Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The Broken Chain
Author: Ron Tranmer
We little knew that day,
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death, we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.
You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide.
And although we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.
Your family misses you, Rylan!
Posted by The Slate Family at 6:55 PM
This is the month, the month of October. I dread it yet embrace it. It is the month I do not want to relive yet want so bad to remember every detail. This is the month my daughter, Rylan Elizabeth, entered the world. My heart and world changed forever.
In this post, I will write what I remember since time is fading the memories which once were so vivid and real. The memories are few, but I hold on to them so tightly because they are all I have left to remember my girl. I will share a few details with you about the days I had with my daughter.
Life was happy. Life was easy and simple. Dan and I were blessed with two adorable little boys, Camden and Everett. On February 16, 2008, I found out I was pregnant with baby #3. Camden was two years old and Everett was only eleven months old. I was not sure how we were going to do it with three kids under the age of three years old, but I was ready for the challenge.
In May 2008, we went for a 20 week ultrasound. The baby looked wonderful, but we found out I had a marginal placenta previa with this pregnancy. Dan was determined to find out the gender at this appointment, and I wanted a surprise. We agree Dan would find out, but he would not tell me. So much for "the plan," the ultrasound technican slipped and at the end of the ultrasound said " She sure does have a lot of hair!" We found out we were having a baby girl! We were so excited to add a little girl to our family! Looking back, I am so happy I knew she was a girl for the remainder of the pregnancy. We decorated her nursery, had a "girly" baby shower, and came up with a list of girl names.
Throughout the pregnancy, I went for regular doctor visits and to a specialist regarding the placenta previa. In the meantime, I was busy chasing after my two little boys and enjoying being a mom and wife. I have thought about a few special memories during my pregnancy that I hold dear to my heart.
The first memory is from August 2008. Dan and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary with a night out. We went to eat at Irma's downtown, the Kenny Chesney/Keith Urban concert, and spent the night at The Hilton Americas Hotel. It was so much fun! I vividly remember the concert and the loud music. When the Keith Urban song "Days Go By" came on, the baby kicked and moved like crazy! I think she really liked that song. To this day, anytime that songs comes on, I cry and think of my baby girl. She was a live, healthy, and safe in me.
Another memory I have with my sweet girl was in September 2008. It was Hurricane Ike. We were without power for nine days. Yes, nine months pregnant and no air conditioning in September. We stayed at my parents' house since they had a generator, and we all slept in one room with a a/c window unit running at night. It was inconvenient without power, but it was a true bonding experience for the family....no tv, no lights, no internet! I remember praying I did not go into labor during the storm, and God answered that prayer. On day nine, I remember Camden running around and doing a happy dance, saying "we got the power!"
A fun memory I have was when my sister and dear friend gave me a "girly" baby shower. Family and friends came and bought adorable pink and purple outfits, accessories, and blankets for our new little girl. My mom had been buying cute girl clothes for months and bought three large bags to the shower! I could not wait to dress her up!!!! Meme was determined to make this little girl a fashionista!!!
The final memory, I would like to share is the memory of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law coming into town October 14, 2008. They came down a few days early to visit and stayed to help out with the boys while I was in the hospital having the baby. My sister-in-law was about six months pregnant with her first baby, so we talked about babies and took a few pictures side-by-side with our baby bumps. I was looking forward to our two little ones playing at future family gathering and having a cousin the same age.
The morning of October 17, 2008 was filled with excitement. After seven hours of labor, my baby's heart rate dropped into the 50s, and I was thrown on a stretcher and given an emergency c-section. As I lay in the operating room with terrified tears in my eyes and no husband by my side, her entrance was silent and the room was filled with fear and darkness. My heart sank.
On October 18th, 2008, I met my daughter for the first time. She was in the NICU with many tubes and machines. When I took her tiny hand in mine, I remember crying and praying. She opened her eyes and stared at me. Her eyes said "Help me, Mommy." I tried so hard to brave and strong for her. At that moment, I knew I was going to fight for my girl and hold on to hope. I told her everything was going to be okay, and she was going to get better so she could come home and meet her big brothers. I sang her a few songs and talked to her about our family. In my heart, I truly believed she would be okay and God would answer my prayer by healing her little body.
