Remembering Moments Part 4

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I didn’t know how hard this would be to write, so I’m going to write it quickly with minimal editing and publish it.

Remembering Moments Part 1 | Remembering Moments Part 2 | Remembering Moments Part 3 | Remembering Moments Part 4 | Remembering Moments Part 5 |Remembering Moments Part 6 | Remembering Moments Part 7

We held on and cried, whispering comfort to each other. A nurse came in and asked Russ if we wanted to see Kalkidan, and without hesitation we said, “Yes.”

They wheeled my bed into a room where Kalkidan was lying on another bed. She was covered to her shoulders with blankets; her left arm was uncovered. There was a tube in her mouth, but otherwise, her face looked beautiful. I reached out to touch her arm and hand. With the brace on my neck and my other injuries, I was nearly unable to move. We hugged, cried, Russ stroked her face and hair.

I remember through the fog thinking, “This can’t be real, this can’t be real.” The pain medications running through my veins were making me very tired and I found myself drifting off and then coming back. I wanted so badly to be clear-headed. I knew this was a moment of huge importance for the rest of my life. How I wished I could get up off the bed and wrap her in my arms, but I felt trapped.

Russ held his hand to my mouth, I kissed it, and then he laid my kiss on Kalkidan’s cheek and forehead. He prayed for her, for us, and traced a cross on her forehead with his thumb – as we do every night when we put our children to bed. She looked beautiful; and terribly still.

Russ tells me that a couple of times a nurse came and asked if we needed more time. Finally they said it was time for us to say goodbye. They wheeled me out of the room and began moving me down the hall to have an MRI. Russ went back into my room and wept.

Next I became aware of a man talking to me, preparing me for the MRI. I asked if he knew my daughter had died and he said he did,  and that she was in a better place. I recall thinking he was just speaking platitudes to me, but as he spoke, I realized he actually understood it to be true.

He offered headphones and asked what kind of music I wanted. I remember saying something like, “I don’t know, maybe something peaceful.” He looked in my eyes and said, “How about worship music?” I was so thankful I began to cry, “Yes, worship music is perfect.”

I slept again, but each time I woke, words of life were being sung in my ears and comforting my heart. In the midst of tragedy, I needed Jesus; I desperately needed him near – and he was.

[For the medical providers reading this, and for the rest of us too, I want you to know that the words you speak and the comfort you offer mean more than you can imagine to a person who is hurting. I will never forget the kindness of the MRI tech, or the nurse who held my hand, or the doctor who was so gentle with my heart when he had to give me the worst news a mother could ever receive. You matter – what you say and do in those critical moments has the potential to bring your patient great comfort in their most vulnerable and painful time. You will be forever woven into their story and not forgotten.]

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

22 Comments

  1. Sharon
    March 26, 2015

    Reading with tears and praying for your this morning.

    Reply
  2. Sarah
    March 26, 2015

    Lisa, thank you for sharing. May God bless you and give you peace, and bless this beautiful written memorial you are sharing with us. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Luann Yarrow Doman
    March 26, 2015

    Sitting in a coffee shop reading this, tears in my eyes. Sometimes it is so hard to understand God's ways, isn't it?
    Even if he explained his reasoning, I'm sure our puny minds couldn't grasp his explanation. But still. It hurts.
    And so we cling to the fact that he is good and trustworthy and beg him to come down and comfort.
    Love to you and yours.

    Reply
  4. jentompkins
    March 26, 2015

    As I'm reading this through my tears, the song "Healing is in Your Hands" by Christy Nockels. Praying these words over you this morning, sweet friend.

    No mountain, no valley, no gain or loss we know
    could keep us from Your love
    No sickness, no secret, no chain is strong enough
    to keep us from Your love
    to keep us from Your love

    How high, how wide
    No matter where I am, healing is in Your hands
    How deep, How strong,
    And now by Your grace I stand, healing is in Your hands

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 26, 2015

      So beautiful. Thank you, Jen. I'm listening to lots of worship music these days and often I listen to the Called to Love 2104 playlist on Spotify. What a gift the worship was that weekend.

