Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Most Cherised Moment

I have spent a lot of time lately thinking back to the day we spent with Branson. Although that time was short, it was filled with some of the moments I cherish most in life so far. In those few short hours that slipped away too fast, I was able to see and feel so many amazing things. I lack the words to adequately describe to others the emotions of that day, and atmosphere of our hospital room.

Although there were moments of great sorrow and heartache, served with an endless supply of tears, there was also a constant feeling of peace. A peace like nothing I've ever felt before or since...a gift that saw us through the hardest day of our lives. It was very apparent to Rob and I that Branson's spirit was there with us, enveloping us with his pure love. It almost felt as though we were treading upon sacred ground. We both said we'd never seen nor felt anything so sweet and completely pure.

I've often wanted to go back to that day and package that peace in a beautiful box...a box that could be opened on days I need to be reminded that with the peace we felt that day came an assurance that this was Branson's plan, that he was happy, safe, and excited to serve his mission on the other side. A peace that let me know I was blessed to be a part of his beautiful plan, and privileged to be mother to such a valiant son!

I didn't get to capture that peace, but I do carry with me traces of that peace and the memories of all the special moments of that day. Tonight I'd like to write about one of these moments so that I might come back and read it during moments of this journey when these memories aren't so fresh, or I feel the peace slipping farther away.

One of my most cherished moments of that day is one that occurred shortly after Branson was born. The doctors couldn't put me completely under during my C-Section, but they did give me something to help me sleep during the surgery. The doctor assured me that it would not affect my alertness afterwards, as I wanted to be fully alert to enjoy the few hours I would spend with my son.

As I lay there on the surgical table, being stitched up, I drifted to consciousness for the first time and saw one of the most beautiful, sacred things I think my eyes will ever behold. As my eyelids opened, I began to search for something familiar, and I soon met Rob's gaze. There, sitting next to me was my husband...eye's lit up, a broad smile, and a proud demeanor. In his arms was cradled our son. Rob was naturally rocking side to side, holding Branson with arms full of love...arms that had waited for this moment for a very long time. As I looked upon my little boy for the first time, I couldn't help but be amazed at how perfect and beautiful his little face was. It almost appeared as though Rob held a little piece of Heaven in his arms. It just looked right. Yet, it wasn't just my son that was so perfect, it was the fact that my husband was now a daddy...a daddy that was full of pride and love for his new little boy...and that was perfect. No words were exchanged...just smiles and tears. Rob's eyes spoke to me saying " Isn't he amazing?" No words could have said it better.

I quietly slipped back to unconsciousness while they finished stitching me up, with tears of joy on my face and peace in my heart.

That moment will forever be imprinted on my memory and it's affect will forever mark my heart. This is just one of the moments that made it bearable to say "hello" at the same time that we said "goodbye".
I love you Branson!


The Hammonds said...

You are so right, you do have a wonderful husband and a great daddy. Rob has always amazed me the gift he has with kids. I will never forget how when peyton was in those first few months and cried all the time, Rob could hold him and instant peace. That is a amazing gift he has and also great for you ; ). Hold tight to your memories always for one day Branson well want you to tell them over and over.

Liz said...

I love that picture of Rob and Branson. What some precious moments and memories


Vest Family said...

What a beautiful memory to treasure. Thanks for sharing. I will never forget that I too felt as if I walked on sacred ground that day. Though it was a day of sorrow and pain, Jason and I still talk about the incredible feeling of peace and assurance that we felt in the hospital room. We were in the midst of something bigger and more heavenly than we can fully comprehend.
Lots of love,

Gordon and Jackie said...

Dearest Natalie;
As I read your entries and am so overcome with emotion and feelings of tenderness in my heart it is hard for me to put into words the feelings that I have, but I'll try. I also have been thinking a lot about Branson's day with us and the special and spiritual experience that it was, and the spirit that was so strong on that day. It was the hardest day of my life so far and yet also the most beautiful day of my life too. And you described it perfectly and to a tee. I have also been thinking and trying to remember the special feelings and time with Branson and not wanting them to fade in any way as our lives go on. We truly were in the presence of angels that day. Thank you for putting it all down here so that we will always have it to read about and bring to rememberance. Branson has changed our lives and the way we look at and think about everything. Thank you to you and Rob for being his wonderful parents and sharing him with us all. Tears and Hugs, Mom

gramee said...

funny i stumbled onto your blog today, it is the 8 week anniversary of the birth and death of my grandson kenner. he lived 2 hours and 10 min. it took 8 1/2 years for them to become pregnant with him and to lose him was very difficult as only you could know.
i am impressed by your strength. i hope you don't mind if i follow your blog.

Gordon said...

Dear Natalie,
I also remember that day...and will for as long as I live. In some ways that day and the one preceding it and many days since have been kind of a blur. At first with the shock of what had happened and then the days of adjustment in trying to accept and understand what had happened... but I do remember with clarity that day and the spirit that attended it. If I have ever felt that kind of peace before I am not remembering it right now. I have always been grateful for the opportunity we had to be there with you and Rob.
As I visited Branson's grave this morning I thought of that day the spirit I felt, the emotion I felt, the concern I felt for you and Rob. I thought of how grateful I am for the "great plan of happiness" and the understanding, light and knowledge that it blesses our lives with. I am grateful for the knowlege that in a coming day I will see, know and love Branson with same love and intensity that I feel for the other grandchildren that have blessed our family and with whom I love to be with. Until that day comes I pray for that same spirit that we felt on the day Branson was born will attend us all from time to time to remind us of who we really are and what our potential is.
I love you both,
Love Dad

Cari said...

Hey Natalie and Rob,

I am not sure if I ever told you this, but when my mom called to tell me that you would be having Branson stillborn my first thought was to be so sad for you! I knew how hard it was to lose a baby and I was so sad to find out you would be having all those sad days. However my second thought was a big twinge of jelousy at you getting to have your day with your baby! I think any mom who has lost a child would do about anything to have that day played over again! Even now, looking back I can feel that peace that was there as we held our baby. A huge spirit in a tiny body! You guys are doing amazing things. Hang in there. . .it gets easier! You are helping so many people!


Devin Anderson said...

Thanks for sharing that with me Natalie, you're the best, and I'm glad the Lord let you have such an awesome moment!
Love Devin

Ashley said...

Hi Natalie...
I found your blog through Loretta who has a mutual friend with my mom. My mom told me about you a few weeks ago right after me and my husband lost our baby boy and I just cried reading your blog!! I can exactly relate to everything you have written. I just want you to know that it really has helped to read your blog and know that I am not the only one who has to bear this huge burden of losing a child. You are a huge example to me!! Thanks....Ashley

Bridget said...

I'm so happy to see that you were able to take photos. What a blessing! Our photos of our Angel help carry me through. I am still trying to reconcile peace with grief in my heart.