10 Years

Today is October 1, 2018.  Today would have been Rudy’s 10th Birthday.  Double digits!!!  How proud Rudy would be!

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October 1, 2008 was a Wednesday. I went into labor a month early and because of the high risk nature of my pregnancy, I was transported to UCLA from SB Cottage Hospital by ambulance. There were a lot of tears that day but I didn’t want Rudy to see sad pictures of his birth day so we made sure to capture only smiles in the pictures.
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His was a quick labor…he was eager to get his show on the road!

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He was immediately whisked to the NICU and sedated to keep him calm before his open heart surgery.
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Soon after, he was transported to the CTICU for closer monitoring by his cardiac team.
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The kids’ first meeting…

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That was a scary first introduction for the big sibs and I remember being so proud of them…they were so brave and respectful and compassionate and inquisitive and funny and concerned…they were so themselves!

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My head hurts.  Today is harder than last year…I think I was in shock last year, distracted by so many other things going on and numb on some levels.  Today I’m feeling grief that is deep and specific to Rudy alone.  His presence is profoundly missed as Rolf captured in his reflection for today…

On Rudy’s 10th Birthday:

The collection of broken remotes hasn’t grown since you left,
Yet I’m acutely aware of how many potential additions now lie readily within your grasp—
Down low on the couch,
Right there on the end table.

My full coffee cup sits in the danger zone,
Precariously next to me on the couch cushion,
My free hand always at the ready should you pounce. 
But there’s little chance of that.

You would be too tempted by how easily the DVD cabinets could be opened and emptied,
We only recently realized there’s no need to keep the doors tied shut.

Or the lure of the open front door might prove irresistible 
Provided you still remember that too much giddiness leads to detection. 
If you could suppress the urge to squeal or call out “See ya!”
Who knows what adventure might await?

How I long for a few moments of panic,
Outing my parenting gaffe to the neighbors as I call out in search of you.
I’d happily make sense of all the books dumped out in front of the bookcase,
Trying to figure out where to tape in all the torn-out pages.
Lots of time for that since there’s no Hot Wheels clogging the tub drain.

I miss your happy chaos.

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Rolf, Olivia, Oma and I will celebrate our boy later today with a trip to Kyle’s Kitchen and a special dessert (hopefully Oma’s chocolate roll cake!!!).  I wish the big boys could join us but we’re all close in thought, for sure.

Looking at all the pictures on this day ten years ago, I’m reminded of how uncertain everything was…there was real concern that Rudy wouldn’t survive his birth or his first surgery or his harrowing recovery…there were so, so many wrenching twists and turns in the very beginning.  Honestly, it’s hard to look back in retrospect, to see it all in it’s entirety and comprehend how it was even survivable for any of us.  We may not be celebrating 10 years with our boy today but we do stop and celebrate the 8 1/2 years that were his life…a life that was rich and impactful and truly happy despite all of the challenges.  Happy Day of your Birth Rudy!  ‘Forever grateful for you…forever in love with you…forever changed by you.

 

7 thoughts on “10 Years

  1. The big kids were so little – yet so masterfully grown up. Do you really, truly know what a fabulous job you and Rolf have done, parenting all 4 of your kids?? Thinking of Rudy today, with sadness, but with deep gratitude for his life – chaos and all. Love, love, love Rolf’s reflection. And you.

    1. Thank you for this beautiful post!!! Loved the pictures. You’re right- the sum total of all those scary times is an anguish!!! You have been held and strengthened over and over and we all will keep holding you close and in our prayers.

  2. G.U.L.P. …precious, precious pictures. Thank you for sharing them with us. The expressions of the children’s faces as they meet their new little brother – priceless! Holding you so close in my heart! I pray for you and your precious family constantly. My prayer warriors were here today and prayed for you all as well! I Love you, Trish! 😚💓

  3. I’m sitting at UCLA med center now -steps away from where Rudy was born; where all those loving photos were taken just 10 years ago.

    When I look at each of your faces you can see the love and joy that he brought into your life.

    When I read your words I can feel some of your pain.

    Damn – missing someone you love hurts.

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