Friday, September 5, 2008

September 5th

The morning of September 5th five years ago I hung up the phone from talking to my cousin and checked on my six week old son taking his morning nap.

*my heart is racing as i begin to type this out*

I am one of those paranoid mothers who has to check if their kids are breathing frequently. He was so still lying almost face down on the guest room bed made of white bedding and wearing his white onesie.

*yes, he was on his stomach-he had reflux-doc recommended it*

I immediately panicked! I scooped him up and shook him. No response, of course. I started screaming and running for the door.

*i had no idea where i was running to-i wouldn't call it screaming-it was a loud whimper as if i were in pain*

I yelled to Sydney to call 911, but she followed me out the door. I was still unaware of where I was headed.

*my sweet girls forever changed by this experience were only five and two*

I ran directly across the street yelling, "HELP! Call 911! My baby's not breathing!" I banged on my neighbor, Laura's, door.

*we had had our babies within just days of each other-maybe that's what lead me there-to this day i regret putting her and her children through this-things were never the same after*

A neighbor man was headed to work and had to slam on his brakes not to hit me and my following of frantic girls. He followed us in to Laura's house. He talked to 911 and walked me through tiny, baby CPR.

*he had offered to do it-but no one was going to give my baby CPR but me*

911 finally arrived.

*seemed like an eternity at the time*

They too performed CPR.

*did you know CPR comes at the cost of $300 even if it doesn't work*

Bobby showed up. He rode in the ambulance with his son. Patty showed up and gave me a ride to the hospital. I had to go get shoes and makeup. I asked Laura to take Sydney to afternoon kinder for me. As I left Laura's house I looked up to see Sydney and her friend (Laura's daughter) Emma watching it all from the top of the staircase.

*who makes their kid go to school after all of this*

I put on foundation as I was driven to the hospital.

*who cares about makeup at a time like this*

Upon arrival to the ER I'm shoved off to a private, seating-type room. Bobby and his parents are there.

*you know things are bad when you get your own room at the ER-not an exam room-just a place to sit*

A pathetic excuse for a chaplain comes in to "pray" with us.

*we were already a hundred prayers in-we told him he could join us-i have never appreciated my religion more than through this trial-i do not know how people make it through this without the faith i have*

Maybe it was a nurse that came in and said they were doing all they could. Like the movies, I was waiting to hear about life support options and hoping my son would not have suffered any brain damage. She or he proceeded with BUT there is nothing more they can do and asked if we would like to come in and see our son. Then we went into yet another private room in the ER, but this one was a hospital room.

*gorgeous child-i thought he looked like me more than the girls-strong-healthy-beautiful-still*

They asked if we would like to hold him. I refused. Bobby jumped at the chance. He whaled as he held his son, and his parents comforted him. I stood back. It was my turn, but I had to be convinced.

*i wanted to hold him-i wanted my mom and dad-were they there, yet-i can't remember-i know Annette called them-she came to the hospital and so did Darren Stuart our poor, new bishop*

I held on and never wanted to let go. He fit so perfectly in my arms even with wires all around. "Sweetest Boy." I used to call him that. I just closed my eyes and kissed his forehead pretending he was fine. I opened my eyes, and we were still there.

*i still close my eyes and kiss my kids on the forehead-i pretend they are my baby and everything is fine for just that split second*

From that moment of holding my six week and one day old son on is a blur. I remember bits and pieces of the memorial service. I Know That My Redeemer Lives was played on guitar by two great men. That was my only request for the entire service. I didn't even want a service. Bobby insisted, and I'm glad he did. Darren said some words, and my dad read a poem he wrote. Glenda showed me her new boobs!

*i feel a certain ownership over the song I Know That My Redeemer Lives- no one has performed it as awesome as it was performed that day-thank you Eric and Jeff for making a memory to last a lifetime*

We put the sweet, little coffin in the ground, and it physically pained me to know his tiny body was going underground, but my faith in the knowledge that his spirit lives on kept me standing. I wanted to be buried that day with my boy, and I guess a part of me was, but a new part of me was born simultaneously. I am stronger, wiser, more faithful, more appreciative, kinder, and definitely more obedient. I hope to see Thomas Wyatt again one day, and I don't want to disappoint him. I should use the word we for this paragraph. Bobby and I are stronger and more faithful. We appreciate so much more. "T" is a special gift to our family, and he is not forgotten.

