I woke up today not knowing what to feel. While I was in the shower memories flooded my thoughts and took over my body. One year ago today Owen got sick. It was the last time I saw his eyes alive. Forever.
My family and I are bringing the Sussex Public Safety department a meal tonight – as a small sign of our thanks. I had to stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things … and the voice is back. The one that screams in the back of my mind as anyone meets my eye – MY SON DIED! I’m a grieving mother. He died one year ago today! How can you sit there and make small talk? Can’t you see that I am different today than I was yesterday? But time keeps moving and people keep smiling. I’m different on the inside … unless you take the time to ask, you’d never know my story by just looking at me.
I’m nervous about bringing the meal tonight. I wonder if I’ll recognize their faces. I wonder if they even remember who I am. Who Owen was. Will they be happy to see us? Will is be somber and a time of respect? I guess I just don’t know what to expect.
I want them to know that I have said thank you to them each and every day for the past 365 days. Every time I drive past the station on my way to Pick ‘n Save I stare at the sign. I meditate on what they have given my family. I pray for their strength and courage. I pray that they know just how special and important they are.
Most of all, I want them to know that they might not have saved Owen that night … but they saved THREE lives that day. I want them to hear Josie’s name – I want them to see the face of a girl who they saved yet never met. If they hadn’t worked as hard as they did – Owen’s heart might never have restarted. He was without a heart beat for over an hour – they didn’t give up on him. They are the reason (and with the help of God) that we had five magical days in the hospital. It could have all been over that night. We could have returned to our home without our son that very same day. But we didn’t. We had just begun our journey. We were given time with Owen. Time with our family. Time to tell Owen’s story. They were the first to keep Owen’s story living on.
I just really want them to know how much we appreciate them. I want them to know what an amazing story they are apart of. Doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, fire fighters, police officers — they all put their live on the line for strangers. They fight for life and for good all of the time. And so many times they save a life that they may never see again. I haven’t stopped thinking about them since May 21, 2011 at about 8:15pm. I want them to know what an impact they have made on my small life.
I’ve got the first batch of cupcakes in the oven and my iTunes playing. Hoping that the music gives me the strength to get through today. May the Holy Spirit help me to express what is on my heart today … may the Public Safety department of Sussex, WI feel loved and cherished.