The tears have been endless for the past month. I can't believe it has been one month, since my baby boy passed from this world. I miss him so much.
No parent should bury their child. It should always be the children who pick the coffin and make the funeral arrangements for their parents. But just as his start-to-life was with challenges, so it was with his end-of-life.
I see him everywhere, in every thing. I think of him driving with me. I think of him coming to hug me in the mornings after waking up. How he would come after me and ask, "When are you writing your next blog?" I remember the nights I would sneak to his room to see if he was sleeping with that triangular CPAP face mask. And how I would laugh when I saw him sleeping on his stomach, his face and mask planted into his pillow. But sleeping so peacefully.
I miss his joyful laugh. His strong, steady voice that soared while he strummed his guitar. Even though I scolded him for taking food to his room, I look for those dirty dishes now. I remembered how I would hold his face in my hands and whisper into his prosthetic right ear. It was our game we would play. "Can you hear me?" I would ask him. He would squint his eye and strain his left ear to try to hear what I whispered. He would always guess the "I love you." And he guessed that one right. Then, I would tell him, "Don't worry, Phil. One day your ear is not going to come off, and you will have perfect hearing in two ears." And he would respond, "I can't wait." He believed the Word of God assuredly.
I wiped the tears from my eyes this afternoon, and I thought about the promises and assurances that are found in God's word. Suddenly, my mind went back to August 10, 2000 right after Philip's first surgery to place his feeding tube in his stomach. Dr. Carr came out to see us and cautioned us, "Philip needs to have a tracheostomy. His airway is small and he is having difficulty breathing. So we can create a hole in his windpipe to help his airway." I could only say one word. "No." Over the next few days in the NICU, I would tell myself, "We will not have a trach in our house ever."
"Did I honor those words you spoke?" I sensed the Lord asking me today.
These 19 years, Philip went through 25 surgeries. Though his post-op experiences were challenging, he never had surgery to place a tracheostomy. His speaking, singing, his health all could have taken a different turn if we had that trach.
Then, on that horrible day on October 17, 2019 when his heart stopped beating and his frail body was fought for with CPR, again the trach reared its ugly head. The trauma team rushed to Santhosh and said, "His airway is small and we can't get the tube down. We may have to cut his throat for a trach." Miraculously, they were able to get the tube down his throat to avoid a trach (though he lost his 2 front teeth in the process).
As I reflected on all these events, I could only answer God, "You are so faithful, God. Thank you for answering my prayer. For 25 surgeries, the outcome could have been different. But you were faithful to me all 19 years. And you answered my prayer."
This was yet another reminder for me, and I hope for you, too. God is not like humankind. He keeps his promises. He is the same unchanging God. If you received a promise spoken over you, continue to hold to it.
One of my favorite verses is from Isaiah 55:10-11
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
There may be questions, and there may be tears, but don't let go of the Promise. It will achieve its purpose, just as the rain comes down from heaven to do its purpose on earth.
God bless and Stay strong!