Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Couldn't Shake It Off

Before Lauren's father passed away he was in the hospital for 5 or so days. Lauren went to the hospital every day, sometimes twice a day for hours on end, to visit with her dying father and to support her mom. Every day, as she would leave, Maxfield would ask Lauren where she was going.

"I am going to visit Pop-Pop in the hospital." She would tell him.

Max being the typical three year old would ask "Why?" to everything. We would answer, "Pop Pop is sick and the hospital is where sick people go."

Everyday that Lauren was away Max would ask for his mother and I would explain that Pop Pop was sick and in the hospital.

When Lauren's father passed away we explained to Max that "Pop Pop went to live with God."

Three weeks later, before my father died, he was in the hospital for 5 or so days. Every night that I would leave to go visit him Maxfield would object. "I don't want you to leave."

"I know Max." I would say. "But Pa is real sick and I need to go see him in the hospital."

Everyday I was at the hospital Max would ask Lauren where I was and Lauren would explain "That Pa was in the hospital."

After my father died Max asked a lot of questions. We explained that "Pa went to live with God."
Being a typical three year old he asked "Why?" to everything. We explained that people who get sick and do not get better eventually go to live with God.

That was almost a year ago.

Tonight while Max was playing with some of the neighborhood kids, he fell pretty hard and did a good job of scraping his knee. I told him to "shake it off" as I do every time he gets hurt. The mother of the other kids looked at his wound. Max was being very dramatic about how bad the boo-boo hurt and the mom, playing along with Max's seriousness and being very kind and sweet, asked him if he wanted to go to the hospital.

Max became very quiet and asked me to carry him home. I told him I couldn't because I had Wyatt to manage. He jumped into my arms and started sobbing and begged me to carry him home. I did.

Max cried into my ear, "I don't want to go live with God, Dad. I don't want to go to the hospital and I don't want to live with God.

It broke my heart and I couldn't shake it off.

40 comments:

Molly said...

Is Lauren going to have the baby in the hospital? If so, you might want to try to re-explain the reason for hospital visits.

C. said...

I thought you were going to say you guys were telling Max Mom would be going to hospital and he flipped out. I am with Molly, but I am sure you and Lauren already know what to do.

Anonymous said...

that sweet sweet baby...i'm so sorry your heart is breaking over this.

it will be okay...it's just learning and growing pains.

Melissa

Charlotte in Pa said...

They cut you right to the quick, don't they? It's something about the innocence of it all that just makes it more heart wrenching. I'm sorry that you had this experience, but as the others have said... maybe it's for the best. It will give you a chance to reason it all out with him before Lauren goes to the hospital. (Unless, of course, you're planning on delivering the baby at home to save more $ in the budget for Cheetos and Doritos)

Cole said...

Out of the mouths of babes . . .

The Q said...

GAH! Thanks for making me tear up.

I agree with Molly, I hope you can find a way to explain to him that not all visits to the hospital are bad ones before Lauren goes in.

Ali said...

My parents took my 4 year old Lauren to visit my dad's mom this past weekend. They went to church and afterward my mom heard Lauren talking to herself in the backseat of the car, about my grandpa, who passed away almost 2 years ago. Then when she got home she told my husband that she saw grandpa and he was all better. I sincerely believe she saw him at church. I'm not an overly religious person, but my grandpa was, and if he was going to appear to anyone, at church it would be.

Take Max to the hospital to see the babies in the nursery, soon, before baby brother makes his appearance.

Sharkey said...

If only the hospital could fix your pain. I can't believe it's been almost a year.

MoxieMamaKC said...

Wow. My daughter turned 4 last month and my husband's aunt died of breast cancer in January. It was the first funeral she attended and when we had to go and "say goodbye" it took her months to realize that doctors were ok. Her 4 yr check up drama made us realize that she was VERY scared of going to "live with God". She screamed, we cried and eventually she realized it was ok. She just didn't want to leave Momma and Daddy. My heart goes out to you guys....Just one more step to work our kids thru to adulthood. Look at it like that and you'll keep your sanity (umm...somewhat!) I want to just hug your kid...I'll let you do that, since you guys do it best...

Susie said...

Well. Everyone else has jumped right in and said what I needed to say, after I dried my tears. Gotta do some reprogramming: Most people who go to the hospital go there and get well and come home, and some even come home with baby brothers! Seriously, you have lots of indoctrination to do before Lauren goes. Our hospitals here have programs for the siblings to come, pre-baby, and take a tour and understand where Mommy will be, where baby will be, etc. I'll bet yours has that too.
And please forgive me for saying stuff that I know you already know. Just wish there were a way I could be helpful to your dear, sweet family.

Tracey said...

Hey Bill! You left me a commnet today on my bolg, Traveling Tracey. It is Tracey from UM. Did you know it was me when you left it? I have been hooked on your blog since I saw the link on your email about the reunion. Today you made me cry. Beautiful and gut wrenching all at the same time. I work with children Max & Wyatt's age and every day they amaze me with what they say and how they relate. Can't wait to catch up in Nov.!

Lowa said...

Boy, did I see that one coming! OUCH! I don't even know Max, but the idea of any child scared or crying just gets to me!

