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My Blog

The death of our friend's 3 year-old son.

How do I start to describe my week so far? On Sunday, we went to church in the morning as normal, and then had friends over after church. One family had come earlier and they were almost through eating (I had made Pupusas) when the second family called and said they had to go help someone move.
 
I told them to just come anyway and that they could eat real quick and then take our Suburban with the boys and go help the other family move.
 
Soon after they left, the phone rang and Elizabeth answered it. She didn’t speak to the person and then hung up the phone. She said it was a lady from the church who lives near us and that there was an emergency and we needed to go now.
 
Fito and the other husband left immediately, and then the other mom and I headed over in our car. When we arrived, there was already a sheriff’s car there. We ran to the backyard and there by the side of the pool was the father bending over his 3 year-old son giving him CPR.
 
Being an ex-EMT. I immediately ran to the baby and asked him if he wanted to start 2 men CPR, but he said that now they suggest only doing the chest compressions. My previous training compelled me to try to give him a few respirations to try to expel any water in the lungs and hopefully bring much needed oxygen to his bluish body.
 
He vomited and some water came out, but no breath, no response.  His pupils were dilated completely and he had no pulse, except for the compressions. His lips were blue and his body had the cast of one whose spirit has left the body.
 
My mind was racing, but I have also seen times when the impossible occurs and someone returns to their body.
 
The father continued the chest compressions, while I tilted the head back trying to keep the airway open. The EMT’s then arrived and took over and did two-man CPR with respirations.
 
Shortly, they loaded him and took him on to the hospital. His mom and dad went with him. He never recovered and they pronounced him dead a few hours later.
 
I stayed with the family all evening, cooking, cleaning, and taking moments to speak with someone, hug someone, let someone cry. I could still smell the vomit in my nose and I kept seeing his empty eyes.
 
I could not sleep that night. I would see his lifeless little body, then my strange, uneasy dreams would change, and I would see the lifeless body of my dear sweet Michael who was stillborn.
 
I had not felt such grief for years.
 
The next two days have been crazy. I still went to work, but have been helping with arranging everything, contacting people, and so forth.
We did gather up all the dirty clothes when we were there on Sunday and brought them home.
 
I have to brag on Elizabeth, my 12 year-old. She made sure all the laundry was done (the others helped…but it was mainly her) and then Maria took it back yesterday with some goodies she had bought from Sam’s.
 
I am also proud of Maria. She showed up as soon as she heard and was ready to go to work, but at that point she was asked to leave as the police were conducting an investigation.
 
Let me give some advice: do not be afraid to serve. Even if you do not know what to do…find something to do. Mop, sweep, clean a bathroom, do laundry, clean the kitchen, clean a fridge, plant a tree, write a letter, send a short note, bring a meal, bring snacks, bring cereal and milk, bring paper products, even toilet paper, take the younger children on an outing, take an older child out to eat and to visit, take mom to buy a new suit for the funeral, clean the family car, offer to pick up a relative at the airport, help get beds ready for company…
 
I could go on and on, but I do want to add, that people are individuals and each grieves in their own way. Do not assume they will act a certain way or respond a certain way. Listen- to them and to your intuition, then act accordingly—to your own talents, time and resources.
 
A news crew came later and we closed all the blinds in the home and tacked up sheets over the living room windows that did not have blinds.
 
Why the world must peer in on other people’s tragedy or privacy is beyond me. We as a society have lost all sense of civility and appropriateness.
 
Here is a family of 10 children, two whom are on missions; one serving in Guatemala, one in Argentina, whose children are smart, intelligent, vivacious, and well-behaved now being hounded by the government. Instead of being able to huddle together and to comfort one another over a misfortunate accident, they are treated as criminals and spied on in their own home.
 
We fought the American Revolution to keep British troops from being boarded in American homes, to keep unreasonable searches from occurring, and to allow a jury of peers decide one’s fate…after evidence is presented. One is innocent until proven guilty.
 
And yet our so called child-protection agency regularly assumes one is guilty (unless you are on drugs…and then they look the other way) and you have to get a lawyer and spend thousands proving you are innocent (sometimes just from an anonymous phone call that could have been made by a disgruntled client, ex-spouse, personal enemy, etc.)
 
They do not have to provide a search warrant. They do not have to have reasonable suspicion; they are outside the peer (jury) system. They are judge, jury, and executioner all in one moment.
 
The family was informed yesterday that they had to have a cover on their pool before nightfall or the children would be removed from the home.
 
There had been a cover on the pool, but in a wind storm, it had ripped and the mother was afraid that the boys would walk out on it, and then fall through the rip, and be trapped underneath the cover.
 
She therefore, took the cover off with plans to purchase another.
Anyone who has ever raised a small active boy knows how quickly they can find trouble.
 
When my boys were young, I knew that if I didn’t hear them, I had better investigate quickly.
 
Through the years, I have had children flush stuff down the toilets, unwind the toilet paper and drag it all through the house, climb bookshelves, climb kitchen cabinets….actually, climb anything they could.
 
Wall paper torn, walls drawn on, one time I came into the kitchen to find a son dropping eggs on the floor. He said it looked cool.
 
I have had children wander off, hide in closets, one hid from me at Wal-Mart, kept completely quiet…I was franticly looking and calling for him, and was about to call for an Amber alert, when he popped up from under a display, and yelled, “Peek-a-boo, Mommy!”
 
Today, parents are so afraid that they keep their children confided to indoors, watching TV and playing video games.
 
Perhaps they are safer one way…but is that safer for their mental health?
 
I truly believe that children need to be outside. That they need to run, jump, climb, use their imaginations by riding bikes, hiding in the woods, climbing trees, swimming in a lake or pond, camping, hiking, playing in the dirt or sand, playing in rain puddles, and so on.
 
I believe if we let children be children again and they played outside daily--there would be less ADD, ADHD, bi-polar, etc.
 
There will always be evil in the world. There will always be the chance that an accident can occur. However, statistics will show that children can hurt themselves even inside the home.
 
Let our children be children. Let us contain our run-a-way government and take our country back.
 
But most of all, let us have compassion again. Give mercy and forgiveness, even to yourself. Forget evil when it happens and live with charity.
 

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