How do I let go? How can I face this world alone? Now I’m holdin’ on for dear life. But life won’t let me I know. So how do I let go?
The lyrics from Lisa Brokop’s song “How Do I Let Go?” were what I was feeling and kept repeating through my head again and again June 25, 2011, the longest day of my life. I had plans for that day, but God had different things he wanted me to do – things that I didn’t know how to do.
How do you watch your son’s body try to end its life for 12 long hours?
How do you listen to a doctor say “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst?”
How do you eat, because you know you need your strength, but it takes all you have to swallow?
How do you breathe, when your son is struggling for his every breath?
How do you imagine your life without the son you’ve nurtured and loved for 6 years?
How do you see your son’s body swell and turn blue and not be able to do a single thing about it?
How do you sign your name on a paper saying there is a good chance your son will not survive the 2 hour ambulance ride to Toronto Sick Kids because he only has about 2 hours to live?
How do you kiss your son good-bye when it might be the last time you ever do?
How do you drive 2 hours not knowing if at that moment your son is alive?
How do you carry a Lego sculpture from Chatham to London to Toronto without breaking it?!?
How do you give words of comfort to a mom that just lost her 21 day old baby girl?
How do you watch the sorrow and anguish of a mom and dad whose son just got admitted to the hospital because he tried to end his life?
How do you say goodnight to your son, knowing he may not make it through the night?
How do you sleep on waiting room chairs?!?
There were so many things to do that day, June 25, 2011, that I didn’t know how to do. The familiar poem, Footprints in the sand, says, “My precious child, I love you and would never leave you, during your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” I believe that when I could no longer do all these things above, God carried me through; it was by his strength and not my own.
God heard my wordless prayers, He saw my tear-stained face, and He felt my pain of seeing a son slowly dying.
Through many prayers, exceptional doctors and nurses and the ECMO machine, Luca did survive! I still don’t know if I’ll ever know how to let go. However, I do know God’s loving arms were always around me that day and the weeks to follow and His angels were holding me up when I couldn’t stand on my own. I also know that he formed Luca and He knows Luca so intricately and loves Luca more than I ever will. That I do know.
Ruth and John Mastroianni
Christian, Luca and Matteo