Over the past two weeks, I have sat down to write a post about your accident many times, but I just couldn't get my words. My heart is still a little sensitive and raw. Finally, I just decided to write a letter to you.
Someday, you will be older, and you will forget all about your accident and your time in the hospital (or so they tell me). Someday, this will just be a story that we tell to you like how you always hold your gator tail side up, or like the time you hit the complete stranger in JoAnne's fabric. (Yes, you did that just last week, and I had to apologize for you.)
But for now, while it is fresh on my mind and my heart, I thought I would share a few lessons you could learn from your accident.....other than the fact that all doctors are now evil in your eyes.
1. Let people into your heart and life.
Now, I don't know what your personality will be when you grow up, but right now, you don't really like people. That's okay! I was the same way when I was your age. I didn't like anybody besides my mom.
As much as you may want to keep people at arms length, you really need them. In a difficult time, you need people to come around you, love you, and help you through it.
While you were in the hospital, I felt scared, frustrated, guilty, and many other emotions, but one thing I never felt was lonely thanks to all of the kind words my friends sent me.
2. Your brother loves you very much.
As tough as he tries to be, and as cranky as he can be, Brandon really loves you. He's the one that found you and ran and got Shad. I saw the look on his face when I came home, he was so protective of you. On Sunday, someone asked Brandon at church how he was doing and he said, "I'm just keeping a really close eye on my little brother."
There may be days when he doesn't act like it, but I can guarantee you, your brother loves you very much and you a very lucky boy to have him.
3. Your daddy loves you very much.
The second night we were in the hospital, I tried to get some sleep because I hadn't slept in two days. Your dad, kept vigil over you all night with the nurse even though you were under anesthesia.
Everyone that walked in the room would tell him. "You don't have to do this. No one does this." Shad told them that I wouldn't rest unless I knew you were taken care of, and that was true, but the real reason was he just loves you that much.
The very next night in the hospital, your dad went to the Ronald McDonald house to try to get some rest. As soon as he left, you started screaming, "I want my Daddy!" Well you didn't really scream more like a loud whisper, it was just a few hours after you came off the ventilator and out of sedation, but you started to panic as soon as he left.
After twenty minutes, of "I want my daddy," I called Shad and told him what was happening. Before I knew it and without me even asking, your dad came right back and spent the rest of the night with you and I. He never complained and never acted like it was a big deal. He figured you had been through enough, and if you needed him, he was there.
During your time in the hospital, I watched him stroke your hair and tell you he loved you. In your worst episodes, when I was pacing at the end of the bed, your dad stood right beside you, holding your hand.
4. I love you very much.
Oh Collin, I can hardly type those words without tearing up. I always knew I was crazy about you, and I always knew I loved you, but I never really knew how deep my love was until your first night in the hospital.
On that first night, you had a few scary episodes making it the worst night of my life, by far. If you had just stayed sedated, everything would have been fine. However, you are such a fighter, and suddenly you would come out of sedation and try to get the breathing tube out.
During one of those episodes, I stood and watched helplessly as you turned purple. It seemed like the world went in slow motion as the nurse tried to help you. I turned around only to see the room flooded with doctors and nurses there to help. In that moment, I think I forgot to breathe myself.
A few hours later, you did the same thing, but this time your heart rate dropped really low. Again, the room flooded with doctors and nurses. As I sat staring at the heart monitor praying for your heart rate to go back up, my own heart ached with in me.
The morning after that terrible night, I felt pain like I had never felt before. I felt nauseous. My whole body ached. I couldn't eat. Seeing you in so much pain and distress killed me.
Collin, that night I realized just how much my heart is tied to yours.
Since that night, I keep catching myself just staring at you and Brandon smiling, and whispering a prayer of thanks. Even though your wild, rowdy, and loud, you are perfect just for me. What a gift God gave me when he gave you boys to me.
Someday, you will grow up, and I might get on your nerves. You might even think I am "uncool" (I know that sounds crazy doesn't it). No matter what you may think about me someday, please never forget there is no one on this earth that loves you as much and as fiercely as I do.
5. God loves you.
This is what I hope you see the most through your accident, that God loves you.
As I sat on the ambulance taking you to the children's hospital, I was overwhelmed by God's love for me. I know that sounds like an odd time to feel God's love, but I really did.
In that moment, I realized that God was preparing me for this accident three months ago. I've never had poison control's number, but the doctor made me put it in my phone in December. In that ambulance, God seemed to whisper in my heart, "I was with you in December and I am with you now."
There are so many other little things where I believe God was preparing the way for me even before I knew what was going to happen.
Colls, someday, when you are ready, I pray that you will come to know God. Not that you would just ask God to save you, but that you would seek to have a relationship with Him too. I want you to have more than just church, religion, and rules, I want you to have God and His love.
There are going to be days when life gets dark, and you will need to know God's love. God will not be some kind of magic genie that makes all of the dark days better, but He will be your lifeline and friend that will walk with you through those dark days.
Colls, I love you more than I even thought was possible, but amazingly God loves you even more than I do. Better yet, somehow he loves me that much too!
Collin, I am so glad you are doing better, and if you need me to make the lessons from your accident even simpler, please never ever forget how much you are loved.