>No Return

>Twenty hears ago today I was taken to the hospital, six weeks early to deliver twins. Unable to stop the contractions, the Doctors let my labor run its course and two tiny beautiful babies pushed themselves into this world. They were rushed to NICU before I could even hold them and I was wheeled a bit later in to take a glimpse of them, and taken to my room.

Mark and my dad came in a couple hours later to say that there were some problems with Caleb’s lungs and he had been put on a respirator.

More vivid than any other memory of that day was the feeling of utter fear and panic that overwhelmed me late that night after everyone had gone home. I agonized in my bed, enveloped by love and fear so strong that it scared me. I kept thinking, “Life will never be the same. I am going to have this pain inside of me my whole life. There is no going back.” I pulled my IV pole and shuffled to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and just cried as I stroked my baby boys and whispered to them how much I loved them. The nurses let me hold Colin, connected to oxygen and IV’s. But I was only permitted to touch my fragile Caleb. My heart ached.

So many times I have thought of that fear and panic. And I was right. Although the panic is gone, that love and hurt, so strong it scared me, is still there. When they were bullied in school, I experienced hatred toward children I never thought possible. How can you hate another child? When they began to question their faith, rather than trusting God, I begin to question how this could happen when I did all I felt God wanted me to do in raising them to follow him. When I left Colin in KY for college and moved to CA, my heart bled inside the cavity of my body. That place became a dark cave rather than a heart of joy. With Caleb applying to universities back east, I fear that same darkness and emptiness.

My boys graduated from their teens to their twenties today. I still feel a love words cannot describe. And I still feel the pain mixed with the joys. Visions race through my mind today of that first night when I realized I was at a point of no return. Through the joys, the pain, the love, the fear, the worry; I don’t want to return.

I love you, Colin and Caleb. Happy Birthday.


About shandaoakley

I am a MK and have lived most of my life in Thirld World Countries. This greatly influences how I think, speak and write. I love my husband of 25 years and my three kids, ages 18, 21 and 21. We recently moved to Southern California and have set up life back in the US. I love my home, friends, animals, teaching and mostly Jesus! I believe life is a choice so I choose joy!
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