In June of 2008, we discovered we were pregnant with our second child. We had tried for almost two years to get pregnant. We were so happy and excited. On October 4, my Papaw George’s Birthday we found out that Avery would be getting a little brother. In one of the ultrasound pictures he was doing the “farmer wave” (his pointer finger was sticking up, for you city folks). Avery was so excited! Daniel was so excited, and I was just happy that everything looked healthy and fine. I knew he was a boy all along anyway!
We waited and anticipated Denton’s arrival; he, like his big brother, Avery, lodged his feet into my rib cage the last few weeks before he arrived. Coincidentally, for Christmas I bought all of the ladies something purple, which is February’s birthstone color. On January 25, I went for a checkup, and was admitted to the hospital because my blood pressure was high. I was really upset, because I was afraid that I would be induced early, and have Denton in January, which was not a purple month.
Luckily my blood pressure came down, I was released, and sent home to be on bed rest (ha ha). I went back a couple of days later and my doctor scheduled me to be induced on February 2, 2009 — Groundhog Day.
Denton was born with no complications, beautifully, and healthy. It was such an easy delivery compared to the traumatic and painful delivery of Avery. I told Daniel before they even cut Denton’s umbilical cord that I could have another one, if it was that easy. We were so thankful, grateful, overjoyed, proud.
I soaked up every minute I could with Denton. I thought I knew how hard it was going to be to go back to school, because I remembered how hard it was to go back after Avery was born.
We enjoyed every minute and milestone we had with Denton. He was such a cooperative, happy, and content baby, sleeping exactly three to four hours from the first night (too bad I could not sleep).
We took Denton to church, to Murfreesboro to meet Katie, to eat Japanese with Callie; he was at the 2nd Annual Coffee County FFA Bash, the TN State FFA Convention. My Mom, sister Sarah, Avery, and I even took our little buckaroo Denton to the beach, Hilton Head and Charleston. What a beautiful baby he was; he was going to be my little cowboy — long legged and beautiful.
After eleven fulfilling and joyous weeks, I had to go back to work. This was actually two weeks longer than I had planned on staying out of work, because Avery had to have his tonsils removed, which gave me an excuse to stay home longer. I knew that Avery’s successful surgery and recovery was a blessing, but I had no idea at the time just how much of a blessing it was.
On April 20, 2009, I returned to work. This was the week of our annual FFA banquet, and usually a stressful week, on top of what was taking place personally. Nonetheless, I recall being very peaceful. On the evening of April 22, Daniel, Avery, Denton, and I went to pick up a mother cat and five brand new kittens. When we got home with them, the mother panicked and ran off. We thought that she would come back, so, we decided to leave for a little while and go eat dinner. I remember saying to Daniel that something bad was going to happen. Our lives at that point were just so good with our two beautiful and healthy baby boys; we even said to each other that night that the mother cat running off must be our bad thing. We should have known better than to relocate a mother cat and newborn kittens.
The next day, I was preoccupied not only with the kittens, but also the FFA banquet. I nursed Denton, dropped Avery off at pre-school, and stopped in at the vet clinic to get milk replacer to begin bottle feeding the kittens. I dropped Denton off at the sitter’s and got a beautiful grin and kiss before I drove myself to the school. I worried with those silly kittens all day, but had talked several girls in to taking them home before lunch, knowing that I did not want to be responsible for bottle feeding them. Little did I know that that horrible day, April 23, 2009, the kittens would be the least of my heartache.
Denton passed while at the babysitter’s home. She was an acquaintance of the family and of several teacher friends; there are many more details about what happened, but they are still too painful to post.
I remember everything that happened from about 1:03 on that day. I can play it back in my mind like a movie. I will spare you the details, but one thing I do need to share is the fact that God wrapped his arms around me and my precious little boy that day.
When I arrived at the hospital there were several total strangers that felt the need to comfort me, so I knew. I walked in that horrible room, and I knew, I knew, this was the bad thing — worse than I could ever have imagined, and nothing that I could prepare myself for. I screamed for God to bring a miracle, and just as those words came out of my mouth, I felt arms around me and a loud but living voice say, Denton was a miracle. This is the first and only time I have truly heard God’s voice, but it was surely him. In that moment, there was no way that I could have thought that myself.
For the next ten hours I held as tightly as I could to my little boy, knowing it would be the last time I saw his beautiful face on this earth.
I miss him so much — I not only miss him, but I miss the future that I looked forward to with him. I miss him so much!