Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mimi's Grief : Angel Flight

Today my mother, Carol, is guest blogging over her experience watching me be hospitalized with Jake, our helicopter ride across Texas and Jake's stillbirth.


I have always loved the song by Radney Foster called ANGEL FLIGHT.  Coming from a military family, and a having a dad who was a Navy Pilot, it just tugs at my heart strings every single time I hear it.  It wasn't until recently, as in just a few weeks ago, when it was playing on the Cd player in my bedroom, that I had a different view of the song. 

My husband, daughter, grandson and I were all in my bedroom.  They were all talking to me as I was trying to get clothes folded, and I had put this CD in to listen  to.  When Angel Flight came on, the tears started falling out of my husbands eyes.  Let me tell you something, my husband is a Cowboy and is about 6'2.  It breaks my heart to see him cry and like most men you just don't see those tears fall very often.  Seeing his heart break all over again hearing this song just broke my heart into a thousand more pieces.  During the time of right after we had learned of Jake's passing , he had come down to be with us and wait for Jake to arrive, and that night when we checked into our hotel the front desk clerk asked us if we were there because we had a new baby in the family...my husband just broke down and bawled right there in the lobby at 2 a.m.   I could do nothing but stand there and hold my husband.   This song now takes on a whole new meaning.  I thought I would share the lyrics below with you...

ANGEL FLIGHT



                          Artist: Radney Foster
                              Song: Angel Flight
                           Album: Revival



All I ever wanted to do was fly
Leave this world and live in the sky
I left the C130 out of Fort Worth town
I go up some days I don't wanna come down

Well I fly that plane called the Angel Flight
Come on brother you're with me tonight
Between Heaven and earth you're never alone
On the Angel Flight
Come on brother I'm taking you home

I love my family and I love this land
But tonight this flight's for another man
We do what we do because we heard the call
Some gave a little, but he gave it all

I fly that plane called the Angel Flight
Come on brother you're with me tonight
(Come on brother you're with me tonight)
Between Heaven and earth you're never alone
On the Angel Flight
Come on brother I'm taking you home
Come on brother I'm taking you home

Well the cockpit's quiet and the stars are bright.
Feels kinda like church in here tonight
It don't matter where we touch down
On the Angel Flight its sacred ground

I fly that plane called the Angel Flight
Gotta hero riding with us tonight
Between Heaven and earth you're never alone
On the Angel Flight
Come on brother I'm taking you home
Come on brother I'm taking you home
Come on brother I'm taking you home
Come on brother I'm taking you home

There is so much about this song that reminds me of a moment in time of  Jake and my daughters heroic quest to save his little life.   

When it talks about leaving this earth and living in the sky, we know that Jake is happy in Heaven....even though we would much rather have him here.  We know that when it was his time to go the Angels came down and got him and took him to be with Jesus and all of our family that has gone on before.  When it says "Come on brother I'm taking you home" my eyes start tearing up and I think of Jake's big brother Payton who loved him without ever seeing him.  He was so looking forward to having him join their little family.  I love how it talks about "you're never alone"...we know Jake is always with us.  His "Angel Flight' was sacred ground. 

This song also brings me back to the day the helicopter came to the hospital to pick up my daughter to fly her to a  hospital that really wasn't that far away, that was NOT our first choice, but one that because she and Jake were so medically fragile at the time her attending physician chose to have her sent to.  You can't imagine what it's like to wonder this many months later if only they would have sent her to the hospital where we wanted her to go to,  that we had experience with, if Jake would have lived and  if they might have tried a little harder. 

I was here at home, on February 7th, about 3 hours north of where she was, approximately 160 miles away, taking care of her oldest son.  We knew the helicopter would be coming that morning, and we had decided that Payton and I would drive down that afternoon to come see her at her new hospital.  She called me early that morning and told me that there had been a change of plans and that they were sending her to yet another hospital that we didn't know about at all.  She started texting me and telling me the flight nurse was in her hospital room getting her ready to go. 

 She took pictures of herself as they took her down the hall and texted me. 

 She took a picture of herself outside of the helicopter and texted it to me. Somehow she accidentally hit the "solarize" setting on her phone's camera...I couldn't help but laugh and text her back and ask her why she was green!!



 Let me tell you something, to be a mother and know that your child is about to be flown on a medical helicopter far far away from you is one of the most loneliest heart wrenching feelings in the world. When she texted me and said the helicopter was about to take off I couldn't help but stare into the sky knowing that my baby girl was up there somewhere and sent a million prayers her and Jake's way.  She had many many people praying for her that day. It's a day that  will be emblazoned in my memory forever.  We are still incredibly thankful for that flight crew, they did everything in their power to make my daughter comfortable, and to make sure Jake stayed stable during the 30 minute flight.


Because of the flight crew and Jessica and all of the equipment needed to monitor her and Jake, they were unable to take ANY of her belongings with her on the helicopter.  Payton and I ended up having to drive from here to Beaumont to the hospital she had been at, to pick up all of her things, hug all of the nurses who had taken such good care of her,  and then drive across from Beaumont to Houston.  It was a good five or six hour trip in the end.  I was SO HAPPY to walk into that hospital room and see her sweet smiling face.  Payton was so happy to see his Momma.  We had to return back home that night.  I hated to leave her there, but I had to come home to babysit my granddaughter.    That Thursday morning they were starting the Magnesium treatment/IV to help Jake's neurosystem and brain.  They had told Jessica it might make her feel bad, so once again I hopped in the car and drove down to be with her.  His heart had been beating fine that morning.  It was some time after I arrived there and between that dreadful time the nurses came in to check his little heartbeat that the angels came and took him home.  She and I are forever grateful that I had come down and was there, and that she wasn't alone in the hospital room to learn of Jake's passing.  Just like anyone who has gone through this, you just wish that you could have known that they were going to be called to heaven , that you somehow could have grabbed a hold of them and kept them from going somehow, because we of course want to keep them here with us, even though without a doubt they are happy little clams in heaven and are running and playing and being held and loved on by our mothers and fathers and grandparents who are already there.  I think we are entitled to feel selfish like that. 

I've gotten to where I almost hate to look at pictures that were taken "before"  a loss, before a tragedy, when you are looking into the innocent faces of those people who will find themselves faced with a new reality after those photos were taken.  We had no way to know that Jake's little heart would stop just three short days later and he would be taken from us.  She had just spent 15 days in the previous hospital holding on to Jake for dear life and another three in the new hospital.   There is still a big empty spot in our hearts today, and the tears come to our eyes at random times and random things like this song make them fall when it brings back these memories like they were yesterday.  

The hurt lessens some as time goes by , as my daughter reaches out to other mothers to help them on their journey, to give them a hand to hold.  If you are reading this story and you too have lost a child, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you daily.  :)

Jacob Austin we Love and Miss you every day!!


<3 MiMi sends her love to you each night on Angels Wings!! <3

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