Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Departed Heart

Alright, we are off tomorrow to small town BC for a hockey tournament with Jock's team. Won't be back until late Sunday. Busy packing, etc. Before we leave, I wanted to post this.

Cryptic finally e-mailed me this assignment that he wrote for a class at school. He got 100% on it, which surprised me. Don't get me wrong, I like it. The topic is great, but I am surprised at how disjointed it seems and I find it unorganised. It is clear that he just wrote things as he remembered them and didn't do even one rough draft or anything. He is NOT a perfectionist, that is for certain!

It is also interesting to see his perspective of the day we learned of Davy's death, how Davy was cared for during his life, etc. I find it fascinating how any given number of people take totally different experiences from the exact same occurrence.

He threw it together in one sitting at the computer, very last minute. I would not have given him 100% on it when *I* was his only teacher. Never the less, it is an emotional read and I love it and he said I could share. I need to edit it just a tad, where he used actual names of family members.

And I like the title he gave it:)

Enough preamble. Here it is, enjoy ~

A Departed Heart

Last summer my family lost someone we all loved. My Uncle David, or "Davy" as we called him. Davy was born with Cerebral Palsy, a sickness that makes the afflicted person unable to control speech or movement of their limbs. He had to sit in a wheelchair all day, when he wasn't laying in bed or standing in a standing board to watch TV. A few years before he died, my grandparents purchased a lift, which made it easier to carry him downstairs. He could sit in it and watch TV instead of being supported by his standing board. He affected everyone who met him in an extremely positive way. Despite his limitations he almost always had an infectious smile on his face.

My grandparents have been foster parents for 34 years now. They started taking care of Davy when he was 8 days old. They have had many foster children of course, but Davy always held a special place in their hearts. The doctors said he wouldn't live past a year. But he proved them wrong. He lived for 13 and a half years before he left us.

My grandparents adopted Davy on 07/28/00. They always enjoyed taking care of him. Until he was four years old they fed him by mouth. Unfortunately he aspirated food when he was fed this way. So they had to feed him with a feeding tube inserted into his stomach. He had to sleep with a specially made triangular shaped piece of foam. It was strapped between his legs so they would not "scissor" together.

Even though he could not speak, Davy still had his ways of communicating with us. He had what we called his "no face". He would do that pouting thing people sometimes do with his lower lip, to let us know he didn't like or want something. He could speak a few words however. Some of them were "yes" and "I love you". He could also sometimes say my mother's name and the name of one of my cousins. He sometimes said "mum" when he wanted my grandmother, and was in the hospital for one of his many surgeries.

My family has a tradition of visiting either my mother's or father's family during the summer. Last summer my mother drove my siblings and I to her parents' farm. My dad had to stay here and work. Davy did not seem as active or cheerful as he usually was. I attributed this to the fact that my grandparents had decided to move to a house in the city, in part because of my grandfather's Muscular Dystrophy. Also, even with the lift it was getting harder for them to transport Davy downstairs. They needed a house with no stairs, and couldn't keep traveling back and forth to the city, especially in the winter. So when Davy seemed a bit depressed when we got there, I hardly gave it any thought.

While we were visiting, we went to check out the house my grandparents would be moving to. We took Davy with us of course, since he would be moving there too, and we wanted him to see his room. While everyone walked around the house, I went into Davy's room and sat down because I was bored, and hadn't really wanted to come. After a bit my grandparents brought Davy in to show him his new room. It was painted blue which was Davy's favorite color, so we thought he would like it. But he seemed preoccupied and hardly seemed to care, no matter how much we commented on it.

My grandparents live in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is an 18 hour drive from our house in Washington, to their house in Saskatchewan. Because of this, we stop at my Uncle's house in Calgary, and stay with he and my Auntie for the night before continuing on to my grandparents' house. The same is true for going back. So when we were done visiting we headed back home. While we were staying at my Uncle's house I mostly played his Gamecube with one of my cousins and her friend.

That night I had trouble sleeping. I woke up about 5 times. My cousin also experienced problems getting to sleep. Around 5:30am the phone rang, and my uncle answered it. My cousin was sitting at the top of the stairs at this time. I was still trying to get to sleep, but then I heard crying. It was my cousin, and I instantly knew something was wrong. After a few moments, my mother came down and informed me that Davy had died in his sleep during the night. "No" I instantly said, and turned away. Of course you can't deny something forever. After a while, I don't know how long, I came upstairs. Everything is sort of confused after that. And what I can remember, I don't really want to talk about. All I know is that there was a lot of crying and phone calls.

At one point my mother went up to the room my younger siblings were in, and told them the horrible news. As my mother continued to cry, my 6 year old brother asked her to please be quiet. He lay there with his eyes closed. "What are you doing?" asked my mother, after a few moments. "I'm watching Davy. He asked God to shrink him so he could fit on the back of a bald eagle. I can see them flying through the sky right now", he whispered.

When my grandparents later heard this, they decided to have a bald eagle pictured on the cover of the bulletins for Davy's funeral. They also chose a blue coffin for his body, since it was his favorite color.

My dad flew up to Saskatchewan to be a pall bearer at the funeral. He also had to drive me and my siblings home, because my mother was so upset she had to fly home. We also took one of my cousins with us. Two of them had been going to return home with us, but Davy's unexpected death caused one of them to want to stay with my grandparents.

Looking back, there were signs that Davy would soon be leaving us. His unenthusiastic reaction to his new room, or the fact that he wasn't as happy as he usually was. Still there is nothing to be done about it now. Davy had gotten pneumonia shortly before his death, but I don't think that was the cause, or at least not the entire reason. I think God decided it was simply his time to come home. He had dealt with his Cerebral Palsy his entire life, and greatly influenced many people, changing them for the better. I believe that God was rewarding him for his years of service on this earth. And someday we'll all be able to join him.


NTFrog said...

great job, Cryptic! Very touching...

Lowa said...

C- I will tell him what his Auntie C said! Thanks for all the snow, btw:)

clairesgarden said...

an 'infectious smile', this is a great writing. thankyou for sharing this story about your lovely Davy.

Library Mama said...

Oh, Lowa, this is so honest, so moving. Cryptic did a wonderful job.

How did you feel reading it? Did it bring up sad memories again, or did it make your heart warm?

I am sorry for your loss; I know it still hurts because you speak of Davy still so often. How are your parents doing?

(And I know what you're saying about the 100%, but it's awfully close to perfect work.)

NTFrog said...

(I wanted to say more, but the words don't come easy; and of course, the interruptions start and ... well, you know! xo!!)

Jude said...

Oh my, that was so well done!

Lowa said...

Claire-Yes, Cryptic does have his way with words:) You are welcome for sharing, he truly was a treasure!

LM-Thanks! Well...I actually choke up a little every time I read it. It does both, but mainly sad memories. The ones I won't deal with. I really think I need to finally deal with stuff and re-visit that day. It is just so traumatic and I fell into a depression right after. It is not healthy. I think when I write out my take on what happened, it will be very healing. Emotional, but I feel like it has to be done.

Thanks, yes, I love to talk about him! My parents are alright, thanks for asking. They have good days and bad days. Comes in waves, but is always under the surface.

C- Yes, I know:) Thanks for trying! LOL XOXOXO

Jude- Thanks!