My Grief Challenges

Very Seriously Thankful !!! December 15, 2013

Thanksgiving Day is over, but I hope to encourage folks to have thankfulness, at all times, towards those we encounter. We never know the selfless helpers that may be brought into, an event, in any of our lives, to perform some sort of rescue.

Earlier this fall, while waiting for some pm passengers, another driver and I were outside our buses, visiting.
She was going into a lengthy discussion about a difficult bus procedure. All of a sudden, overhead, a rescue helicopter was heading toward a hospital.

Yes, I was distracted.   Since Shawn’s situation, any siren sound jolts me. At the hospital, any code blue sound-I could tell by the click before the message-would cause my gut to wrinkle and my body to be snatching things for flight-there were several of those alarms for Shawn. I could be standing next to his bed, and still find myself reacting to the code blue. I had been in Shawn’s room, a couple times, watching all the goings on-in a corner by the sink. I had been asked several times if I would like to wait in the hall. Did they really think I was going to wait in the hall ?!?!?!  Anyway, my whole self still reacts to any alarm.

Oops !!! I was jolted by the driver telling me how rude I was for not listening to her story-she was rather upset, and so started her retell. I tried to focus, but I could not. My emotions were reacting, now. I had no idea what was happening. My gut was knotting, my stomach felt like it was going to be sick. The tears were welling-she couldn’t see because of my glasses, I started shaking, and the replay, of Shawn’s code blues, was happening. All the life saving procedures, for Shawn, that I had watched, were all reeling in my head. I thought I was going to explode. I needed to release, but not in front of this driver, her story wasn’t finished. Her voice kept getting louder and louder. I didn’t want to interrupt. God Help !!!  All of a sudden a bus pulled into the parking area-time to take passengers home. Yes!!!
The reading of this, takes longer than the actual event.

*** Be ready for a different approach !!!***
This will be from Shawn to me.

*** Shawn:
Mom thanks for getting in touch and thanking my neighbors, for all their selfless help, the morning of the fire. You were spot on giving the white rose plants. Loved that.

*** I knew you would have done something. Plus, Shawn, I had spoken to each to get their side, of the events, from the fire, and I felt some kind of gift was needed.

*** Hey, Mom, there were so many people helping out the day of the fire. I wonder if people think of all who do help in times of emergency ? Does anyone thank them ?

*** I spoke with several who had helped your family. Some by phone, some in person. Some emailed me. I asked them to pass on our thanks to the ones I will never meet. Did you have something in mind other than the cards, flowers, calls and visits ?

*** Oh Mom ! You did great, I just don’t think others think about ALL the selfless helpers.

*** Go ahead Shawn, something seems to be bothering you.

*** I am just wondering if very many people think of and are thankful for all those who put their lives on the line for others. Firemen, police, mall and parking lot security, soldiers, The Coast Guard, mountain rescue people. Mom, the list goes on.

*** Well, Shawn, I think there are occasions that cause folks to be more aware of the various helpers. I know how hard I worked trying to get, the many, thanked.

*** Well, Mom, how often do people think of the drivers of emergency  vehicles? How often I have witnessed cars not pulling over for the emergency rigs ? I thought both directions-if no medium- of traffic are suppose to pull over to the side of the road, when sirens or lights are blaring and or blinking ? I think a lot of drivers only look forward, hardly ever checking their rear-view mirror. You never know if one of your dear ones is being transported.
What about the folks who take 911 call ? Or the workers in the back of  an ambulance, that is precariously weaving thru cars, that haven’t pulled over ? How about the pilots of the rescue helicopters or emergency jets-that are used when weather in the mountains, is too unsafe for the helicopter ?  What about the teams of medical workers, who work so hard to keep a body living ?

*** Yes, Shawn, I was amazed to learn, in our short story, all the people that worked diligently-from the alert neighbors, to the fire fighters-to the jet pilot and crew on board the jet, so many risking their lives. How does one express ones, utmost, gratitude ? Then, there are chaplains that visit homes-to help with difficult situations, as well as chaplains in places of medical care. There are so many. How does one thank them all ?

*** Hey Mom.

*** Yes Shawn, don’t take this wrong, but there is someone you haven’t thanked.

*** Shawn…

*** Okay, Mom, let me start this way. You and Melissa went far beyond what most do, to thank EVERYONE !!! that was around the two of you-even if they had nothing to do with our situation.
I loved your, “Thanks” candy wreath. Do you know how many, of the medical staff, felt so special for that effort ?20130220_06060720130220_062506

Your hugs and gratitude to the cleaning staff ? Even your kindnesses to the parking attendants, who were watching out for you, when you had no clue.

*** Shawn, there were so many, I don’t know how to include them all. Especially, the teams of folks. Like the Doctors in Massachusetts, who used your skin graft to grow your own skin.

*** No worries Mom. I know you made a valiant effort. I will stop at this next person. I am more than certain that the morgue assistant who removes the body from the hospital room to the morgue, and the rest of the morgue staff, never hear thanks.

*** Shawn, the morgue assistant, who took your body away, I had seen him several times, during your hospital stay. The first time I saw him pushing a type of gurney with a blue vinyl type box shape on top, I wondered what was being moved. I quickly learned.

*** Mom, you never expressed thanks to him.

*** Shawn, you were still my precious baby.20130420_122729Guess I wasn’t doing Luke 14:25-35, very well……..

It was such an awful day, your last.  I don’t think he or the nurse realized, I was out in the hall watching,as they readied your body, to leave. I just needed to make sure they were taking good care of you. The curtain was open enough that I could see your head. They were moving your body from the hospital bed to the morgue gurney. They did not have your head supported, and I saw and heard it hit the metal. I must have gasped-the curtain was, then, pulled all the way to the wall.

*** Mom, you have to know that at that time, my spirit had left my body. You reacted as a mom would for her child she loved dearly.  All the people you have thanked, in one way or another, why haven’t you had thankfulness for the staff that take care of the body no longer living ?

*** Shawn, as I watched, that young man, roll your lifeless body, down the hall, to the elevator, the reality of life without you-hit me hard in the chest.

*** Mom, he had nothing to do with the number of days I was given to live.

*** I know, and I don’t want folks in his kind of work to think I don’t appreciate all they did and do.

Again, I  want to extend many thanks to ALL the selfless rescue/helper people, involved in Shawn Apperson’s Situation. I pray for God to keep you safe and bless you, immensely.  It is my hope that others will not take for granted all those who help in time of need, even those we may never see, or personally meet.

* A side note: I am so thrilled that Melissa passed this semester with flying colors. I know Shawn would be thrilled, as well. She is also, the best Auntie !!!
Bye for now, K

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