I don’t interact with every patient. I have the honor of caring for the staff who, in turn, cares for the patients that entrust us with their story. Every story is different, unique, precious to the family that is in the process of writing it. The staff are so good at making every story one worth telling; burnt into the memory of those who are involved.Most stories are beautiful and have a happy ending, but there are some stories that bring extreme pain and sorrow when remembered.
I am one that maintains awareness of the happenings of the staff and they communicate with me when they need advice or help. I remember the evening I met Bret and Lisa.They were nearing the end of their hospital stay and the staff asked me to touch base with them to see if there was anything else we could do for them. I was aware of the difficult circumstances as I had been touching base with the staff to see if they needed any support.
I walked into the room and the love between them was palpable; the grief was overwhelming and could have been cut with a knife. I remember asking if I could do anything for them and Lisa broke down and said that she knew they had to leave but she didn’t know how they could ever face the big bright world. She said something like, “everyone in the world will continue to go about their life, but our life feels like it has ended and no one will notice.” It felt safe to them in their little room, a place where they could hold Jake and hold each other without staring eyes or explanation.
I promised to escort them out of the unit; Lisa eventually stood and took my arm in hers, Bret held her other arm, and we started down the hall. I will never forget the grief that poured from this woman, a woman who had become both a mother and childless in the same instant. Each step was a knife to her heart, knowing she was leaving their own little sanctuary. I continued to walk with this precious couple out of the unit, down the elevators, and outside of the hospital as I could not bring myself to let them go just yet. I felt the Lord surrounding us and I prayed with every step; while Lisa wept, I prayed. My prayers were jumbled thoughts though. I remember thinking, “these people are so nice…Why God, WHY them??”, “Lord, give them strength,” “help them cling to each other,” and so many other prayers simultaneously burst out of my heart.
As Bret reluctantly let Lisa go to get the car, I sat with her on the bench outside. She cried and I continued to pray and hold her. I felt a bond with this family I had only just met and knew my life had been changed forever. I gave them each a hug and watched as they drove away, begging in my heart for God to give them another chance. I sat back down on that bench and burst into tears that seemed to never end.
I thought of Bret and Lisa often. Many days, I would hear a song on the radio and think of Lisa and Bret; I know God was continuing to remind me of them so I could pray. I often felt nudged to share what had brought them to mind, whether it was a song or a verse.
When Lisa experienced the loss of her next baby, Hope, I was blown away when she took me up on my offer to support Bret during the time he couldn’t be by her side while she was in surgery. A bond was formed with the tiny encounter I had with Bret and Lisa, and it reminds me that we are placed in each and every moment of life for a purpose, God’s purpose.
I am honored to have met this beautiful couple and pray every day that God pours blessings on them. Lisa and Bret’s story is one I will never forget and I thank God every day that I was allowed to have a small part in the story of Baby Jake. He truly touched so many; God is using his life and death for His glory which is the best story that can ever be told.