Here comes the sun

plaqueToday is a typical cold and rainy morning in Seattle. Nothing like it was five years ago when I was called into Children’s Hospital at 7am. It was sunny, not many people were awake yet, but I was oblivious to the world. Whilst in my car, I ran through every stop light in an effort to see my daughter one last time. When I arrived to the hospital, she looked like a very young Michelin Man hooked up to a bunch of machines. The nurses and doctors were scurrying around the CICU so much that I had no idea what was going on. The chaos was maddening.

Through the day, it was more of the same. Chaos. More machines, more drugs, more doctors working on my dear wonderful Emma. She had not ever left the confines of a hospital to enjoy the wonders of nature, but on this day, the sun was shinning through her spacious hospital room. At some point, one of the doctors took us aside to have “the talk” with us. This is not any talk a parent should ever hear, but unfortunately it happens every day. The drugs and the machines were doing their job, but it wasn’t enough. Em had been fighting to hold on for weeks and her tiny body just couldn’t take it any more. We had to let her go be warm in the glorious sunshine. It was the hardest decision any parent has to make, and though it haunts me every day, I take solace in the fact that we made the right choice.

As I do every April 6, I take some time to listen to the Beatles and reflect on what happened to me 5 years ago today. So much has changed in those five years and I do find myself playing the “what if” game pretty often. It’s a pointless game, but its an inevitable outcome when I reflect. Make no mistake, I realize I’m a very fortunate person and I do appreciate where I’m at and the people around me. It’s just so hard to NOT think about what it would be like with two daughters instead of one. Emma is with me all the time, and yet not at all.

I am constantly reminded of the lessons I learned from this tragedy. Those lessons shape my daily decisions and mold the values I instill in Ella.

Live life to the fullest now, don’t wait – day in and day out, I am reminded of this virtue. I see family members get sick and friends who pass away and I think to myself, what I have I done today to enjoy life to its fullest? If I can’t answer that  question with confidence, I go back to my blog and read from that fateful April five years ago. It is hard to fully embrace this virtue as life does get in the way, but if I can do one thing every day to enjoy life, I consider it a victory.

Love others to the fullest now, don’t wait – Considering our time on this world is amazingly short, its of utmost importance to love your friends and family as much as possible in the time you have. Different people show love in different ways, but I have found a simple “I love you” is the easiest and most effective way to demonstrate it.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to write a blog post today. Anyone who has known me a while, knows I used to blog about this stuff pretty often. I haven’t written anything in a long time, but something deep inside me said it was necessary today. Just writing this post has both inspired me and comforted me.

As I’ve been typing away, the weather around me has cleared up and the sun has come out, almost as if it were on queue. You funny little girl, its nice that you brought the sun with you on this special day. I love you, Emma. I can’t wait to spend another day with you.

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2 comments on “Here comes the sun
  1. Alex A says:

    You clearly honor Emma’s life, and in you, she still touches us today though we never knew her. Beautiful post, Matt.

  2. RobertinSeattle says:

    Matt –

    Thanks for sharing this part of your life.

    Life is for living with no regrets. It does no good to be lying on the street after that car runs you over and thinking to yourself, “I wish I’d told my children I love them one more time.” Just do it.

    Without a doubt, you were truly blessed by Emma’s presence, albeit so briefly.

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