June 7 2016, 3 years ago today – We packed up our boy and took him for his last car ride home.
I can remember this day like it was yesterday. We had been in the hospital for over a week, learning that our son would not have much time left with us. We begged and begged to bring him home, and finally the time came. We packed up his toys, his pump was hooked up and his NG suction was ready for the car ride. We were in the far room, all the way down the hall. The walk to the elevator seemed like it would never end. The nurses were hugging us on the way out with tears streaming down their faces as they knew this would be the last time they would get to see Mase.
Our nurse case manager walked us out. She had been on this journey with us, connected to Mason. It was quiet, no one said a word. A stranger walked towards us, put her hand on Mason’s shoulder and said a prayer as tears also filled her eyes. We didn’t know her but somehow she felt our pain. As my husband brought the car around for us, Mason & I stood their saying goodbye to the hospital he would never visit again. He was happy that he never had to get another test, another poke or have to stay for a few sleep overs … he was happy to be done. Us on the other hand, we were a mess, trying to be strong for our boy. The doors opened and we walked outside, Mason in a wheelchair holding his favourite blanket and his Mickey Mouse. I don’t remember the weather or if the sun was shining or not.
All I remember, is saying goodbye. Goodbye to the hospital that we thought would save him, goodbye to the many nurses and staff who grew to love him, goodbye to a place that gave us hope. As my husband loaded the car, I could not hold it in any longer, the tears began to fall. We gave our main nurse a long hug and she sent us off watching as our car drove away.
It was the longest car ride.
An almost 2hr car ride felt like 10 hours. I sat in the back holding my boy’s hand so tight, tears still flowing like waterfalls and my heart breaking at every moment knowing this was the last time we would drive this road with Mason by our side.
As much as we needed to be strong for our boy, we just couldn’t believe what was happening. We were bringing Mason home to only say goodbye. We didn’t know if it would be a few days or a few weeks, but we did know that it wouldn’t be long.
That drive home, I held Mason’s hand so tight, and I honestly don’t know how they allowed us to drive. We weren’t focussed, we were broken and continued breaking with ever kilometre that passed. Not one word was spoken during that ride, only eye contact between my husband and I as Mason slept most of the way.
We pulled into the drive way, and now it was time to turn our home into a hospital so we could keep Mason in his favourite place for his last few weeks with us.
The last drive home will never leave my mind or my heart.