***WARNING: DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO VERY SAD STORIES THAT INCLUDE DEATH!!!!****
It was a Friday, almost 2 weeks ago. I still see every detail in my mind as if it were happening right now. Sometimes in sequence. Sometimes my mind picks out the worst parts and puts them on an endless loop. I have to put them somewhere, so I will put them here. PLEASE BE WARNED- I am NOT editing what I write. There are details here that may upset you. If you are sensitive to death, please STOP READING NOW.
The weather in my area got bad quickly, so we (my sister and I) made the kids get out of the pool. The thunder and lightening and rain came up with very little warning, so we worried about getting them out and inside to safety. No one remembered the ladder, although we did remember the gate.
My brother was inside cooking dinner. ALL of the kids were watching TV in the living room.(There were 9, total, at the time.) My sister ran to the store to get me the pack of cigarettes she had promised, since I had given her the shoulder massage she'd asked for.
I asked my brother if he needed help making plates for the kids and he said he had it. So I rounded up the older kids to wash their hands for dinner. My husband put our youngest in his chair as my brother stepped into the other room to find my sister's little one. The older kids got their plates and sat on the floor in the living room to watch more TV while they ate. I went looking for my brother. I found him outside, coming up the ramp with my nephew in his arms. He was saying "Man, you can't be in the pool. You can't swim. You can't be in there." My first thought was "Good lord! How did he get out the gate!?" Then, I realized my nephew was limp in my brother's arms. I asked him "Is he breathing?!?" My brother's reply will forever haunt me.... "No." Just that simple, one syllable word....
I followed him into the house and started CPR. (I'd learned it at 15, and immediately thought "I'll never need this! What could possibly happen?" I've never wanted to be right about something so bad.)
From there, I see snatches because my concentration was so focused on my nephew.
My older kids and my nieces standing, with tear streaked faces, in the doorway of my brother's room, asking if their little brother/cousin was going to be ok, me yelling to get them out of there and call 911, my sister's best friend crying and praying as I kept working, my brother at the end of the bed, crying and begging my nephew to wake up, my sister screaming as she entered the room and my brother dragging her back, my husband yelling that he was going up front to meet the ambulance. All this, and I kept silently praying that maybe the next breath would be the right one. That maybe, instead of that sickening gurgle, I would get a cough and he'd be vomiting water. I never stopped. I couldn't. I was holding his life in my hands.
Then, the first responder arrived. He immediately took over and it's kind of a blur from there.
Until.... We are on the porch. An officer asks me if I've heard anything yet. I say no. And my other brother speaks up. "I just heard from (our brother). They called it. He's gone. He's not coming home." If my husband hadn't caught me when I passed out, I'd have fallen off the porch. I wasn't out but a second cuz the officer hadn't even made it across the porch to me. I screamed. I FELT my heart break. My nephew, just 17 months and 21 days, EXACTLY a week younger than my youngest son, was gone.
Our families HEART!!! Gone!!! It can't be!!!
But it is. His smile, his laughter, his energy, his effervescent spirit.... No warning, no chance to say goodbye.
My family has spent the last 2 weeks going thru our own private hell. My mind gives me no rest. All the what if's just keep piling up. I wish I had a time machine.
I know someone will read this and think "Troll!" I only wish i was. But this is not a troll post. This is not a joke. This is too heartbreaking and life altering to make up.
I just want to go back. Back to the way we were. Back to the way I was. Back to when he was here and would smile and call my name, his little baby name for me, and hold out his arms to be picked up. Back to when my husband, my brothers, my parents, and, ESPECIALLY, my sister were whole. Back to when the kids were carefree.
If I could, I would. Without hesitation! But I know I can't. So now all I'm left with is.... Memories. And hoping the oblivion of sleep claims me soon, so I can see his smile again.