The Night Our
by Joe Seay
It was a perfect spring day. Sunny. Flowers in full bloom. A robin
singing. There was a bounce in my step as I entered the hospital where my
wife and newborn son were. We were blessed with our first child. A baby boy.
We named him Ricky Joe Seay.
Everyone was doing fine when I left the hospital
late that night.
The next morning I stopped by the hospital on my
way to work. I felt happy and excited. Life was rich and full.
Ricky Joe was born a little premature, but he had
been doing fine the night I left the hospital. Today I was going to visit
Sue, peek at our son through the nursery window and go on to work.
I walked past the nurse?s station and greeted
them with a big smile. Sue was awake, radiant and beaming with happiness.
The nurses had promised her that she could hold her newborn son today. We
held hands, talked and shared our joy. Sue could hardly wait to hold her
darling baby for the first time.
After visiting for a few minutes, I kissed Sue
goodbye and left. She waved and said she would kiss Ricky Joe for me.
Looking back at her, I could sense her happiness and excitement.
As I walked by the nurse?s station, one of the
nurse?s stopped me. ?Mr. Seay,? she said, ?your doctor is on the
phone and wants to talk to you.?
A cold chill washed over me and a lump filled my
?I?m afraid I have some bad news for you,?
the doctor said. ?Your son had some major complications last night. He was
born premature and his lungs were very weak.?
I suddenly felt sick, weak and scared.
?Mr. Seay,? the doctor continued, ?your baby
boy died last night.?
?No! No!? I shouted into the phone. ?It?s
not true. You?re lying to me!?
Two nurses appeared, took the phone and led me
into a private room.
Feelings of helplessness, fear, defeat and
loneliness overwhelmed me. Then I thought of Sue. She didn?t know. Someone
would have to tell her. But how could I tell her that her son was dead?
The doctor arrived and I asked him to go with me
to tell Sue. I?ll never forget the look on her face when we came in. She
realized immediately that something was terribly wrong. I held her close,
but I couldn?t get the words to come out. Finally the kind doctor told her
that our baby was dead.
Sue stared at me in shocked disbelief. With big
tears forming, she begged me with her eyes to tell her it wasn?t true. All
I could do was nod my head that it was true.
Sue and I clung to each other and our emotions
poured out in great heaving sobs. We ached together. The pain seemed to be
more than we could bear. Our baby was dead!
As family members arrived, they tried to comfort
us, but we couldn?t be comforted. It was too unfair. It hurt too bad. Our
dreams were shattered.
Trying to help, the doctor said, ?You?re both
young and healthy. You can have more children.?
He meant well, but we felt cheated. We were empty
and angry. Nothing mattered anymore. We felt our life had ended.
Someone began to pray and somehow we made it
through the day.
The night was much harder. Sleep would not come.
The day had been bad; night was worse. It was the longest, most horrible
night of our lives. Only God?s mercy and grace brought us through it.
Early the next morning as the family gathered, one
of them asked about the funeral arrangements. When Sue heard the word ?funeral?
she insisted on seeing her baby before he was buried. She said she wanted to
hold him once.
Nothing was going to change Sue?s mind and I
joined her in demanding that we be allowed to hold our baby.
Ricky Joe looked so tiny and helpless. He was so
sweet and lovable. We counted his little fingers and toes, hugged him and
kissed him goodbye. Then they took our baby away.
Our world suddenly seemed dark and ugly.
Our bodies and our spirits ached and moaned with
grief. We prayed and our tears flowed like a river. We felt so helpless.
There seemed to be nothing we could do.
Because of Sue?s medical and emotional
condition, she was unable to attend the funeral. Although our families and
friends surrounded me with their love, prayers and support, I felt so
lonely, angry, hurt and depressed.
At the funeral, the preacher said some nice
things, but all I could think of was, ?That?s my baby son they are
putting in the ground and covering it up with dirt.?
I kept asking God, why? Why did you take my son?
I returned to the hospital and spent the night
with Sue and we continued to ask, ?God, why did you take our son?? We
continued to cry and weep, pleading with God, and finally, exhausted, we
made it through the night.
With the help of our family and Christian friends,
we survived that painful experience in our lives by reminding ourselves that
we will have a great family reunion in Heaven with our beloved little baby
boy, our Ricky Joe. And we?ll be together forever and forever.
After the loss of our baby we continued to trust
God in the bad times as well as the good times. We were determined that,
with God?s help, we could move forward with our lives.
With help and encouragement from our church,
friends and family we committed our future to God and He blessed us with
four healthy children. Today, over forty years later, our faith is still
strong. We?ve been through some good times and some bad times, but our God
is faithful. He?s God in the bad times as well as the good times.
We still miss Ricky Joe and we?re all looking
forward to seeing him again at our heavenly reunion. C