*i so often want to shout from the rooftops that i've had five children-people ask me how many kids i have, and i say four, but in my heart and mind i say five-he is not forgotten*


PEHNelson said...

I have written and deleted 3 comments. Just know that I love you! and I'm grateful to have met you and have met "T" just a few days before at Albertsons.

Gabriela Hull said...

Sabra, I don't know what to say. I cried for you today as I read your post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on something so personal.

alison said...

Sabra, you are a rock, you have lived through such an unendurable tradgedy. I am sure you were carried by our Savior during all that time, especially those hazy times after he passed away. He is lucky to have you and Bobby as his parents. What a beautiful thing the gospel is. I don't know how people can make it through losing a loved one without the knowledge that we will see them again. You will get to raise T on the other side. I too cried for you and your family while reading this. I can not even fathom going through something like this. We love you Sabra, thankyou for sharing this with us, reading it has made me stop and really think about the things that are important in our lives.

Tina said...

I admire your strength, and grace during such an impossibly difficult time.

You have written about it so beautifully. Each little detail added volumes to your story. For some reason, I have read this line again and again:

"*i still close my eyes and kiss my kids on the forehead-i pretend they are my baby and everything is fine for just that split second*"

brenda said...

Thank you for sharing your most personal thoughts, it has made me stop and ponder and realize how fragile life really is.
I admire your great strength. What a blessing little Thomas is to your family. What a awesome feeling knowing you will be with your sweet little baby again. I also believe you were carried by our Savior and he continues to carry you. You have a beautiful eternal family! I'm grateful to know you! You have a sweet spirit!

Channon said...

Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt memory with us. You are so strong. Love you

Jenn said...

I'm mostly glad that I didn't read this before I saw you today - I don't think you would want me weepy at McD's - but I wish I had known what a meaningful day it was for you. I'll just give you a big cyber-hug. We weren't living here when it happened, but I remember that my mom told me about it and my heart broke for you. Be sure that that boy is watching you, waiting for you, and counting on you, and that the love you have for him goes both ways.

And I do like this new, new blog look - she must have made more changes after I saw the post.

Love ya, my friend :)

The McEwen Family said...

Sabra my heart breaks after reading that and you are so strong and even though I don't know you as well as I wish I look up to you for being such a wonderful Mother and strong person. Just look forward to the day when you will all be together forever!

Laydee said...

I don't remember much about that event...except wondering why something like that happened to people-utter shock. The day of the service my opinion of Bob changed forever- he had been just an older brother to a friend, and kind of wierd. But to see his face...the faith and peace at something like that gave me respect and love for him...I've looked up to him ever since. I don't remember much was hard to look at anyone. I know he was called back for a greater work- but I could never be so strong as you were to except that...I'd still be in sweats eating cheetos.

nick and julie smith said...

Hello Bobby and Sabra,

I am Julie (Lemmon) Smith bobby's cousin. I came upon your blog from a link on Annette's blog. I don't know if this post is the best one to leave a comment on to say hi and its been a long time. I haven't met you Sabra and the last time I saw Bobby was at a family reunion in Durango probably more than 15 years ago ( I know eric was on his mission, maybe mid 90's) and before that it was in Park city in 87 (which I remember mostly only from home videos).

I am so sorry for your loss and with 2 children of my own can't image how I could ever get through that. You are so strong!

Don't mean to intrude by commenting on such a personal post when I don't know you Sabra and don't even hardly know my cousin Bobby that well.

I have a blog you can check out if you want it is
we are living in southern Utah (Kanab) we are one hour from page, Az.

I love you and wish you the best with all your endeavors.
Love Julie (Lemmon) Smith and family

Stephanie said...

