Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Annual Vigil

i am in San Antonio with youngest son, his wife and our new grandbaby, a beautiful little girl named, Raegan. It is wonderful to be with them, to hold and love this baby; to witness the blessing of my baby parenting; to be in the warmth and to have a break from my familiar surroundings. (I am unable to upload photos as I only have my IPad with me, pics to follow.)

Today marks seven years, seven years ago this day was the last 24 hours that Tom was drawing breath on this earth. Granted, he was in a coma, but he was here, he was warm and we were together. The nearly four days from November 11 to 14 in 2004 remain a blur.

There are things that stick out in sharp relief, inscribed in thick, indelible lines within my very heart.

When I walked into the trauma room in the ER that night, he was on a gurney, his clothing had been cut-off and he was intubated. They let me stay - I quietly stood at the end of that gurney and held fast to his big toe. The floor was littered with the detrius of their life saving actions. I held hope in both hands. Thirty minutes later a nurse took me in a little room and gently told me "it doesn't look good". I clutched hope more firmly and went to ICU.

Looking at the MRI for the first in the early pre-dawn hours - my dearest sister-friend Lisa by my side - it was so clear, the right side of his brain was gone. Still I hoped. i looked at those MRI pictures a half dozen times and hope began to crumble. Removing the breathing tube was the ultimate step to freeing him, but oh so difficult to do and to watch.

Laying beside him in the hospital bed, recounting our meeting, our courtship, our marriage, our love and our lives - this was his last night on earth. In the middle of the night, Cheryl, our nurse came in, gave us a smile and said, "I don't know what you are talking about, but every once in a while his heart rate jumps up there.". We were on the same wave length. Later she returned and as she was leaving, she turned around and said, "enjoy his warmth". I didn't totally understand then - I do now. I will forever feel grateful that on his last night on the planet, I slept in his arms, holding him with all I am or ever will be.

So, here I sit in the kitchen in San Antonio, listening to baby gurgles, feeling sadness mixed with such gratitude and hope. Once again touching the wound that will never quite heal. Memories assail me this morning. There is more to come.........


  1. Suzann .... Please know that you are not alone in your thoughts. I'm thinking of you today .... and will be tomorrow, from S. Carolina (only here briefly .... back in Houston tomorrow night). Thank you for sharing your last night ..... I'm thankful that you were able to have it, and to hold onto it, and onto Tom.
    I'm thankful you have the memories of his warmth. And that his warmth continues to live on in sweet, beautiful Raegan.

  2. I'm thinking of you at this time Suzann....

    So many beautiful memories of Tom...and so many more to be made with little Raegan. Enjoy every minute with her... ~Joy