Almost exactly two years ago I was posting on our caringbridge site, documenting each stage of our terminally ill 18-month old son's death from liver cancer. On a date I'll never forget, November 11, 2010, we made the decision to leave the hospital and go home with hospice - Vincent's feeding tube was removed and he was given a running cocktail of morphine and other drugs to ease the pain from his tumors.
Then we waited. Although he had been given approximately 48 hours to live, Vincent tenaciously hung on to life for another 11 days as family flew in from out of town, forming a bedside vigil of sorts, taking turns watching him every minute of the day and night.
Each morning Theo would bound into our bedroom, the site of everything hospice-related, asking "Is Vincent still here?" Yes, his baby brother Vincent was still here, laborously breathing, mostly unconscious, but still with us. We would hold him, sing to him, pray with him, and release him to Jesus. "You can leave for the bright happy place whenever you want" we'd say. Every night we'd emotionally prepare ourselves for his death. When it didn't come, we'd brace ourselves for another day of waiting, relieved that he was still here with us, wishing it wasn't the end.
Fast forward two years. Again we're waiting. But this time we're waiting for a new life to be born. And of course, this sort of waiting is infinitely easier than the other kind. It's infinitely less sad. But as our November 11 due date has come and gone and as Vincent's anniversary of passing looms closer, I'm again finding myself in limbo, anticipating an irreversible event to take place that I cannot control. Waiting. Again.
What am I waiting for? I'm waiting for this new child to be born, to see his little face, touch the hands and feet that have been squirming inside of me for so long. I'm waiting to observe the 2nd year anniversary of Vincent's passing, waiting to remember that awful and wonderful day when he was finally happy. I'm waiting for the day that our family will be whole again, for the day I'll be with all my children, for the day I'll be able to hold a healthy Vincent in my arms.
I'm waiting. Waiting isn't always bad. But it is hard.