Your message broke me into pieces. I am so, so sad and what you said in the beginning is unfortunately true......and it made me realize, again, what I'm up against for the rest of my life. I will never smile that way again. I know I'll smile and I know life will get better, but it will never be as wonderful as it was......it just can't be. Our son died. Our lil' love was taken from us.....and taken from us in an extremely horrific way. Some of the most crushing days are the days that I remember Hunter's last 3 weeks, or watch Hunter's last video. I'm traumatized. The fact that Zen and I had to do our best to enjoy Hunter for as long and as much as we possibly could, while he laid there and died right before our eyes is just so brutal. As a mother and father.......it's our own personal hell. Watching our beautiful and innocent child die is beyond mental repair.
His little body just deteriorated towards the end and he tried so hard for so long.....it's just not fair. Once he had his final relapse and we knew he was going to die, we tried to get him out and show him as much as we could for as long as we were going to have. I will forever remember taking him to the Portland Zoo - a place where kids are supposed to have fun and run around and see the animals. Well Hunter's visit was a little different. It was one of his last "hurrah's". He was not having a good day and seemed to be in some discomfort and was doped up on versed and oxycodone, and it was hard to know how much of the zoo he was actually enjoying. We strolled him around and showed him every single wonderful animal there was to see. Sometimes he laughed, sometimes he just sat there and stared and sometimes it seemed like he just didn't care. To take him around in this surrounding while other children were running around and playing and enjoying themselves to no end was so hard for Zen and I. Not to mention all the kids were staring at Hunter because of his "nose hose" and were wondering why HE wasn't up and running around like them - wondering if he was "sick". Little did they know that he was going to be dead two weeks later. That alone sticks a dagger in my heart like no other. Every time we drive by the zoo, which is often, I feel sick to my stomach and my heart painfully breaks. Such a terrible reminder of what our family had to go through.......and witness.......and endure. Zen and I have said that as soon as Ryder is born and can open his eyes and take things in........we're taking him to the zoo. We need to have another memory to associate it with - but the zoo, unfortunately, will never be the same for us. For the rest of our lives. And the same goes for Disneyland. The weekend we were supposed to go to Disneyland, was the last weekend that Hunter was alive. He never made it. He never got to see Disneyland. He wasn't supposed to die that quickly. I feel as if I now hate Disneyland and hate thinking about it or hearing about it, just because of the terribly sad thoughts that soon follow.
And the list goes on and on.....
So I know that these are the mental challenges that we have to face and not acknowledge on a daily basis. And I know that it's better to focus on the good and not so much on the sad. But, for us, everything is still sad. Seeing him smiling in photos, makes us sad. Seeing him having a good time dancing, makes us sad. And seeing photos of us together as a family, living life and enjoying EVERYTHING, no matter what we were up against.......makes us sad. We miss him so much and when we start to think about him and what a wonderful child he truly was - our walls come tumbling down and the tears flow like a raging river........and just don't seem to stop.
You finished your message with a lot of wonderful points. And I am so aware of those things and are forever appreciative for what Hunter has brought into this world. I refer to his life as a wonderful, wonderful tragedy. I am so thrilled and couldn't be more proud of how he affected people and their perspectives and the way they now chose to live life. I am honored to have a son that has inspired as many people as he has - he has lit a flame in many peoples hearts and in many peoples souls. And I am forever grateful that he is bringing an awareness to other parents so that they DON'T take anything for granted and DO love their children more, and fully appreciate what true treasures they are and to embrace that with every last morsel in their bodies. And I also couldn't be happier about the fundraising and research efforts and the number of people that are running for Hunter and all the other lil' soldiers out there that have lost the battle, are still fighting or are about to suit up to begin the fight. He continues to challenge people and motivate people and make people give it their all.......for much longer than they ever thought they could. His story brings it close to home for many, many people........and I love that. I love that he is still making a difference and will do so for a long, long time.
But I am torn that it was at the expense of my child.
Ryder's birth will bring a much needed joy into our lives. Another child to live for and care for and love beyond belief. But I feel as if I will be forever sad that we now only have one son.......and not two. I will be forever sad that Hunter and Ryder will not be growing up in this world together, with us, living life, discovering life and loving life.
There will be ups and downs for the rest of our days. We'll have good days and bad days for the rest of our lives. And in the very end......I still want Hunter back and wish so desperately that he was still here with us, in my arms.....I miss his love. I miss his smile. I miss his affection. I miss his love for life. I miss my lil' man.
Samantha, thank you for always being so open and honest with me and for encouraging me to find my smile. Thank you for everything you've done for my family. Thank you for sharing Hunter with your girls. Thank you for your loving friendship. And thank you for your amazing heart. You've been traveling this journey with us for quite some time now and I am very happy to have you by my side.
I'm looking forward to finding some sort of smile that will soon rest upon my face and unburden me from such sadness.
With so much love and heartfelt appreciation, Lenore
Our trip to the Zoo