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Light of my Life

November 15, 2011

It was mid November and already very cold in England. We blew smoke out as we breathed, it hit us in the faces like icicles as we surged forward‎ relentlessly. Both of us were tired after a very long 16 hours, tension and stress wearying us as the hours wore on. But the adrenalin coursing through our veins kept us going.  Eventually we reached our destination and our footsteps rang out on the steel stairway leading up to the apartment. Midway we paused….my son-in-law and I. We looked across the landscape as we caught our breath and silently watched the the sun rising over London. It was going to be a beautiful day after all. We could not contain our elation, excitement and relief that it was finally over. We needed sleep but we were both buzzing, gratitude overflowing from our hearts. It was his birthday and he had just cut the umbilical cord to his perfect 30th birthday gift.  His joy ran over there on that stairway and he turned to me in the golden glow of that London sunrise and said to me “Moo, I could become a midwife at this moment and do this for the rest of my life!”  Amazing words for me, retired midwife, to hear this man uttering, this chef with big rough hands, full of burns from gas fires, used to wielding a chefs knife and cleaver! Forever changed because they had held his tiny newborn son.  I smiled as my heart and soul resonated with what he was saying and the reason for him saying it. How very precious an experience it had been for me to be allowed to be a part of my firstborns first labour ward experience, my hands the very first to welcome this new life, to become the light of my life, into the cold harsh world. Little did we know what was in store for us then.

When he was just a couple of weeks old one night, at around 2am, I heard my daughter struggling to get Ty to sleep so I got up and went through to the lounge to help her. She handed the colicky baby to me to settle while she went off to the kitchen to get a drink. As I held him he settled and fell asleep. I got up off the couch to place him in his crib and as I looked down at him he went limp and started turning a dusky dark grey colour. I realized immediately that he wasn’t breathing and began resuscitating him as my daughter came back into the lounge. Wailing sirens split the still night air as the angels of mercy came to carry him away back to the hospital where he was born just weeks earlier. But he was breathing fine at that stage and they could find nothing wrong with him. So they sent him home. The same thing happened again the next night and once again he was resuscitated and rushed to hospital where he spent two weeks being monitored 24 hours a day. Many apnea attacks followed and we got more and more concerned for his survival. After having had every conceivable test carried out on his tiny body, every inch of his hands and feet punctured for blood test after blood test, lumbar punctures, cardiac tests, CAT scans……they discovered that Ty was suffering from reflux. Reflux so brutal that the burning took his breath clean away …Once on the correct medication he was sent home again with an apnea mattress and instructions on how to feed and care for him. He took his medication for 18 months and then we started weaning him off it.

I'm mad about you Papa

He talks to the animals
With Leila Ali….the boxer 🙂

 He’s a wonderfully caring and compassionate brother….and joker!

 My beautiful boy – the light of my life – we share such a special bond and I thank God I was there that night……

earlier tonight we celebrated his life and gave thanks for the wonderful 8 years that he has spent with us.

We are so blessed to have him in our lives!

8 years old.

Happy Birthday Damon and Tyler! You are both very precious and loved!

We pray that God will bless you both richly in the year ahead and hold you always in his infinite care!


40 Comments leave one →
  1. whippingitup permalink
    November 15, 2011 12:19 AM

    So much love, FG! xxxxx

  2. November 15, 2011 3:18 AM

    That is a beautiful post Colleen.

  3. Fiona permalink
    November 15, 2011 8:08 AM

    Wow Colleen – what a wonderful story, and what a lucky boy that his Gran was with him that night… no wonder that you share such an amazing bond. Family must be the most precious commodity on this earth. Thank you for sharing x

    • November 15, 2011 9:55 AM

      Thanks Fiona. I agree, family IS the most precious thing on earth. We need to keep the nucleus strong to survive! Thank you for popping by xx

  4. November 15, 2011 8:18 AM

    Awesome story, O Captain, my Captain – thanks for sharing! xxx

    • DONALD GROVE permalink
      November 15, 2011 9:04 AM

      What a heart warming post with love overflowing xxx

      • November 15, 2011 10:20 AM

        Whoop! Lovely to see you here babe! You are learning 🙂 Love you xxx

    • November 15, 2011 10:19 AM

      Thank you Jo! Hugs to you! xxx

  5. November 15, 2011 10:03 AM

    So beautifully written Colleen! Bless you for sharing this personal heartfelt story. Happy birthday to your SIL and beautiful grandson.
    🙂 Mandy

    • November 15, 2011 10:21 AM

      Thank you so much Mandy for such a lovely comment and for the birthday wishes. I shall pass them along! Hugs xx

  6. November 15, 2011 10:36 AM

    I have goosebumps all over my bod …. what a beautiful piece Collywolly xxxxx Happy happy birthday to them both xxxxxxx

  7. November 15, 2011 10:41 AM

    I’ve also got goosegogs! thank goodness you were there! (I confess to wiping a tear)

    • November 15, 2011 1:14 PM

      Hehe….goosegogs! Thank you so much Sue, as a gran you understand!! xxx

  8. November 15, 2011 10:49 AM

    the Boxer pic has me in tears, along with your words xxxx

    • November 15, 2011 12:33 PM

      Sorry Tandy, I know you miss your doggie so much. Hugs xx

  9. November 15, 2011 11:07 AM

    Wonderful and warm post Col. The love you have for your family just lights up this posting xxx Happy birthday to the lads, both your son and your grandson. The pictures are beautiful.