      Reply
  5. Melissa Kugler
    March 26, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your heart and story. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to tell. Love you all and praying for you.

    Reply
  6. Bethany Mullen
    March 26, 2015

    My heart aches for you and your family and what you endured. As I read this I was blown away by how physically present God was with you through it all. The caring medical staff, even the man who knew enough to know you needed worship music. It is a beautiful picture of the sustaining presence of God. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  7. Chantelle
    March 26, 2015

    Tears. Just tears.

    Reply
  8. Julie
    March 26, 2015

    Oh Lisa…just crying with you today…

    Reply
  9. Mary Ostyn
    March 26, 2015

    ahhhh……I'm sososo sorry….but grateful there were people there to comfort you.

    Hugs,
    Mary

    Reply
  10. thandilocks
    March 26, 2015

    Amen. What a blessing in such terrible moments, to find thoughtful staff.

    Reply
  11. Ann
    March 26, 2015

    Tears and compassion for you. Life can change in the blink of an eye and reading your story reminds us all to cherish each and every day–even the hard days. And I love your reminder of how even some of the seemingly simple things, in our interactions with others, mean the most. So true. Sending hugs and prayers and pouring out tears for you all.

    Reply
  12. blessed
    March 26, 2015

    Crying with you here at the end of reading. I'm so sorry–and yet so happy for those tender moments. I ache for you. God is merciful and just, faithful and faultless. Most of all He showers his love upon his beloved ones. I am praying that as you heal, you will keep seeing his love, in so many ways.

    Reply
  13. Jeri
    March 26, 2015

    Only the peace of God…

    Reply
  14. Kathy Boyd
    March 26, 2015

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I cannot even begin to know your pain. You might find some comfort in the song, "Hello after Goodbye." It's on you tube several times.

    Reply
  15. Sammie Fick
    March 27, 2015

    Grief is a long journey, with many ups and downs. As hard and painful as writing this has been, its an amazing gift that you are sharing. We all will face grief, it comes in so many ways to all of us. Knowing details, even these most painful ones, prepares us for when we will face our own times of grief.

    I also know that in writing this, and feeling this pain, yet again, it will in the long run help you to heal. I write this as someone who has faced my own life's grief and also has worked with others facing theirs as a social worker. Not stuffing the pain and letting it raise to the surface as it will, is how it becomes less, and eventually the pain won't be as acute.

    From the bottom of my heart I want you to know how much your blog has meant to me. I have two very challenging kids and your sharing about you and Kalkidans journey through helping her recover has brought me much peace. I am so sad for you, but also glad that she was with your family and knew love. That is the greatest gift.
    Sending you love and support.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 27, 2015

      Thank you, Sammie. I waver on whether this is good to share, but it is helping me and I hope it’s helping other people as well. So very nice to hear from you.

      Reply
  16. Mary
    March 30, 2015

    I am so sorry for your loss. Love and prayers to you and your beautiful family.

    Reply
  17. Sadee
    March 30, 2015

    Crying with you….I am so sorry. Thank you for writing.

    Reply
  18. Elizabeth
    March 30, 2015

    Thank you for sharing, thank you.

    Reply
  19. Susan Ringoen
    April 2, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing with us Lisa. I too am sitting here crying. So much pain!! I am so, so sorry you have had to walk through this deep, dark, awful valley!! And, I praise God for His promises and your faith and seeing His Presence with you in this valley! Oh, yes, I believe Kalkidan is in a better place, but ohhh…the pain you are left with here! So much love and continued prayers for you and your family!

    Reply
  20. Sherryl
    May 17, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing. I had the privilege to know Kalkidan while she was a student in Helena and I was a secretary. As a mother who has also lost a child, your story of lost moments is so familiar. I too have gaps of time that my husband has partially helped me fill in. But I truly believe The Good Lord has protected us and given us only what we really need. Bless you and you family. Please continue to write. It is healing and inspirational.

    Reply

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