As I walked into the hospital grounds from where I’d parked the car, there was that eerie sense that I was doing something special almost for the last time. As I walked adjacent to the building, and then inside, and down the long corridor to the elevators, and into Ward 4, Room 5, I took what I would call a ‘selfie video’. Such precious moments need to be captured.
We are in the ardent practice of capturing a lifetime of memories in a single week.
That’s tough work. We’ve had to be creative. I just wish I could record somehow how he smells, the texture of his skin, his weight as I hold him, his little and cute features.
One particular day, today, I lay down with him cradled in my arms. I’ve kissed his face hundreds of times, but that will be far short of how much I’ve kissed my other children’s faces. Even though there are endless interruptions from midwives doing obs, giving medications, changing drips, etc, among the doctors, social worker, chaplain, etc, visiting us, we have still had plenty of opportunity to bond with our son the best we can.
Tomorrow will be the last day as a resident. One more visit after that. Perhaps one final viewing on the day of the funeral. One week is all too quick, but it’s much more time than my mother and father got when my little sister was stillborn in September 1973.
Time is slipping away and we have what we have – the knowledge that we have wasted none of our time – but there is still the sense that the final goodbye is close at hand. As I peer at his face, his little cleft lip, his button nose, and his closed eyes and face at peace, my eyes well with tears.
Not long now, son, and we will mourn you, for your tent will be gone.
Not long now and all we will have to show for him are some photos, some memorabilia, and some items of clothing. It feels like we’ve known him longer than the 30-odd weeks we’ve known him. Most of that time – eighteen of those weeks – we have been sitting on a time bomb.
Nathanael Marcus is our shining gift of God. He shines in heaven as we speak. He sits at Jesus’ feet. He is in the Father’s hands. His protection is Divine. His purpose is the glory of God.
Yet, we miss him so!
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.