THE HARDEST THING I EVER DID
Written, Oct. 15th, 2003 Grade: A+
|It was July 4th, 1993, and it was supposed to be a great holiday.
We would celebrate our nation's birthday with a family picnic in our
new house, on a farm we just rented. I prepared the usual food, while
everyone else was either unpacking or playing. About 3:45 pm, my three
youngest boys came to me and asked me if they could go swimming and
fishing with Daddy in the pond, which was in the woods about a half
mile back. The decision to let them go would be one that would
ultimately lead to the toughest decision I ever made in my life.
You see, that is the day my life, hopes and dreams were shattered, and my family was torn apart. It is the day, with one simple "yes you can", I lost two people I dearly loved to a drowning accident. The next 24 hours were a blur; they were taken to two different hospitals. They told me that my son needed to go to a children's hospital about 100 miles away, in order for him to have any chance at surviving. I asked if he was brain dead, and they said "no, he wasn't, and this hospital wasn't equipped to handle his type of trauma." I agreed and kissed him goodbye, as they life- flighted him away. I left to see my husband at the other hospital. It was 10 pm, six hours after the accident. I was in the ICU with my husband, when around 2 am; I received a call from Cleveland Children's Hospital where Chris was. They said he was dying, and I had better come quickly. I begged them to keep him alive until I got there, and if I wasn't able to make it in time, to please use his organs for transplants. They faxed over the papers, and I signed and sent them back.
I arrived at 5:30 am, and they explained everything to me - his condition and what would be needed to keep him alive, but gave very little hope. I was told he would need a set of lungs within 6-12 hours or he would die, and even with that, his life would always be a vegetable because of all the other problems that had occurred. The main problem was his quality of life, what would it be. If I chose to wait and put him on a transplant list, we would need a pair of lungs within twelve hours before his other organs would start shutting down. The alternate course of action would be to shut off his life support and let him go. What it boiled down to, was I had no control over him getting on the list or getting a pair of lungs. What I did have control over was that I knew my son, who was a fighter, could possibly be placed on permanent life support and in a bed where he'd just lay there in constant pain; this was something I could not stand to see. After what seemed like an eternity, I chose to shut his life support off and let him go where he'd be much better. I knew in my heart that he'd never make it, so why prolong the ordeal any longer and make him suffer. I signed the papers and held him tight, as they turned everything off. I said goodbye and told him I loved him very much. Some day we'd be together again. He would watch over us and be our Angel in heaven. I saw him take his last breath. I kissed his cheek, then turned and went back home to Erie, and my husband, to tell him about our son. Only problem was, at that exact moment, he too passed. I never did get to say goodbye to him.
I know that even today it is painful to think about the choice I made. You always second guess things like that, the "what ifs" haunt you at every turn. But in my opinion, I know I made the right choice. Both he and my husband's organs/tissues helped over 200 people. There are at least 12 people today that are alive and have a better life now because of the choices I made. That was a very hard decision, during a very difficult time, in anyone's life. Would I make it all over again? Yes I would, and I know they would approve of it, or else, it would not feel right to me now.
|NOTE: Someone once said to me, "gee you have a lot of drama in your
life!" I was offended by that remark and wondered why? I thought about
it for awhile and then said "Hey, wait a minute...I Do Not!" What I
have is what someone special to me once called them "speed bumps". I
call them opportunities to learn" or adventures. Why? Because I have
already been through the worst drama in my life or anyones life for
that matter. Now anything that happens to me, or any choice I have to
make is easy. Tell me which is harder? Trying to decide how to handle a
car accident your son just had or having to make the choice to turn off
his life support or not? In my book I'd rather make the choice at how
to handle the accident, especially if the only injury he suffered was a
I really hate it when people look at the different areas of your life and call it baggage or "Too much Drama" apparently they are living in a fantasy world if they think that there is someone out there that DOES NOT have any of it in their lives. Granted there are some who have more than others, but it's not what is happening to you in your life that is the problem, it is how you handle or deal with it. The people who ignore them because of it and do not take the chance to get to really know someone, are people that are missing out on what life has to offer. Who knows that person you ignore for some reason or another could end up being the person you need the most in your life. I also feel if someone doesn't know how to handle lifes everyday ups and downs, then why not be an example to them and teach them how to!
So the next time someone tells you that you have too much drama or baggage in your life, tell them "nah, it's just another speed bump in life and tell them why!"