Mothers Day is in just 3 days, have you gotten your Mother something yet? Daniel and I bought my mama her present this past Monday. I chose it because it's something that actually has a lot of meaning to me and I believe it will to her as well. Now let me warn you now that this post is going to be a very long one and may cause you to cry.
I'm not sure if I ever posted it on this blog but this past February my 18 year old brother very suddenly and very unexpectedly passed away. I posted this 2-18-11 in my old blog so I am just going to copy and past it here:
The last two weeks have been such a blur. I have been pulled in seemingly every direction possible in such a short amount of time. Now I finally have a chance to sit down and write what has been going on. February 10th 2011 at 2000 hours my little brother Jacob George was pronounced dead. The day started at 0545 the morning of the 10th with my mother pounding on my and Daniel's bedroom door, telling us to get up and come down stairs because there was a problem. The first thought to run through my mind was "ugh I don't want to do a fire drill right now." (Since my sibling are all still so young they periodically do fire drills) So I got up put my robe on and stumbled out into the light, down the stairs and into the living room where my mom was. She had just grabbed the phone and was calling 911. She said, "we need an ambulance my son isn't responsive and is having a hard time breathing" So I then ran back up stairs and made Daniel get out of bed, we both went back down stairs and corralled up the cats and locked them in a room upstairs so we were sure that they would be out of the way. We were told to go outside and wait to the paramedics to get here and direct them into the house and down to where Jacob's room was. They were there in maybe a 5 minute time span from when my mom had hung up the phone. The fire dept showed up first. They came in and got the basic info on Jacob from my parents then the paramedics showed up and brought in the gerny and oxygen. They put the oxygen mask on him, placed him on the stretcher and were off the Tri-City hospital. Little did I know that as I watched them wheel him out it would be the last time I ever saw him leaving the house...
My parents took off right behind the ambulance, and Daniel and I got Steven (my youngest brother) ready for school. His friend came and picked up him and Daniel and I, exhausted from being woken up so early, went back to bed and got another hour or two of much needed sleep.
We started getting texts from my mom updating us on Jacob's condition. Seemingly every hour on the hour we got a text and each text got worse and worse. (Oh it's important for me to point out that my brother had Cerebral Palsy unable to walk or talk or communicate, he was prone to seizures and had several in the past).
While in the ER he had two heart attacks which caused his lungs to fully give out on him, and that he had slipped into a coma, so he was then put on a respirator. He had virtually no blood pressure (or at least non that they could easily detect) so they had to insert a central line, which goes from the neck (through the artery I believe) down to the heart to pick up the heart beat. When they did that he started to bleed out and they had a hard time getting that to stop.
He was hooked up to so many wires and machines.
My sister and I headed over to the hospital around 1300 after they had gotten him into a private ICU room. By that point they had already found out the both his liver and kidneys were failing. So even if he had made a full recovery he would have needed transplants of those organs and/or full time dialysis treatment. But there was no chance of him receiving a transplant in such a short amount of time. Plus it was also discovered that he had Influenza A which just made things worse.
From 1300-1900 or so Daniel, Roz and I were all there at the hospital. Steven came after school for a short time and was able to say good-bye but it was overwhelming for him so he only stayed for a few minutes then left to stay the night at a friends house. During those 4 hours or so several people came to see Jacob and offer support. Though everybody was saddened by the situation and ultimately knew what the outcome would be, we spent those few hours just laughing and telling stories about him. The nurses all working in the ICU looked at us so strangely like "how can you be laughing at a time like this?" Well what else should we do? Be miserable and just cry or be joyful about the life that he lived and all the love he had.
Around 1900 Daniel, Roz, and I went home to get something to eat and Daniel and I had growth group that we were still planning on going to. Maybe ten minutes after we got home my mom sent a text saying they had talked with the Dr about the most recent results and it was time to take him off of life support. We told her that we would be on our way in just a moment and at first she said no but a moment later she said okay yes she wanted us to come (didn't matter we would have gone anyways). So we all loaded back up in the car and drove over to the hospital.
