January 15th 2008, the worst day of my life…the trauma leading up to the 15th is very hard for me. If you know my story, you know the pain I’ve lived through, the triumph in my kitchen and why the smile on my face is so big. You might not know what someone is going though, everyone fights battles. What’s behind a smile, the work and grit it took for someone to be where they are. The strength that it took to dig themselves out of the pit.
1-15-2008-That morning, Reese and I went in to wake Jenny up just like every ordinary day. We always went in, excited to see her, she was a morning person and always so happy. I didn’t realize something was wrong until I grabbed her warm, lifeless body. I screamed for Mike, I can only imagine the sound of my wailing voice. We met in the middle of the house…. laid her down and started CPR. Mike instructed me to call 911, I could sense his panic even though he tried to sound calm. I don’t remember what I said, I think I maybe put the phone on speaker and I took over giving Jenny CPR. I remember, as I was trying to breath life back into her…I started to pray. I tried making a deal with God, I’d do anything if he would make this okay. Don’t let her die and I will do anything you want God. Anything! Please don’t take her. “Please don’t let her die” I said aloud as my trembling fingers felt like they were failing me…. Mike took over again. I looked behind me at my two little ones, Reese (6) and Nick (2.5) and they were hugging each other, red faced, scared, and crying. I kept telling them to go back to their rooms but they were so little, they just stood there, in terror. I think Reese grabbed Nicks hand and led him back to his room because when I turned back around they weren’t there. They could have just been standing in the hallway peering around the corner, I don’t remember. I’m really not sure how one should appropriately handle a situation like this.
As we waited for the ambulance to get to our house, I think minutes passed but it felt like an hour. I kept begging God- please please don’t let my child die. I’ll do anything, just please God. Please don’t take her away from me. I kept praying, bargaining and pleading. I took over giving Jenny CPR. I remember with the next breath I gave her….I was pressing on her chest as instructed and I heard air come out. For a moment, I thought she was actually breathing. I thought God had answered me. Mike slowly shook his head and looked down. She wasn’t breathing… it was my own breath being pressed out. Despair started to sink into my stomach. Sirens began echoing in my ears, very faintly and then it got louder. The ambulance was finally here. They rushed in and the female paramedic that grabbed Jenny said “She’s still warm!!!” And they ran out with her. I kept praying and begging God not to take her. They worked on her for 45 minutes….. That was the last time I saw my Jenny. The very last time I held my girl. The autopsy later said SIDS because they couldn’t find a cause of death.
I don’t know why God chooses to save some and not others. Why bad things happen to good people…. It’s a mystery that we will only know in Heaven. The deal I tried to make with God that day….was a NO. Yet, still, after so much pain and years of heartbreak without Him, I decided to follow the Lord anyway. I have found joy in everything I do now because of Jesus and Jenny. I hope my life honors her and her memory.
I’m thankful everyday that I had with her. I’m thankful that God gave me a second chance at life. I hope that anyone reading this can know, you can get though whatever you’re struggling with. God pulled me out of the darkest part of life, an actual nightmare that my family and I lived through. There is Hope. Hug your children. Be thankful and grateful for what you have at this moment. They are gifts and so are you! Live life joyfully everyday and don’t wait for tomorrow to come.