The terrifying shock of seeing his little body peacefully sleeping. . . so, so still.
Screaming Daniel's name.
"Oh, God, no no no no noooooo."
Calling 911 and knowing that there was nothing they could do.
"My baby, my baby, he's dead."
And I gave our address and of course the dispatcher wanted to give me directions for CPR . . . until I said, "it's Daniel and Hayley. Daniel's already working on him. But it's too late, it's too late." I so wanted her to give me hope, but she was quiet. She knew that we knew.
Unbelievable to see the guys respond to us.
To our son.
Daniel met them in the street with our son in his arms.
He ran the call.
He hoped against hope.
He worked on his baby on that long, long, long 15 block drive to the ER.
And I stood in the middle of the street in pjs with Darren and JuneAnne holding me up.
Went into the house and looked for Cambria's flip flops.
Grabbed a jacket.
Actually sat on my front porch swing and put on the kids shoes.
Called Deeann - I need you I need you I need you I need you I need you- call me back.
Was led to the engine.
Couldn't stop shaking.
I know he's in Heaven.
Ran into the ER.
Stopped cold by the staff, standing in a line outside of his room, weeping.
Oh, no, God, they wouldn't be crying if it weren't true. . .
And then around the corner, there he was, and everyone, including my man, working, frantic, determined, futility. Weeping doctors. Nurses attatching wires with tears streaming down their faces.
Behind me, JuneAnne, still holding me up. There's nothing you could have done, Hayley, no, don't say that, it's not your fault, you did everything right, it's not your fault, it's not your fault.
Rhea, a close friend, one of the ER docs, no, no, no, you couldn't have changed anything.
We knew. They knew. I knew. He wasn't there. It was only his little body that we had loved.
We held him.
We kissed him.
We took pictures.
The kids loved on him.
Pastor and Deeann had their arms around us, holding us up.
We said goodbye.
We gave him to Melissa, the special nurse who I love for holding him instead of leaving him alone.
We were surrounded in the hallway by people who love us so, so much. Chase and Deeann and Pastor and Tonya and Jake and Loren. . . how did they get there so fast?
How do you say goodbye?
How do you walk away?
How do you leave your baby?
Oh, Gabe, we loved you so much.
I'm so glad God blessed us with your life.
The Lord gives; the Lord takes away. And we will still bless His name.