    • November 15, 2011 1:15 PM

      THANK YOU!! I will pass on your wishes Coll. Hugs xxx

  10. November 15, 2011 11:21 AM

    What a fantastic experience to have been there at his birth – your description took me back 2 weeks or so to my own labour experience. New life is truly a miracle!

    • November 15, 2011 12:33 PM

      It is indeed angel. Treasure every moment with your beautiful girl xxx

  11. Tessa permalink
    November 15, 2011 11:26 AM

    Your words remind us what is truly important in our lives and should never be taken for granted, thank you Colly x

    • November 15, 2011 1:16 PM

      If they have achieved that then I am happy!! Thank YOU Tessa xx

  12. November 15, 2011 12:33 PM

    Oh boy, I’ve read this with tears in my eyes, because I ‘see’ so much love with every word I read. Happy birthday for your two precious’s!

    • November 15, 2011 12:34 PM

      Thank you Debs. And thank you for the birthday wishes. I will pass them on. Much love to you three over there xxx

  13. November 15, 2011 12:45 PM

    What a lovely post Colleen!

    • November 15, 2011 1:17 PM

      Thank you! And thank you for tweeting it too. Much appreciated xx

  14. November 15, 2011 2:56 PM

    Gorgeous kid that!!! Did not know that daddy was a chef!? Love the one of him and Don! xxxxx

    • November 15, 2011 2:58 PM

      Thanks Chanty. Yes he was indeed! Here and in the UK. He is a gorgeous kid 🙂 Nice to see you around here 🙂 xxx

  15. November 15, 2011 3:35 PM

    Wow such a beautiful post, Colly. Thank you for sharing.

  16. November 15, 2011 5:42 PM

    Such a beautiful post, blogMamma – and how terrifying that must have been for S!! He is such a great looking boy – not sure if I should say he takes after you or Don hahaha (not sure who will be more the moer in if I snub them LOL!). love that pic of you and him – stunning. Lots of love to you all!

    • November 15, 2011 9:26 PM

      Thank you Jeanne! It was indeed terrifying times. We spent a LOT of time at Hampstead Heath hospital in those days…that stolen peaceful moment of him and I is so precious. I think it was taken by S. LOL! Ty started off looking just like his daddy but as he is growing he is beginning to resemble his mum more. So lets just say that he is a good mix between us all….so everyone should be happy! Love you xxx

  17. November 15, 2011 10:03 PM

    Happy Birthday D & T and you are so lucky to have Colleen as your Grandma! It is a miracle you looked into his crib that night when he stopped breathing the first time Colleen and that you knew what to do! Apnoa is frightening and I hope his reflex is something of the past. The reflux must have been so painful for him

    The night after our daughter was born she was sleeping with me in my room in the hospital and I was still sleeping the anaesthetics off. A nurse popped in at around midnight and for no obvious reason she popped into the room a bit few minutes later as well. The second visit was such a blessing! As she came she saw Mia’s face turned blue as she stopped breathing and she grabbed the baby and ran off to her to the NICU and was put on a respirator. The docters were very concerned about possible brain damage because of oxygyn starvation. However, the Lord is Good and listens to prayers. He healed her completely and after 10 days in NICU for her, she could go home and (on an apnoa mattress) and she is 100 percent fine. She didn’t got another attact either but I can tell you, you watch them like a hawk and she slept on that apnoa mattress for a long time. She was perscribed caffeine for a while as they thought it would help her heart not to forget to beat again.

    • November 15, 2011 10:15 PM

      Sjoe Marietjie, you understand that fear too! Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, Ty is very healthy these days and the reflux disappeared when he was about 2 years old. And that apnoea mattress followed him around wherever he went for a long time too. It was difficult to eventually remove it and be able to sleep peacefully! I am so glad for you too that the nurse came back for a second visit that night to your hospital room. Hugs xx

  18. November 16, 2011 10:45 AM

    The little bundle of joy is adorable, Colleen! You are really courageous to face such difficult situation with an ease. I would have broken down…to see my grandson struggling like that. A perfect grandmother and a loving daughter you are. Hugs and kisses to both.

    • November 16, 2011 1:47 PM

      Thank you so much Sanjeeta. We never know what strength is in us until we are faced with difficult situations. Fortunately my nursing experience took over to calm me. xx

  19. December 14, 2011 3:06 PM

    You make being a grandmother sound so glamorous. Happy belated birthday Ty.

  20. December 19, 2011 2:54 PM

    Thank you so much Inzwakazi. So nice of you to visit and comment. I will pass on your message to Ty 😉 xx

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