One Year Later

I’ve been preparing my heart for this day for awhile now.  This last month, I’ve been a little extra emotional, a little more paranoid, and a little more weepy as I remembered Gabriella’s story.  I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to do when this day came around.  I knew I definitely wanted to take cookies to the fire station that responded to our 911 call, but was also prepared to do something fun to distract me from the pain and fear that come with the flashbacks.

Tuesday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  Several of my friends have lost babies through miscarriage and as I prayed for their hearts yesterday, I gained a healthy dose of perspective.  I’m not grieving her loss and wondering what could have been.  And for that, I’m so thankful and blessed.  I realized that this day should not be one of sadness, but one of celebration for the life of my baby girl that, by God’s grace, is still with us today.

So, I woke up this morning with JOY and PEACE.  After I dropped Reuben off at school, Gabriella and I headed to do some shopping with her birthday money.  We had a ball picking out some new clothes and spending quality time together.  I savored the little things, cuddled her longer, and held her tighter, all the while full of thankfulness for the special miracle that she is.

The first time we tried to go to the fire station to say thank you, the guys who had responded to our call were out on vacation.  We left a dessert and a thank you note, but I was super disappointed that I didn’t get to see them.  I baked a batch of cookies today so we could take them to the fire station.  When I called ahead to make sure it was a good time, I asked what Platoon was on duty today.  Guess what?!?  It was Platoon A!

When we walked up the fire station, there was a fireman sitting outside that greeted us and started to take us inside to meet the rest of the crew.  As we were walking in, Captain Steward walked up and said, “We helped you guys, right?!”  I turned and looked at him and practically burst into tears when I realized he was the one who comforted me in the ER when I was feeling like my world was crashing around me.  He was the one I’ve been wanting to see and thank in person.  I could barely contain myself as I said through tears, “You’re the one!  Nick, he’s the one that helped me in the ER!  I knew I wouldn’t forget his face!  That’s him!”

He remembered us, too.  He remembered where we lived.  He remembered talking to me in the ER.  He explained that as a dad, these kind of calls make him switch into a whole other mode.  I think he might have been nearly as excited to see as us as we were to see him.  He said he got my thank you note from the first time we visited and has kept it in his file.  That meant so much to me.

Nick said he felt like we were experiencing the happy ending of an episode of Rescue 911.  That’s EXACTLY what it felt like.

I asked if we could take a picture, and he not only happily agreed, but asked one of the other guys to take a picture with his phone so he could have one, too.  While he was holding Gabriella, he pulled up her pant leg to see if she had a scar from where they had to stick her leg for the IV.  She does.  I was so touched by his memory.  It demonstrated how much he cared.

I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am.  Being able to thank Captain Steward in person for the way he cared for our family that night was such an honor.  He will definitely be a special friend to Gabriella and our family for years to come.  He can expect many more visits from us!

And this picture will be treasured.


One Comment on “One Year Later”

  1. Kelley says:

    Thank you for sharing ‘the rest of the story’–your amazingl story that began in desperation and fear and became victory and joy–and a precious testimony! Look at this man’s kind eyes and the way he is holding Gabriella so securely–like a treasure! It has to give you peace to know that she has guardian angels in every sphere! Love you!

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