I was so nervous as I pulled into the Fire Station parking lot. My stomach was sick with the fear of not saying the right words. Not saying enough. I didn’t want to be “that” mom right then. So often when my mouth can’t find the words, my fingers seem to find the keys on the keyboard. That wasn’t that option this time … I had to speak. But I was so focused on all the cooking that I didn’t have time to think everything through.
The Fire Chief, “Corky”, shook my hand right away. He called those who were on the call forward. A few I recognized, but others I did not. The two gentlemen that actually worked on Owen weren’t there. Then, he shared some thoughts on that night. He shared what the dispatcher told him about the call. The entire unit was all lined up around the room – almost at attention. All looking at me and my family. I prayed that my eyes would say what my mouth couldn’t find the words for.
I tried to tell them that we were ok. Not to dwell on the fact that Owen didn’t make it, but rather celebrate that two other lives were saved. I told them the story about OWENGE and why we wear the color. I told them how I think about them each and every day. When I see a fire truck or police car out around town, I look to see if I recognize anyone. I wonder “were you at my house that night?” I said Thank You … over and over. And I really meant it.
The boys were given huge stuffed animals. A fire fighter’s wife knit the boys hats (blue, green and orange of course!) She’s a blog reader — if you are reading this THANK YOU!!! Someone offered to show the boys the trucks.
Once they got in the trucks … they didn’t want to get out!
I did get a little teary eyed as Jaden sat up high, so proud and was waving at me out the window. I flashed forward to him being an adult and being an EMT. I pictured him waving out the same window in a parade. Gosh I would be one proud mama if he chose that road in life.
My mom said he was giving his bear CPR when she was buckling him up. She said he was doing it pretty accurately too. I wonder where he learned that from … we’ve talked about Mommy giving Owen CPR but I’ve never acted it out for him. TV maybe?
I know it gave me and my family healing being there. Seeing the faces of those who fought so hard for us a year ago. At this time last year, right this very minute, I would just be arriving at Children’s Hospital. Standing outside of his door – watching the 15+ people all working on him. Someone in a white coat stood next to us, trying to answer all of our questions.
The numbness is replaced with emotions … some of them joy for Josie and the other little girl. Pride for how far we have come this past year. Pain of the loss that is still blinding in our family. Gratitude for all those who walked this journey with us last year and the days following.
My sister said it best: My deepest thanks go out to the men and women of the Sussex police department, fire department and paramedics. Owen is a warrior because of your hard work and kindness on such a tragic night one year ago. I think of you all daily.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!