Yes, a hospital tour is certainly in order. SOON! That babe will be here before you know it:) When our third son was born, they chose him to do a bath demonstration for the tour of siblings coming in with their Dads and pregnant mothers. I can still picture the grin on our oldest son's face that wee newborn HIS brother was used for the demo. They had both (ages 6 and almost 4) been on tours of the hospital and it was very helpful for them.

Sometimes as adults we don't see clearly like the kids. And we forget how much still isn't obvious to them, since it has been obvious to us for so long.

Wow...has it really been almost a whole year?? I am sure it seems much longer to you. I know when my brother died...each day seemed an eternity...

This will get cleared up (esp since you and Lauren are such awesome parents!) and he will bounce right back. It is us parents who don't...

Mindy said...

Oh thanks...post this tearjerker while I'M in the hospital! Lol! I think your kid is probably one of the cutest kids ever.

Bogart in P Towne said...

Oh, I am sure that left a mark...I think you have a bit of explaining to do...

tracypartyof4 said...

I have a lump in my throat!

sari said...

Oh, poor little guy.

It's amazing to me the things that kids absorb and remember. Last year when I had the baby, we told the kids I was going to have a c-section and how it would work. Apparently we neglected to mention that they give me LOADS of medicine so it doesn't actually HURT because my ten year old was freaked out that it was going to be really painful and awful for me. Poor little guy, he didn't even mention it until the night before. You just don't think of everything but they do.

I hope Max is feeling better.

BOSSY said...

Awwwwwwwwwwww, poor smart thing.

AirmanMom said...

Sweet Baby...
Their little minds growing each day!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

iVegasFamily said...

That's so sad.

Michelle said...

Oh, that's awful.. he inadvertently made the association between hospital and death. That'll be a hard one to break. :(

nikkirae said...

Awwww.

Anonymous said...

Kenny Chesney song. Everybody want to go to heaven, but nobody want to go now.

Melinda said...

It was a good thing that this came out so you know what he was thinking.
How sweet he is, bless him.

On a different note. I used to tell my daughter to put on her coat so Jack Frost wouldn't get her nose. She always obliged Mc Snappy-like and had a fear of Jack Frost that I tried to undo but proved fruitless. Jack Frost was pure evil in her book.
We were visiting my sister in USA (daughter was 4) and my sister was making breakfast for us. She opened her freezer and the frost misted to the floor very ghost-like. (living here in UK, my
freezer was very different, so this was new to my daughter) Louisa gasped and asked my sister what was that? My sister said,'That was Jack Frost, don't you know?' Well, Louisa freaked out and was terrified! My sister didn't know what she had said to frighten her so. I tried to explain her fear of Jack Frost, but it sounded so improbable!
I learned a valuable lesson at my daughters expense. God, heaven, hell, The Tooth Fairy, Clowns, men in Santa suits, the Easter bunny, dragons can all be misinterpreted!

eclectic said...

Oh man... I was waiting for the part where it gets funny, Bill. Hugs to the grown-ups, and boo-boo kisses to Maxfield.

kalki said...

Aww man.

James Austin said...

That breaks my heart to even hear. I don't look forward to those types of situations with Lukas.

Practically Joe said...

Crap! Another post where I can't really say something funny!
I'm sure you'll figure this one out ... although it may take some time.

mominmentalmotion said...

Wow, what a moment for you. Kids sure test our limits and our hearts.

mrtl said...

booger, you made me cry

it's amazing how their minds work

(was going to mention birth, but see molly caught that already)

Sheri said...

Oh my. What a smart boy! That just broke my heart.

I'm with the others....explain that people also go to the hospital to get well and come home.

No_Newz said...

:( awww, poor little bug. Poor little you.

Aliisa and Sundy said...

From Sundy:
Okay, I just started reading your blog last week (including archives), and I usually end up giggling over them...

Then I read this one, and my heart swelled for the both of you. I am so sorry...

raisingtheboys said...

Oh man that hit me like a ton of bricks. Loss hits over and over again sometimes. And 4 year olds are so sincere in their fears and beliefs. ugh. heartbreaking.

And thanks for your thoughtful comment on my post today.

joanna said...

This is really cute and funny, but also a little sad! Kids can take things so seriously. He'll learn there are so many conditional things in life. That's why you are there for him -- for his comfort.

Circus Kelli said...

Oh.... ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

William, we can solve this. Lauren can have the baby at home. There are many mid-wives in this area, and they attend the Mom in labor at home. I just know Lauren'll love to hear this:) You can make it a family affair. We are all heading back to nature's way.Max won't have to go to the hospital, and you'll be the one boiling the water and bringing the clean linens to the birthing room, your bedroom. I'm laughing at the thought, but it may work. Call me when it's over:) Children's word association is difficult. Anonymous is right! "nobody wanna go now". Love you. momo9

Mainline Mom said...

Your poor kid, seeing his two grandfathers go to heaven and not understanding it. Which makes me realize I really need to work more on helping my boys get to know my dad, who they never met.

kcinnova said...

{crack}

that was the sound of my heart breaking

Sue said...

Wow, that one really got to me. I can sure understand why you couldn't shake it off.

sheila said...

OMG! Heartbreaking post. Beautifully written!