Over the next few days, I cried out to God constantly....begging Him to heal her and asking him for answers about her health and direction in the decisions we faced. I remember the nights in the hospital feeling sick to my stomach and wishing I would wake up from this terrible dream. I kept thinking this could not be happening. We were not prepared for anything but to bring home a healthy baby girl.
On October 19, 2008, we finally decided on a name for our daughter, Rylan Elizabeth Slate. Dan chose Rylan because he really liked the nickname "Riley." I chose Elizabeth for two reasons. One: the meaning of Elizabeth is "God is my vow." I needed to believe that and cling to that. God is faithful, and He always keeps His promises. Two: for namesake, my dearest friend's name is Elizabeth. She is a godly woman and faithful, forever friend.
On October 20, 2008, our baby was baptized and dedicated to our Lord that morning with a pastor, my parents, and Dan's mom present. After four days of many questions and every few answers, we made the decision to remove life support and release Rylan from the pain and suffering she was enduring. We chose to let our precious baby go into the arms of Jesus. This was the hardest and most selfless decision I have ever made in my life. It was so hard to think about giving God back the gift that He had given us for 10 months of pregnancy and four days on earth. I was not ready to say "good-bye" for I had just said "hello." More than anything, I wanted my girl here and with me. I wanted to see her smile, put bows in her hair, have tea parties with her and play dress up, go with her to buy her prom and wedding dress, and see her become a woman of faith and purpose. God had a different plan for her. We had to accept it and embrace it even though it hurt and broke our hearts.
The life support was removed at 5 p.m. She was free from the tubes and machines. We could finally see her precious and beautiful face. The family came to meet her and hold her. We kissed her and sang to her. She died in our arms and left this earth at 9:30 p.m. I gave her a bath after she died, and then we left her... alone. It was cold and dark. I cannot express the feeling of seeing my child die, but I think a small part of me died that day.
We came home to a dark, quiet house with empty arms. I quickly went upstairs a picked up Everett (19 months old) out of his crib and hugged him so tight. I held him and thanked God for him. Then, I went to Camden's room and sat on his bed and cried. I kissed his head and prayed for God to help me through this and keep me in the "light." At that point, I knew I need to be a mom to my boys but I was hurting and grieving for Rylan.
Over the next few days, I planned my daughter's funeral. She was gone, but I want to make her short life special. I picked out a casket and an outfit for her, chose songs to be played at her service and met with the funeral home. I made a slideshow of photos to be displayed at both events. So many of our family and friends never met our daughter. I was so proud of her and wanted everyone that came to see her sweet face. The state of shock and God carried me through and helped me go through the motions of the visitation and the funeral. I remember arriving at the funeral home and entering the first room and seeing the tiny white casket. I could not go see her. I wanted to remember Rylan alive not dead in a casket. I never looked in. I just could not do it. I remember the rainy weather for the visitation....symbolizing the many tears that were shed that night from hundreds of dear friends, family, and even Rylan's NICU nurses. I remember sitting on the couch at the funeral home and all my neighborhood friends gathered around me, crying with me and comforting me.
The day of the funeral is was a beautiful fall, crisp day....symbolizing the true beauty and joy my girl is experiencing in heaven. We greeted our guests and cried with them. I was very surprised of the people that came from both near and far. It blessed my heart to see my forever friends by my side during this very difficult time. Throughout the service and that day, I cried many tears but I just kept thinking about Rylan in heaven with a new body and experiencing God's best, and that is what I hold on to everyday. Rylan in heaven is my hope!
Though days, months, and years will pass, I will always remember her. She will live forever in my heart. She is part of me. Unless you have kissed your child good-bye forever you will not understand the reason why I hold on to her and try my best to keep her memory alive.
Happy 3rd Birthday in Heaven, my Rylan! I know your day will be filled with God's best! I love you! Mommy
Posted by The Slate Family at 6:38 PM
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