February 18, 2011

Oh Peanut

Oh Peanut.  This mama longs to be murmuring sweet words into the velvety soft spot where baby fine hair gives way to a sweet smelling neck.  Just when the tears begin to subside, another wave comes crashing in.  Every part of me aches.  She's gone.




Wednesday, we held our breath, watching the monitor of the ventilator to see Sophie take hers.  She didn't.  Our girl.  Our feisty, feisty girl picked her battle.  It wasn't the one we would have chosen for her.  She fought to leave this world, to be rid of the body that trapped her so.  


She won.  


They started coming.  Slowly at first.  Each time a new face entered Sophie's hospital room, a reverent hush would fall, that deep rooted and quiet respect for what was to come.  In time, the mood would lighten some and laughter would occasionally ring out.  Then, the door would slide open again, giving pause and time for silent reflection. 






I tried to be good.  I tried my best to share these last and fleeting moments, each visitor taking a turn at holding Sophie one last time, caressing her cheek, kissing tiny dimpled fingers until I finally threw down the mom card.  I needed her back in my arms, unimaginable panic rising up in me.  From time to time, I'd glance at the hands on the clock above her bed, pleading with them to stop.


Eventually, the guests began to go.  Aunt Kelly was the last.  The anguish and terror in my heart clearly reflected on her face as she reeled back in her chair, pushing away from us as if there were some way to escape.  "No!" she sobbed.  Then she too took a turn in the blue hospital rocking chair.  Cradling.  Loving.  Already mourning.  




After she left, WM and I gave Sophie one last bath.  We gently rubbed and dried and applied lotion to every soft curve and chubby baby wrinkle, memorizing every last bit of her tiny being.  Leaning onto her bed, whispered stories carried us well into the wee hours of the morning until exhaustion finally chased us into bed, if only for an hour or so.  


We begged it not to, but time marched on.


With the light of day, our grief stricken group gathered, grandmas and grandpas, one uncle and an auntie-to-be, faces stained with tears, choking back sobs.  Channing, unaware of what was going on around him, constantly asked for chapstick for 'Baby Sopie', the ever concerned big brother wary of the vent tube protruding from Sophie's mouth.  He applied the chapstick and every time he did, he leaned in to kiss her bottom lip.  Oh sweet boy, you may not have memories of your baby sister, but she has had a profound impact on the person we see you becoming.  The love and compassion emanating from your two-year-old body is humbling to say the very least.


WM says she was kind to us.  It happened quickly.  The monitors were turned off.  The tube was removed.  I cradled her weary body in my arms as she gently slipped away.  One last time she was passed from embrace to embrace until she finally returned to my arms.  


I clung to her limp form, kissing her now tape-free cheeks, whispering words of love and singing loud enough for only Sophie to hear, just one last time to my sweet baby girl, an Irish lullaby.






Sophie Meredith Flynn
July 23, 2010 to February 17, 2011

6 comments:

KC said...

Oh Holly. That was just so.
So beautiful...
So emotionally raw...
So perfect...
So right.

Melissa said...

I am at a loss for words...
you never fail to amaze me...
whether it be your strength or your words-you have taught me so much about what it means to be a mother.

Molly said...

I can't even begin to explain how I feel! Your thoughts and words are so strong Holly. I just don't know what to say...

Lynnea said...

Beautifully put, my friend. Your little Sophie will be with you always in your heart and soul. She is an angel among angels and she was blessed to have you as her mommy and WM as her daddy. You gave her a very loved and cherished 6 months. I feel blessed that I had the opprotunity to be with you and that special little baby in some of her finals moments. I will cherish it always. Love to you all.

Holly Johnson said...

Holly, you are an amazing mother. And Sophie definitely knows how much she is loved and cherished. Thank you for sharing such a beautifully written sentiment. Love and prayers to you and your family.

MJ said...

Holly and Michael....

I am so torn up over Sophie. The 2 of you have been challenged in so many ways over her life and I can not begin to imagine how hard it is to have to say goodbye.... But I can tell you that little Sophie's life had a huge impact on Nathalie and my life. Knowing how much Sophie did for us I can only imagine what that little girl did for the 2 of you...

Our Lucy is 3 months now and everyday we look at her and know that we have to cherish her for everyday she gives us... We have never taken one day for granted because Sophie showed us how fragile their little lives are.

The amount of courage Sophie must have had to fight for her life everyday just makes us realize that we have it pretty good and that when challenges come up in our life that seem too tough to handle or deal with, we have to think "What would baby Sophie do?"

I am pretty sure most days what baby Sophie would do..... is take the love and support she had and give her mom and dad the best day she could. She was given 6 months to show us that if a little person like her can overcome the biggest challenges in life, we should be able to handle the little ones that come to us big people.

We are so sad today to know she wont be here to share her life with us... But I promise you her life will be with us all for as long as we have here and I will always be thinking to myself in tough times "What would baby Sohpie do?" So today I will love my family and be thankful for everything I have becuase Im sure thats what Sophie would do...

love,

Cousin Matthew