It's just a building. A big, white building. A series of uniquely colored hallways and specially themed elevators all leading to child-size rooms with specially trained doctors and nurses all committed to caring for and saving the lives of little people. Within these walls families face tragedy and believe in miracles. Within these walls our family has experienced both.
I haven't stepped foot in this building since I left it in an exhausted, broken, tearful haze eight years ago and this morning as I drove here to sit with my dear friend while her daughter has surgery, I found myself remembering so much about the last few difficult hours of that late May day...
I raced from Liberty trying desperately to remember the hurried directions I had been given simultaneously wanting more than anything to be there as fast as possible and never wanting to get there. I found myself feeling lost and frustrated as I navigated the hallways and elevators. I held my breath as I pulled open the door to the waiting room, not wanting to hear or see what was in front of me. It turns out the timing didn't matter. His little body had done all it could and no matter what measures they took, there would be no miracle there for us that night. I remember the faces...empty eyes mostly...eyes that could not unsee the things they, as families, never should have to see. Exhaustion that bore lines so deep even the youngest of mother aged 10 years simply from the worry and intensity that came from making life-saving decisions for her baby. I saw both again today. Waiting rooms full of the same lost, soulless expressions. But, I saw more than that...I saw hope too. Hope on the faces of the teams of people who make it their life's work to save these little people. Hope - no matter how small - on the faces of each parent when the door opened and a doctor walked in.
I found myself with tears running down my cheeks as I walked through those halls the first time today. Tears I honestly never expected. It's been eight years. Eight. But, it's funny what emotions a memory can cause. Funny how something so simple as a walk through a building can make you feel so much. I mean, it's just a building. He was barely even there. But, for me, it was much more than that. Those four walls, and the amazing people within them, also saved his mom - my sister - 26 years before. Our parents were the lucky ones - they got their miracle even if she ultimately did not. I realize much of this may not make sense to those of you reading this who do not actually know Carter's (and Sarah's) story...and while I thought of sharing more, I've changed my mind. I've written about it before...here, and here, and a bit about our miracle here...each of these says enough. I guess what matters is the memories...the moments - both haunting and treasured.
This was the song sung at his funeral and to this day I love the words, the meaning, the absolute surrender I felt when I heard it the first time and today, when I heard the simple music of the piano in the CMH hospital lobby, I couldn't help but remember it...
"Peace Maker" by Greg Ferguson
Peacemaker, Fear Taker, Soul Soother, Storm Smoother
Light Shiner, Lost Finder, Cloud Lifter, Deliverer,
Heart Toucher, Truth Lover,
Who other could be Fear Taker, Peacemaker to me,
Mind Clearer, Sigh Healer, Hand Holder, Consolor,
Wound Binder, Tear Dryer, Strength Giver, Provider,
Heart Healer, Kind Father,
Who other could be, My Savior, Peacemaker to me,
Let Your Peace Rule in my heart,
Let Your kindness fill my thoughts,
Let Your strength secure my soul,
Let Your peace take hold in me,
Let Your Wisdom guide my will,
Your compassion fill this place,
Let my anxious thoughts be still,
Let Your peace rule in my Heart