Thanks for sharing Sabra. I found out about the lose of Thomas several months after the fact. My heart broke for you and Bobby that day. I never really knew all the details and I appriciate you sharing them today. I know that you and Bobby are two very special people and that Heavenly Father loves you. An experience like this (I think) either builds you up or tears you apart. You are a rock and you always have been! I still think that you should write a book about your life. Thanks for being such a good example to me! Your Friend, Stephanie

ashes said...

sabe, i cant believe it has been five years today. i remember it like it was yesterday. i remember all the time i got to spend with him and i wish it had been longer. i miss him and think about him every day. i dont know if i ever told you, but i admire you and bobby for all your faith and strength. i wish i could be more like you. i love you.

megan said...


Stephanie said...

Sabra...I've been crying for the last several hours since I read your blog. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. That is heart wrenching for any mother to have that happen. I send you and your family my love.

Nic said...

Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts... especially with all the blog world. Beautiful writing. I'm sure we all cried tears of sadness as we read you're post, but I know you don't want our sadness. I cried tears of amazement at your inner strength, and tears of joy of being blessed with your friendship. It was sweet to read your thoughts and feelings during those times. I've often wondered how you felt, you're always so stoic. He was a beautiful baby and I will always remember that you have five, fabulous children! You're such an inspiration to me:)_

Angela said...

Oh Sabra. Here's a hug. I love you.

grama said...

Sabe, I read again today. You are so wonderful. I have no words. They fail me. The pain is still deep, but it is behind a door I keep very tightly closed most all of the time. Know that I love you even though I can't really talk much about this. You are my hero as always. and Bobby, my sweet little boy grew to an amazing spiritual giant. I remember kissing his little head and holding him in my arms. I am forever your friend.

Mrs T said...

I remember when you told me all about this. I was (very) pregnant with Grace and we were driving in your Expedition. You managed to get only a little choked up and I had tears floating inside my eyes. My eyes are brimming with tears again. I can't imagine what this must have been like. I can't imagine what it is still like. What a sweet, special person Thomas Wyatt must have been. How grateful I am to know that families are eternal. What a joyful reunion it will be when you get to hold Thomas Wyatt in your arms again. You are an amazing person who has endured some incredible trials. Not just endured them, but endured them well and with strength. Love you.

nick and julie smith said...

here is annette's blog:

also here is my sister Natalie's(also bobby's cousin)_ blog:

Chredna said...

Unimagineable.....unbearable. You are the strongest person I know.

The Davis Diaries said...


Thanks to hormones I think I have been crying for hours! You wrote and expressed this so beatuifully. I have always wondered at you and how you could endure something that I look at as insurmountable. I have always been in awe as you enbarked on that journey again 2 times after such tragedy. You have a strength in you that I admire so much. Love you!

Annette said...

Ever since my baby was born, my biggest fear has been losing her. I still check on her constantly too, even though she's 6 months old now. On more than one occasion I've told my husband that if I lost her my life would be over. You're truly an inspiraton. The fact that you've been able to go on and be stronger is testament to who you are. Thanks for being strong and remember you'll get to raise sweet little Thomas Wyatt in the next life.

ashersjane said...

Sabra, not sure you remember me but I was in Yuma for the summer and you were GD teacher at the time. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this experience. I knew you were super amazing in the gospel, and this post just confirms that. Thank you for all you taught in class and for being so strong in the gospel. It was truly a joy being in your class! ~Ashley Harris

leinbachfamily said...

Thank you for sharing Sabra, I was very touched.

Meredith said...

Sabra, your words and thoughts have left me speechless. You are an amazing mother. There is no doubt that you will be with your son again. How sweet that will be.

Loving My Life said...

I found your blog on tip junkie and I scrolled down to see your oh christmas tree post and then I just kept reading. I have a 6 month old little boy that I also call the sweetest little boy and reading this just broke my heart for you and your family. I too am a mom that runs in to check to see if they are breathing. I can't say that I could be as strong as you are and I can only pray for the faith that you have. I believe that the lord leads us in places that makes us look at what we have and be more thankful and so tonight I am going to say a prayer for you all and one for me that I would have more faith in the lord and how thankful that I am for my two babies. Thank you so much for sharing this touching story. God Bless you ~Brandy