Every day I am so beyond proud to be Quinlan’s mom. I smile with joy knowing that he’s a part of me forever and he’s mine. But then there are days that I am completely heartbroken. The pride is still there but the pain takes over. I can’t lie and say I don’t wonder “Why me? Why us? Why Quinlan?”. But there has to be a reason, right? Is there always a reason?
Sometimes I wonder what would Quinlan have been like in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. But then I think, and this might sound terrible, I’m not sure Quinlan was put on this earth to become an adult. That sounds so weird, and maybe not sounding how I meant it to sound, so before you call me an awful person, let me try to explain what I mean. Quinlan was so amazing at only 2.5 years old, that he would have been off the charts, ultra-amazing as an adult. He would have been king status and needed his own castle because of his amazingness. He taught so much to so many people, that he would have been qualified as a genius by the age of 10 for the amount of knowledge he’d give to the world (Could the world handle two Doogie Howser’s?). He was so beyond handsome that by 18 years old, he would have been TOO good looking, even for GQ. It just seems like maybe Quinlan gave us all so much in such a small amount of time because that was what his journey was meant for. (Or maybe it’s something I’m telling myself to get by.) I see other kids his age running around and talking, like the mini adults that they are, and get sad because Quinlan should be there running around with them. But then on the other hand, that wasn’t him. He couldn’t run. And then the guilt shows up and I feel like a horrible parent for thinking that. But I can’t. Because I truly believe that Quinlan was given to us not to do certain things, but to show us that there are amazing qualities in all of us no matter if you have a voice or the ability to run, or neither.
I look back now and it seems to hurt more then it did before to think about the times he was laying sedated in a hospital bed, or having seizures, or blood draws. How much pain was he in? He didn’t cry, his heart rate wasn’t always super high but how bad was he suffering? During that time I was in such a “go go go” state of mind. “What needs to be done?” “What will fix him?” “Let’s get him better fast”. I didn’t have time to really think about what was going on and see what was actually in front of me. Of course I saw the bandages, the probes, the tubes, but I didn’t actually SEE them like I do now thinking back (does that make sense?) Looking back and seeing what I see now, I’m not sure how I didn’t lose it every minute of every day he was in the hospital. I suppose the reason is the defense mechanisms your body gives you to make it through those traumatic times. Because if not, I could not have been there for him as his mom.
And, of course, I think of the day Quinlan passed. That morning still feels unreal. The yelling, the beeping, the lights from the emergency vehicles. Going to the hospital knowing what words were about to come out of a doctors mouth to us. A surreal feeling if there ever is one. Yet through all of those horrifying, unreal, blurred moments, friends and family dropped everything to come be with us. Doctors and nurses called and came to check on us. Dare I say the day that Quinlan passed I felt more love then I thought possible. We never felt alone. And there are no words for that. Quinlan brought everyone together for us on that day. The day of his celebration of life was much of the same. Even more family and friends came to support us and support the amazing life of our little man. The love and support in that room was the most amazing gift anyone could have given us. Every single person who was in that room that day gave us something that we could never thank them enough for (here’s another THANK YOU for you all!)
So, we may continue to wonder why this happened to us. We will never know what Quinlan’s life would have been like in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years from now. I do know that one reason I’m still able to write about it, still get up in the morning, can still smile when thinking about Quinlan, is that we won’t have to wonder alone. Maybe there are reasons for everything that happen in our lives, maybe there aren’t. But I do know with everything that has happened, it has brought people together, it has created new friendships, and it has taught us to not sweat the small stuff. And for now, I’ll take that.