How I wish I could turn back the time and go back to April 10th, 2013. Looking back there are so many things I would have done differently. We lost Tate very early in the morning on April 11th, 2013. Brandi woke up in the middle of the night to his Angel Mat alarm going off and woke me up in a panic. You can read the whole story over on Brandi’s blog, Stuck With Us. It was a horrible night.
On April 10th, 2013, Tate had been sick. Nothing out of the ordinary. We had been in contact with our pediatrician about it and were monitoring everything. Lexi and Hunter had been sick the previous weekend so it was not a surprise that it was making the rounds through our family. We were up at the cabin and they both got a stomach bug that lasted 24 – 48 hours. When Tate got the same bug we were concerned, but we figured it would run its course and he would be okay.
April 8th, 2013, was a Monday night. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game was on. Louisville beat Michigan. I remember the game because Tate, Hunter and I watched it together. Hunter was just getting over his stomach bug and Tate hadn’t got sick yet.
I remember every detail of that night. It was the first time Tate played ball with Hunter and I. We sat in a circle with our legs out and we would roll the ball to each other. Tate laughed so hard every time the ball moved. When he would miss it, and it would roll past him into the kitchen, he would take off scooting on his bum to retrieve it. Laughing the entire time.
This was easily one of the best nights of my life. At the time it seemed like a rather ordinary night, but looking back I can still hear the pure joy in Tate’s laugh as he played ball with his Dad and brother. Even though he was missing his hand, Hunter and I had already planned how he could play every sport he wanted to. That night Tate was out to prove he was going to be an exceptional athlete.
The next day, Tate started to feel sick. We took it easy on Tuesday night and let him rest at home. Brandi and I always fought over who would get to cuddle Tate and this night Brandi was victorious. He wasn’t feeling well, so he was perfectly content cuddling with her.
April 10th, 2013 was a Wednesday night. My calling in our church had me away on Wednesday nights. That particular Wednesday I was attending the temple with the youth in our ward. I got home late that evening.
At the start of April, I had switched companies at work. Work had me pretty stressed out getting up to speed on all of the projects I was taking over. In addition to that, I had recently been approved to start working out again after major knee surgery the previous December. I had been getting up early to work out before work, so when I got home that evening at 9 I was pretty exhausted.
Brandi had been worried about Tate all day. She had called Tate’s pediatrician because he was throwing up quite a bit and seemed very tired. It seemed to be the same stomach bug Hunter and Lexi had, so we hoped it would pass quickly
There was always a concern when Tate was throwing up. His whole life he was on a feeding tube because he would aspirate while eating. He could also aspirate while throwing up, so we were very worried about him. Brandi spent the day on the phone with various Dr’s trying to see if there was anything she could do to help Tate. They all reassured her that everything would be okay.
When I got home I was finally able to relax and hold Tate. This was always my favorite part of the day as he was very calm and would often put me to sleep. I could tell he wasn’t feeling well, but he was very calm as I held him. The only thing that was out of ordinary, is he kept reaching for something. He would reach toward our ceiling and there was nothing there. I remember commenting to Brandi how strange it was that he kept reaching up, but I figured he was reaching because he wanted Brandi. Who can blame him, right? She is the best Mom, of course, he wanted her.
That evening I went to bed around 10, which was very early for me. Brandi stayed up with Tate as she liked to hold him until he fell asleep. I kissed them goodnight and went to bed.
How I wish I would have stayed up with him. If I would have known that would have been my last interaction with him on this earth I would have never left him. I wish I could go back and thank him for all that he taught me in his short life. I wish I could go back and see how happy Brandi was while holding her sweet boy. I wish I could go back and hold him again. I wish I could go back and let him know how much I love him.