Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Peanut That Built Me...

Peanut -

Dadda and I have been watching the Academy of Country Music Awards tonight.  Out of character for us, somewhat.  But, I've been rooting for a particular song all night - The House That Built Me.

thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

That song is my anthem for my relationship with you and the person - the Momma - you made me.  I'm so glad it's done well tonight.

We were out running errands today in this freak, 90+ degree April weather, and had a 911 EMT crew blow by us at Manchester and 141.  As we sat there in silence, tears started running down my face, and Dadda asked, "Do sirens always bring up a response for you?  Because, they sure do for me, and I'm not sure why." I gave him a long stare and he finally asked, "What was it like to be in the ambulance that morning?"

Argh...god.  We've never talked about it.  We spent the rest of the afternoon recounting our (thankfully) blurred memories of that morning.  January 26, 2011.  The day that will forever change us.  Shock and grief has a wonderful way of numbing and protecting the mind in the most awful moments.  But now, as time has passed, it allows small, heart-stopping moments of remembrance.  For those who want to read on, I'll share a few:

- Looking out of the shower Wednesday morning.  I thought you and Dadda were playing your usual game of peek-a-boo.  Until I realized he was standing out there sobbing.  Holding your lifeless body.

- Jumping out of the shower and touching you.  Oh god, you were still warm, even though your eyes were glazed and hands were clenched.  I thought we could save you.  Maybe it was a seizure???

- Calling 911 and giving you CPR on the bedroom floor.

- How hard the Metro-West EMT team worked on you, and took control of the situation and me.

- How beautiful you were...but you didn't look like you.  Why weren't you moving, laughing?

- The hope I had as I watched the EMT team, then the St. Luke's team, work on you.  They wouldn't work so hard if they thought you couldn't be saved, right?

- The grace shown by the doctors at St. Luke's as they eased us - me - into the realization you couldn't be saved.

- Once you were pronounced at 7:02 am, the reality. Having to call the office.  Deal with the police detectives.  People.

- Getting home that afternoon to find all your bedding and toys gone.  Taken by the detectives.  Returned at the mercy of the final ME report.

- The awful, horrific treatment we received from start to finish from the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's Office.  Let me highlight this.  I don't and won't name people in this blog.  But I WILL call out Dr. Mary Case and her office.  Their lack of compassion has been shocking.  And, I vow another family will never suffer the same ordeal as long as I live and breathe.

- Finally.  SUDC.  Sudden. Unexplained. Death.  In Children.  My baby boy, in particular.  Scary and not publicized.  Nothing to look for.  No warning signs.  Get informed, get involved.  More information and more research is needed.

Peanut, you deserve better than what you got from the ME's office.  Your life gave too many people love and joy for it to be acceptable for them to refer to you as "another case they don't have the resources to call" and for us to receive your death certificate with our funeral home bill.

Wow, I've shared a lot tonight.  But, it was time to shine the flashlight on this piece of your life and legacy.  I love you to the moon and back.  And beyond.
- Momma


  1. What an awful experience for you and Shaun on so many levels. I'm awed by the strength the two of you have and that your love is strong enough to continue pulling you through this together. Your writing is beautiful I hope it helps mend your broken heart. I think of you guys often and send my prayers and love your way.

  2. Thinking of you guys as you go through this horrific time of things becoming so permanent. Somehow time does fade the awful and then somehow hurls it at you again, a little bit less strongly each time. It's just so crap to have to go through it at all.

  3. I can't remember exactly how I came across your blog, but I'm glad I did. I couldn't stop the tears while reading this post. I hope this blog helps you deal with the loss of your "Peanut". Just know that there are people out there praying for you and wishing you the best. I'll definitely be one of them.

  4. I worry so much about you two and those haunting memories. What a terribly horrific experience! Every parents worse nightmare. I'm so sorry!!! You are incredibly brave. Hold tight to you happy memories with Peanut, you are a wonderful mama!! Hugs

  5. I can't even begin to imagine. And my heart BREAKS that you weren't treated with the proper respect by the ME's office. They should be ashamed of themselves.