It's been one year since our sweet Emma went home to be with Jesus. Our Earthly wishes were always for her to come home with us, but it wasn't in His plan. Some say the pain gets easier with time. Yes, some days are harder than others, but some days it seems as bad as it did one year ago. I still rememer that whole evening as if it were today. Around 7:30 PM that evening, my friend and I had just eaten and were on our way back to my house to do pedicures. I called my mom on my drive home and asked how Emma was doing. "She's doing OK," mom said. Emma had been having some rough days, but mom's voice seemed normal. She was out shopping for material to make Emma some pretty trach collars. My friend and I got to my house and started our pedicures. My phone rang. I'll get it later. No big deal. I've talked to mom and everything is fine. But my phone rang again. After a moment's thought I decided I should see who called because no one ever calls me back to back like that. Both calls were from the NICU. My dear friend Katie who is a nurse there had left me a message to call the hospital ASAP. I called and they put me through to my mom who said to come now. That's all she said. It was 8:50 PM. I think I got dressed and to the hospital in 10 minutes. I remember going to the NICU and everyone was sitting outside of the doors. Normally this area was empty. I buzzed the nurses and they told me to come in. They didn't even ask me to scrub in. As soon as I walked in the door I saw the white curtain and I knew. She was gone. Yes, her tiny little body was there, but she was gone. I remember Nurse Hope hugging me with all of her might and then my mom and I embracing. You see, it was my mom's turn to be in Knoxville with the baby and my sister had gone home to be with Doodlebug. She was on her way. But we were all too late. Mom and I stood on each side of Emma until my sister got there. It seemed like forever, though I know it was only 15 minutes or so. What I heard next I hope I never hear again for as long as I live. The agonizing scream of my sister was the worst sound I have ever heard. So hopeless and full of grief. The nurses cleaned Emma and wrapped her in a blanket so Jessica could hold her one last time. I think she held her for the next 3 hours. I remember packing all of sweet Emma's things into my car. After we got all of her stuff loaded, I went downstairs and got Doodlebug. She was outside the hospital in a friend's car. I just held her. I didn't want to let her go. Her words to me were, "Did mommy have a heart attack?" Doodlebug was with Jessica when they called to tell her. Poor thing. She had no idea. I told her that her mommy was fine. She said "ok, she's upstairs with Emma." The next morning we told her that Emma had gone to live with Jesus. Being the sweet one that she is, her prayers from that point on were for Jesus to make sure and change Emma's diaper. I wish I could say that the rest of the weekend was a blur, but it wasn't. I remember everything that happened. I remember that my sister was kind enough to arrange Emma's funeral around a wedding I was in. I remember going to the wedding and playing the part of a bridesmaid while my mind and my heart were 50 miles away with my family. I remember getting up on Sunday morning and crying in front of my Sunday School class while thanking them for the prayers and support during Emma's life. I remember the line of friends and family who came out to support my sister. I remember the words the pastor spoke and the sweet voice singing Jesus Loves Me. I remember going to the burial the next day. The tiny white casket with the lovely purple roses on top. Emma is buried next to my Uncle Sandy who passed away 1 month to the day before she was born. He would have loved that little girl, as he loved her mother dearly. And they are together now.
I've never told anyone some of these details. And I know there are more. But for now, this is all. It's therapeutic to type it all out. It will also be therapeutic to be able to come back and read these words again.
Yes, it's been a year. But it is like it was today.