Apr 4, 2009

Goodbye to a Beautiful Baby

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I met my four-month-old niece Elena only three times, and since my sister and I live six hours apart, I unfortunately only spent time with Elena Lindsey Bolton while she was in the hospital in Ann Arbor. After a 10-day struggle to recover after open heart surgery, Elena's small heart finally gave out this morning.

Yet despite the fact that my only time spent with Elena was when she was under sedation, a bond formed between us after the first picture we received from her parents. Since she was hooked up to dozens of wires, IVs, and drainage tubes, I was never able to hold Elena, though I did get to touch her foot and see her toes wiggle.

I am told Elena was a very happy baby who was good natured and quick to smile. Last night I thought I saw your eyes move under your eyelids, and I like to think that you heard our voices. Of course, I had no way of knowing that last night would be the last time I would see you taking your peaceful baby breaths, though certainly when I left C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, I knew that the prognosis had taken a turn for the worse.

So Elena: I pray that you are in a more peaceful place, where children need not worry about heart bypass machines and where they can run and jump and climb trees and do all the things you did not get a chance to do. I take some comfort in the fact that you are no longer suffering, though I am sad that I will not get to play tag or kick a soccer ball with you.

Elena, you probably already know this, but your parents were at your bedside every day for these difficult days, only leaving when the doctors kicked them out or when they paused to eat some cafeteria food. What your mom missed the most, though, was to simply pick you up and hold you, running her fingers through your hair and giving you kisses.

And truth be told, so did I, though you have to promise not to ruin my reputation as a would-be tough guy by letting anyone know this.

I wish for you to be in a place where the sun always shines and where you can roll in he grass with goofy puppies and eat as much Halloween candy as you want. Or for you to simply enjoy another life, a chance to live the life that was cut short in this world.

And I hope that we meet again some day, and you can tell me all the corny kid jokes you never got to share.

Goodbye, beautiful baby.


Elena Lindsey Bolton

November 20, 2008 - April 4, 2009

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss, Mike. She was very beautiful!

Middle Aged Woman said...

So sorry, Mike. I haven't spoken to Tom in awhile, and didn't know Paula had had a baby. Love to her (and you)from all of us.

historymike said...

Thank you, Anonymous. Elena was indeed a sweet baby.

historymike said...

Thank you, Mary. Hug everyone up there for us.

Molly said...

I'm so sorry, Mike. My heartfelt condolences to everyone who loved baby Elena.

historymike said...

Thank you, Molly. It is so sad to see any loved one pass away, but I think it is doubly hard for parents to outlive their children.

Jill said...

Mike, I'm so sorry. Thank you for sharing this, so we may all hold ours a little bit more tightly. May your niece be of blessed memory.

Carol said...

Mike - what a beautiful child.

My sympathies to you and your family on this tremendous loss. Elena was certainly a beautiful child.

She will be held in God's hands and her tiny heart will beat forever while she shares her smile through the clouds.

microdot said...

Mike, I may make jokes on your blog, but today, my heart goes out to you and your family, sincerely.

Historychic said...

I am so sorry for your loss Mike. She was a beautiful baby. At least she is not suffering anymore and is in heaven with the angels.

dr-exmedic said...

Our condolences, Mike....

steve said...

In the short time she was here, she brought much needed light into this world, a light that created a bond that will stick with you for an eternity. My condolences.

Anonymous said...

Belated condolences, Mike, for the loss of your lovely niece. Your poignant and touching words in honor of Elena moved me to tears. She was special.