Monday, Aug. 15, 1977 – Difficult, Scary and most of all Thankful,

We slept well that Sunday night ~ I think more from exhaustion than anything.

Our day got off to a rough start – (this gets kinda graphic).  Before starting my day I expressed milk for Jamie, the nurses at the NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit) kept encouraging me to do so for Jamie.  And then it was time to get in the shower.  And then I got dressed and then started crying ~ I was leaking all over everything!  Ron kept trying to tell me it was okay.  How could it be okay,  I had just leaked all over the only dress that fit me!  Now what was I going to wear to Royce’s funeral? After much reassurances from Ron and my mom I put on one of my favorite dresses that I wore throughout my pregnancy and felt a little better.  First crisis of the day averted.
We then got ready to go to the church.   I think we (Ron & I) were pretty nervous.  What was going to happen, what would people say, could I get through the funeral without collapsing?  And then we were walking into the sanctuary.  Ron and I went in alone.  That little casket looked so tiny compared to the altar.  And we walked up to it and ran our hands across it.  And we looked at the flowers placed on the altar.  I don’t remember who all sent flowers but I remember the Tupper’s had sent a bouquet of blue & white flowers.  The Tupper’s were my bosses from the real estate office where I had worked.  We had decided to have a closed casket.  We knew how hard it was to see our little boy in there and knew that it would make most people uncomfortable to see him like that.

The service began by the playing of Jesus Loves Me by the organist.  And then Adrian shared John 14 and some other scriptures.   And then we sang Jesus Loves the Little Children and .Jesus Loves Me.  And then Adrian prayed for God to be near us as we mourned the loss of Royce.  And then people walked by us, giving us hugs and loving on us.  We could not believe the number of people who were there.  Guys and couples from Ron’s work, my bosses from the real estate office where I had worked, some friends from the radiologists office where I had worked and people from our church. And our family: my mom and my two sisters.  Ron’s parents  and his brother and sister.  After everyone left the church Ron and I stood by the casket and told our precious little boy good-bye.  Definitely one of the hardest things we have ever had to do.

Royce is buried in at Palm Mortuary, 7600 S Eastern Ave., Las Vegas, NV.  We know his little body was buried there and we do go there when we are in Las Vegas we know without a shadow of a doubt, that Royce is in heaven with all four of his grandparents and other loved ones.  
And then we went back to the house where my step-dad had made finger foods for all of us.  And then the phone rang.  My mom answered and said it was the doctor from the NICU.  Immediately Ron & I froze and our thoughts jumped to what is wrong with Jamie.  We can’t lose him after just losing Royce.  My anxiety must have been evident because immediately the doctor said everything was okay with Jamie.  In fact, they were going to move him back to Women’s Hospital where he had been born.  They needed his spot in the NICU – great news for sure!!  The doctor told us to give them a couple of hours and then we could go to Women’s Hospital to see Jamie but to call first to make sure he was all settled.  No problem I said with a smile.

We continued to visit with family and friends till about 4:00 when we called the hospital to make sure it was okay for us to come to the hospital.  And then crisis #2 hit.  Women’s Hospital said Jamie was not there.  We then called the NICU – no Jamie was not there.  Where the heck was my baby????  I started crying and screaming.  What had they done with my baby?  No one seemed to know.  Ron took the phone from me and spoke with them at the NICU.  He then called Women’s Hospital back and spoke to someone in the nursery.  Jamie was in the nursery – he was just not listed as a patient at the hospital.  The hospital had never had a male admitted to the hospital that was not a newborn and they didn’t know how to do that.  After a lot of reassurance from the nurse and making sure Jamie was okay we made plans to go and see him that evening.  

Ron’s family also went with us to the hospital to see Jamie – their first glimpse at our other precious baby boy. 

We are so thankful for our family and friends who were there for us 34 years ago and every day sense.  We have lost contact with most of the friends we had when we lived in Las Vegas and yet God has  blessed us with many friend since and through this day.  We were blessed and surprised to see Pastor Adrian & his wife, Nancy, in Beaverton, OR when Brandon had surgery when he was 13 years old.  It had been 15 years since we had seen them but that didn’t  seem to matter – we visited and prayed together.  Shared about our families and enjoyed that unexpected treat of seeing them after so many years.  

Our family has faced many challenges and trials over the past 34 years but through it all the Lord has walked right beside us.  And for that we are thankful.  
Update on Jamie: he is 34 years old, lives with his sweet girlfriend, Suzanne and precious daughter Opal.  They reside in Washington State and we look forward to seeing them when we get back to that area.

Jamie, Suzanne & Opal, Summer of 2011

Thank you for reading along as I shared one of the hardest journeys we have ever been on.  Again, we give thanks to the Lord for his faithfulness, care and love along this journey we call life.

2 thoughts on “Monday, Aug. 15, 1977 – Difficult, Scary and most of all Thankful,”

  1. Oh, Ali…the story of Royce is heartbreaking. Very nice indeed to see Jamie with his family! They are beautiful! How are you getting on these days? I haven't visited your blog for a long long time now. Sending hugs and hoping all is well with you! (will get updated by reading your blog after the weekend!)

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