Two years ago, on August 16th, my son Parker took his last breath. My husband and I held him as he joined his triplet sister, Abigail, in Heaven. My beautiful boy lived for 55 days, nearly two months. As I relive the days leading up to his death, I can’t help but cry. My heart physically hurts, crumbled into a million little pieces. I find myself staring at his pictures and videos, reminding myself of his every little feature. But, despite our short time with him, I try not to dwell. Instead, we call it Parker’s “Angelversary”, a day when I choose to celebrate life.
I celebrate the moments I had with my two angels, each breath and movement so vivid in my mind. I think back to Abby, my survivor’s identical sister, and I picture the early days of my pregnancy. Abby was the loud one, making so many movements to show she was there. Peyton kept quiet, allowing her sister to make all the ruckus inside the womb. And the moment Abby arrived at 22 weeks 6 days, she made it known; the doctor saying, “Baby B is kicking me! She just made a squeak.” It’s so ironic, since Peyton is the wild child, and I picture Abby being the sweet and innocent girl.
While Parker was active, kicking and shoving his sisters in the womb, he arrived into this world as the perfect angel. His time in the Nicu was hectic for nurses, yet nearly every picture we have shows a different story. Parker had a calmness about him. His blonde, wild hair and perfect little face, giving us plenty to stare at for hours on end. And as I held him each day, the numerous wires and tubes would disappear in my mind; his quiet breathing and warm embrace filled my heart with joy. Much like my son did for 55 days, I choose to celebrate life.
I picture the moment doctors placed both Parker and Peyton on my chest, two of my triplets together at last. I had waited 6 weeks to hold them together, nurses racing against time to untangle their cords and tubes. I watched as sister Peyton placed her arm around Parker. I witnessed a special connection, as if she knew her brother needed a little extra love. At that moment, I found myself at peace and decided from then on, I will celebrate life.
On August 16th, at 2pm, doctors began slowly removing every tube and wire from my son. Parker’s feeding tube, which supplied him my milk, was taken out; his oxygen vent removed, finally allowing us a clear view of his gorgeous little face. Doctors handed me our child and we began to rock him, not knowing how much longer he would be with us on earth. In a room surrounded by family, I read him our favorite children’s books. I refused to break down because I didn’t want Parker to know I was hurting. After all, I am his mother, and my motherly instincts kicked in. Parker lived for four hours without any assistance, opening his eyes wide every time we thought he might take his last breath. Looking back to that day, Parker was the poster child for our motto…choosing to celebrate life, not dwelling on what is out of our control. And even after he passed, his celebration continued: the yellow roses that were at his funeral, refused to die. The bouquet sat on the Nicu desk for weeks, the beautiful buds so full of life.
We choose to celebrate life this weekend as we remember Parker and Abby. My family will continue our tradition we began last year, donating children’s books to the Nicu where our children called home. And we ask you to join in and celebrate life. Last year, I asked you to do a random act of kindness in honor of my children. Reading how so many of you honored my triplets made my eyes swell with tears and my heart swell with pride. Whether it’s paying for someone’s Starbucks or simply helping a stranger with their groceries, it can be big or small. Taking the time to do a kind gesture will show us all how much good is in this world. And please share with me your random act of kindness, here on Perfectly Peyton or my Facebook page. Words cannot express how proud I am of my three children. They inspire me to be a better person and their imprint in this world is far bigger than I could ever have imagined. As I smile through the tears, I picture my two angels. They are not dwelling on the sadness, they are celebrating life.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
To read Parker’s Story and why he passed away just shy of two months old, click the link: Parker’s Story
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