember last year when we went to China Star and Miles’s fortune cookie said that he would dance on his feet next summer? Well, it’s true! It is summer and he’s dancing on his feet in heaven!”
The hospice nurse came and was cleaning his body and things like that. We all stayed in the kitchen and the kids were hungry. It was late morning by this time. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life, but I got up and made them pancakes. My son had just died but my other children were still here and hungry so I fed them. As I was cooking I thought of a good title for a book “And Then I Made Pancakes.” : )
The funeral home came and got Miles’s body and then we were all just quiet and close. We weren’t in any rush. We didn’t want to run to the phone. We just wanted to be together and get our bearings before all the chaos hit.
The way Miles died brought peace to me and I think to all of us. The way it all happened made me feel close to the Lord. I got to see that Miles wasn’t scared. We all got to be around him so he wasn’t alone and he knew he was loved right to the very end.
It reminded me of the day Miles was born. The whole time I was pregnant Randy and I had it in our minds that we wanted to have our last baby at home. All the other deliveries had gone so smoothly and we wanted it to be special and with only Randy and I there when our son was born.
Well, as time got closer for Miles to be born we both felt like we were supposed to have him at the hospital, and we ended up being right. When I got to the hospital Miles had turned and was side to side instead of head down. The doctor had to turn him back like 5 times because Miles kept flipping back around. Well, after the doctor got all of that situated the delivery process continued normally. So normally in fact, that the nurses pretty much left me alone since I was a pro by that time and all.
One of the nurses came in and I told her that it was almost time. She checked the progress and patted my arm like I didn’t know what I was talking about. She said I had a few hours left. Well, she walked out of the door and I told Randy that it was TIME! Randy was as calm as could be and assured me that we could do this together. We didn’t call the nurses back. The lights were still low, and we had worship music playing softly in the background. We were alone and after a couple of pushes Randy held Miles as he entered the world. It was the most special day of my whole life. It was so beautiful. We got to bring Miles into the world just like we wanted to but with the protection of the hospital. Also, we didn’t get the “weird” stigma from having a home birth. (You know what I mean Pam!)
Anyway, all that to say that God was in control of Miles’s birth and God was in control of Miles’s death. I see both days as a gift. They were both beautiful and peaceful in their own ways. For that I’m thankful.
Thank you Lord for 6 years and your beautiful and mysterious plan.