When my eldest son was about fourteen, he came back from Summer camp having lost quite a bit of weight. He was quite ill and was hospitalized shortly after in Richmond. The eventual diagnosis with Crohn's Disease. As a critical care RN, I knew that many if not most Crohn's patients respond to treatment, and are managed through their illness. I also knew that some excellent new treatments were emerging at that time. Although my son was extremely ill during the hospitalization, I truly believed that he would respond to the treatment being provided.
It was during this time that I heard this song for the first time.
During this hospitalization, my son did not respond as was expected, and we began a major medical center to major medical center oddysey in order to find a treatment that would be effective and would return him to relative good health. I prayed as much as I could, especially when I realized that my son's Crohn's Disease actually threatened his life, and had disabled him. This song so well reflected my prayer. My son's oddysey was not to end easily. For years he continued to be treated, and did not live anything which approximated a normal life. The boy who originally had trained to be a speedskater as a teen, could no longer do this. He learned to paint in acrylics and oils and for a long time, this was his only activity. He was not well enough to attend school. I used to feel very badly in this time, not only for my eldest son, but for my daughter, and two younger sons, who did not get the same measure of my time. But there was plenty of time to make this up when my eldest son was well. Then, eventually my son experienced a heart rhythm disorder which the physicians attributed to a fluid and electrolyte imbalance related to the Crohn's Disease. Once again, we made numerous trips to the Emergency Room, and our eldest son continued to lose weight. At eighteen, he was given the option of having a radical surgery in which his entire large intestine, which was badly diseased was removed. He would never be completely normal, but he might not die, and this was certainly the path he was on. The surgery was done, and I spent two weeks in the hospital with him as his private duty nurse. I missed my other children very much. Eventually, my eldest son recovered sufficiently to attend college on a lighter schedule than most. Our eldest son had become engaged at college and was doing well, when Daniel collapsed and died inexplicably at the beginning of the Christmas season in 2008. All my prayers to keep my eldest son on Earth with me, were heard. Somehow, I did not instinctively know that God would instead call my youngest son home. The initial autopsy on Daniel found nothing wrong. Eventually, the pathologists offered the theory that Daniel had experienced a sudden heart rhythm disturbance and had died instantly. When I hear this song I remember not only how hard I prayed for my son who was known to be ill, but also how I somehow missed knowing that God would call Daniel home. Life on Earth IS difficult without Daniel here. Tonight it is five years and one month since his departure, we still miss him very deeply. Our eldest son still battles Crohn's and other medical issues which are related to it. We are grateful that he has been able to remain with us on Earth. We still miss Daniel and sometimes still can't believe that he was suddenly taken from us.. This season, and every other, please make sure that you spend as much time as you can with ALL your children, those who might be taken home, and those with no known medical issue, because the ride for us all may be short, and because sometimes, there are no warnings.
|Daniel was always understanding when we had to spend so much time in hospitals with his older brother. I loved him for it, but I also regret not being able to carve out more time just for Daniel, during his 12 1/2 year stay here on Earth.|