I’m his best girl.

I really can’t believe my baby is going to be 4 years old.  4 years ago, on January 30th, 2010, Chase came into our lives, 9 weeks early, a tiny little man, only 3lb 5oz.  He was born via emergency c-section and I should’ve known then that his grand “crash” entrance into this world was only the beginning of his wild, spirited personality (wild and spirited are great synonyms for he is crazy and gives me a run for my money every single day!)… Chase has lived life “out loud” every day of his life, starting with his very first breath.

When Chase was born, Tanner was in the thick of treatment for his cancer.  Chase was in the NICU for 5 weeks, and at first the nurses couldn’t understand why I was so calm about my preemie’s NICU level-care.  Chase was only on a ventilator for 24 hours, and BIPAP for a week or so.  I explained to them that he was fine, just tiny, and he needed to grow.  I visited him every day in that NICU, where he received spectacular care, I changed his postage-stamp sized diaper through tiny armholes in the incubator and learned how to clean him and take care of him while avoiding his umbilical central line and multiple IV’s.  It wasn’t that foreign to me, I had to navigate the hallways of the pediatric oncology unit juggling a pole holding chemo, hydration and a toddler running for the playroom.  I would go from the NICU of one hospital to the pediatric ambulatory care unit of the other.  If it wasn’t actually happening, I would think that sounded crazy.  But, you do what you have to do.

Chase came home in March 2010, and Tanner was a proud big brother.  He loved his baby and I’m sure he still looks over him.  I wish more than anything that Tanner was here and they were playing together.  I wish more than anything that Tanner was at Chase’s 4th birthday party, which was his wish this year.  I wish more than anything that when Chase says to me “but there are no kids to play with here” I could tell him to go play with his brother, because that’s how it was supposed to be.  Instead I am left with explaining heaven to my now 4 year old and a gaping, bleeding, painful hole in my own heart.

I like to make a big deal out of the kids’ birthdays.  Chase wanted a “construction” theme this year, with tractors and dump trucks.  He wants to be like Daddy, who is an electrician and our very own handyman, and no doubt a hero in Chase (and Tanner’s) eyes.  So, I made a big dirt cake with tractors and rocks and we invited our friends and their children for a party.  Chase had a great time, and I love seeing him playing with the other kids.  But, like every other event, there is always someone missing, and his absence is like a knife in my heart.   Every moment is missing him, every picture is missing him, and everyone there is missing him.

Chase’s birthday this year is especially difficult.  This year, Chase is 4.  A birthday Tanner never saw.  I believe children continue to grow in heaven, and I know in heaven, Tanner is 6 now.  The truth however, is the last birthday Tanner spent with us was his third birthday.  Chase has now outlived his big brother.  He is older than Tanner was, and he can do so much more because he is healthy and strong.  My little NICU baby who “just needed to grow” is 4 years old and running and jumping and tumbling, and even skiing this year.  He is amazing.  He is a miracle too.  I thank God for Chase every day, my reason for living.

Last week, I was getting Chase ready for bed.  Every night after he takes his “tubby”, we snuggle in bed, read some books, watch some Disney Jr., and wind down.  On this particular evening we were talking about his day at pre-school and he was telling me about one of the kids he likes to play with every day-  he told me how he is one of his “best buddies”.  That night, I said to Chase “you know, you’re my best friend”.  He sweetly looked at me with his beautiful blue-green eyes, and replied “and you’re my best girl”.

I’m his best girl.

And because of that, I get up every day, I get dressed, I go to work, and I function.  Because I’m Chase’s best girl.  I have to keep doing what I’m doing, I have to keep moving, keep living, keep taking care of him.  Because there is no one else I would ever want to be than Tanner and Chase’s Momma, and Chase’s best girl.  I am a lucky, lucky momma.

Love,

Tanner’s Momma (and Chase’s best girl) 🙂

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Chase and his best girl
4th Birthday, 2014

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Responses:

  1. What a strong spirit you have! Life has asked so much of you… thankfully also giving you the blessing of your children… the one you hug in flesh and the one you hug in memory and spirit. Wishing you continued strength from the love that they give you every day!

    Comment by 2shineblog on January 28, 2014 at 9:44 pm

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