Monday, December 5, 2011

Promise Kept

When it became apparent there would be no recovery for our Joseph, that the wisest, most compassion course of action would be to turn off the machines that had sustained him for four weeks and let God reclaim his precious soul, we all had to grapple with exactly how to say goodbye. I found myself focused to an extreme on how much he had suffered and how many dreams and goals he had that would never come to fruition; how much he had been robbed of, how much the world had lost. In the last moments of my final, whispering farewells, I spoke to him softly in words of praise and reassurance; that he would not have to do this anymore. That he had finally, finally become the victor. That I would be there while he crossed over, that his his grandfather, great grandfather, Jesus himself would greet him. I told him that I would always, forever keep him in my heart. And in a last desperate attempt to find some sense of grounding and atonement for what we were about to do, I promised him the most extreme thing I could think of. I told him I would chase the dream I had that seemed far off and impossible for someone like me. I told him I would return to school and that I would become a nurse in the name of all the things that he wanted to do and could not, in the name of all we had experienced and learned together, and in the name of the intense, unending love I felt for him.

Today I passed my last class. I am now a graduate nurse and will be an RN once I pass the licensing exam. I did what I promised to my son in my last words to him, during his last time on this earth. It was as precious and important, as binding, painful and pure as a blood oath to me. And tonight, as I watch the Polar Express, which the two of us loved, which we attempted to watch one last time together but could not due to the extreme fatigue his illness caused him, as the music brings him back to me in wave upon wave of prayer, blessing and hope - I remember my words, my hopes, how extreme that promise seemed to me at the time that I made it....and realize I did it.

4 comments:

karen gerstenberger said...

You did it. Your love and faithfulness are beautiful.

Karen said...

You did it, indeed. Made me weep to read this. Wow, Mama! Your son is proud of every painstaking step you took to get there, and I am too.

Sheri said...

My two Karens <3 We need to plan an girlie weekend together somewhere. Sonoma sounds good.

Martin said...

It's been a while since I visited -your entry made me cry (with happiness). Love, faith, hope and courage - you are a testament! Congratulations :)