We heard that phrase too often. I doggedly tried to ignore it, I tried to be positive, but my entire being felt it. I knew that Ethan wasn’t going to make it before the medical profession told me so.
A mother knows these things.
Ethan’s vitals were stable and he was still medically alive, but I felt him with me so I knew he was gone. God gave me strength, but Ethan stayed by my side to fill the hopelessness growing in my heart. The MRI results came back early and they were not good.
John and I were both in disbelief when the Neurologist told us about Ethan’s prognosis. Her eyes were watery when she talked to us. She looked like she was ready to cry. I admired her genuine compassion despite the fact that she probably gave parents bad news everyday.
I remember that moment like it was yesterday.
The feeling of the cool, hard rosary beads I gripped in my hand….the stream of tears stinging my eyes….the awful sounds John made when he sobbed in spite of himself…that room. In a cruel twist of fate, we ended up staying in that same room when Niki was born. Go figure.
Those walls know our cries well.
We called everyone back into the room after we regained our composure. Oddly enough, John and I took turns breaking down. We were strong for each other when the other one was weak. We collapsed into one another once our greatest fear was confirmed, but we still had to be strong. I don’t know how I ended up being the spokesperson between the two of us, but I did. I felt my heart ripping apart inside, but I somehow managed to get the words out. I'll never forget the collective gasp of disbelief I heard after I said...
"Ethan’s not going to make it."
I couldn’t bear to hear everyone cry so I stopped them. If everyone else cried, I wasn’t going to have the composure to say what I had to say. The news didn’t take me by surprise – I expected it – but it still hurt. And it hurt me badly. I had to force myself to be strong when I really wasn’t. This is what I do.
I force myself to be strong every day despite the hurdles thrown my way.