We walked...well probably more like sprinted, down through the hall to the end where the doors to the ICU were. Time seemed to just be hanging there. My mom was sitting on the deck they had outside, just staring straight ahead. She began to tell us what all the Dr had said and started crying. We all hugged her and started crying ourselves. My dad then walked up (he had to take something out to the car) I hugged him and told him I was sorry, he started crying as well.
The nurse came out into the hall and told us that they were going to be taking him off the machine is just a moment and remove all the tubes and clean him up and after they had done that they would come get us to see him.
We waited in the private waiting room. My parents began talking about what they would do: if they would have a memorial, if they would cremate him, etc. I called my growth group leader and told them what was going on and that we would be late. She told me we didn't need to come but Daniel and I felt it was still best for us to go and get support from others and prayer for the family.
After what seemed like ages the nurse finally came and got us. Daniel and I walked on either side of my mom who slowly made her way through the door around the corner and toward room 302.
Since he had Influenza A we were given masks to wear as a precaution. Then we all slowly walked into the room closing the curtain and door behind us. He was laying there just looking like he was sleeping. I believe that he was already dead at that point and I could see no breath movements from his chest. We stood there saying our good-byes for all least half and hour. At 2000 Daniel and I left to give my parents sometime alone. When we got home later that evening my mom was sitting in a chair covered in one of Jacob's blankets and holding onto one of his stuffed animals. She wasn't there though.
Daniel and I went to bed and lay awake for a while talking about that day and crying about Jacob's sudden passing and how bad we felt for the hurt we knew my parents were feeling. We got up the next morning and talked with my parents. They had been planning a vacation to Hawaii that they had planned on leaving for that coming Monday but weren't sure about going. We were able to "talk them into" going and they asked us to take care of all the memorial arrangements.
So they left for Hawaii and Daniel and I began everything we needed to do for the memorial. I wont go into detail about all that but we had the memorial this past Friday evening. It went beautifully. At 1600 Daniel and I picked up 12 sub sandwiches for the reception, packed up all the pictures and mementos to decorate the back table with. We arrived at the church around 1630 and went to work. I set up the tables and flowers/candles, dropped the sandwiches off in the kitchen for the volunteers there to cut up for the reception. Daniel was going to be singing a song so he was doing sound check, and before we knew it it was 1730 and people were arriving. We started a little late due to my parents well being late but it wasn't a big deal. JD (the pastor) welcomed everybody on behalf of the family and gave an opening prayer. Then Russ sang "Forever Reign"....like I said the whole thing went beautifully and they will be getting us a DVD of the service by next week and if I am able to I will post it.
Thank you for taking time to read through my ramblings.
RIP Jacob George Riebau December 22 1992-February 10 2011 Son, Brother, Warrior, Angel.
So now that you have the background I will move onto what I got my mama for Mothers Day and why it has such a strong meaning to me. But again I have to tell you a story, the story of The Dragonfly.
The Dragonfly Story:
Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
"Look!" said one of the water bugs to another. "one of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?" Up, up, up it slowly went....Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return...
"That's funny!" said one water bug to another. "Wasn't she happy here?" asked a second... "Where do you suppose she went?" wondered a third.
No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. "I have an idea". "The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why."
"We promise", they said solemnly.
One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.
When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings...The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!
Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.
The dragonfly remembered the promise: "the next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why." Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water...
"I can't return!" he said in dismay. "At least, I tried. But I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what has happened to me, and where I went."
And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air......
I heard that story when I had my first miscarriage and loved it then, but it took on a new meaning for me when my brother died. So when I found this necklace I immediately thought of the dragonfly story and knew I had to get it for my mama! It's a beautiful dragonfly shaped charm with different gemstones in a rainbow pattern and small diamonds. We're good friends with a few of the jewelers who work at Ben Bridge so while we were purchasing it they asked who it was for and such so I told them the whole story and they all thought it was such a sweet idea.
I drew that dragonfly on the card and am going to print out the dragonfly story and paste it on the inside. I think that she will like it, I think that she will cry, but I think that it will mean a lot to her.
Thanks for hanging through all that! I know it was a lot to get through.
Oh and a reminder again that my gift card giveaway ends this Saturday so go enter now!