God took him to his loving home...

The morning of the wake, I open my eyes, not wanting to go on with the day. I want to stay in bed and never get up. I toss and turn trying to go back to sleep.
It doesn't work.
My mom woke up with the Monkey so I could sleep in then sent him off to church with my father-in-law. Mom and I arrive at the church at 11.

Thankfully there isn't a lot of people. I am worried that I will walk in and be bombarded with condolences. My hubby had been bugging me the past couple of days about how he didn't think I should go. He kept saying that everyone was going to hone in and surround me, making me cry, and upsetting me. This only makes me more nervous.
I sit, feeling the eyes following me.
I listen to the songs, not singing along. Colt is wiggly and not wanting to sit still. I have to get up and chase him across the church a couple times. After the singing, the preacher stands up.
He says:
"God didn't give me a service today, so I will read a verse."
He goes on the read Psalm 23:
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside waters of rest.
He restores my soul;
He guides me on the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I do not fear evil,
For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff,
They comfort me.
You spread a table before me
In the presence of my adversaries;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and loving kindness
will follow me
All the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
For the length of my days.

"We will not have a service tonight as tonight is the wake for Corbin Caruthers. We hope to see you there"
I'm crying. People start coming around to give me a hug, shake my hand, and offer their "sorrys" and "I can't imagine." I can only nod and say thank you.

The programs for that day's service are what really get to me.
God took him to His loving home:
God saw him getting tired, a cure was not to be,
He wrapped him in His loving arms and whispered "Come with me."
He suffered much in silence, his spirit did not bend.
He faced his pain with courage, until the very end.
He tried so hard to stay with us but his fight was not in vain,
God took him to His loving him and freed him from the pain.

This puts so perfectly and eloquently how I feel about Corbin's fight. He fought so hard trying to stay with us. He never gave up despite all his suffering and pain. I felt relief when he passed because I knew he would never suffer again. I knew that God would heal his heart and lungs. He has no more tubes, no more wires, no more machine breathing for him. He is a perfect little angel now.

I tell my mom I want to put that passage on his headstone if I can. Along with a sleeping baby angel on top of the headstone.

The hours till his wake fly by. I kept myself busy cleaning and organizing the house. I don't give myself a minute to sit and think about what the evening is going to be like.

It is time.
We get dressed, drop Colt off with a friend of a friend, since all the family will be at the wake.
The drive down, my hands are shaky. I'm so nervous. I've never been to a wake before. I don't know what to expect.

We park in front, we are the first ones there. The Hubby takes Corbin's memory box inside.
The room is quiet.
There are about a dozen flower arrangements placed around his coffin. I remember feeling surprised that so many people sent flowers. There are flowers from family, from my mom's former workplace, from my dad's formal workplace, from a friend in LA, California, from Cody's coworkers, and from a high school friend of mine I haven't talked to in 6 years.
I take pictures before anyone arrives. We place the memory box in front on his coffin on the floor and open it up. I arrange some of his ultrasound pictures inside. We also place three 8x10 photos next to the coffin of us holding him.
People slowly start arriving. Seeing other mothers makes me cry every time. I know that they know the depths of a mother's love and even if they can't understand, they know how much it must hurt. I am surprised by how many mothers have lost a child. Be it a miscarriage, an infant loss, or the death of their 36 year old in a car accident; I am not alone.

I try and greet everyone. I'm not sure what to do with myself otherwise, so me and my best friend Rachel go hide in the coffee room. We come out periodically to "make the rounds" then go back and hide.
My brother arrives. I just hug and hug him.
Rachel sticks to my hip the whole night. I don't think I would have kept it together so well without her. We got asked about 4 times if we were sisters.
"I knew you had a brother, but I didn't think you had a sister!" My aunt-in-law tells me.
A lot of the Hubby's co-workers show up. I'm thankful he has guys to talk to. They will be able to keep his mind off the reason he is here and make him laugh.
I go to talk to another in-law. She has a two year old and immediately starts crying when she sees me. I can't help but start crying with her. She tells me that she would call her mother-in-law every day to see how Corbin was doing. She said the day she found out he passed, she just cried and cried. It helps, in a strange way, when I hear how hard other people took his loss. Maybe it's because they never met him but they were affected so strongly that makes me feel better. That his memory will never fade.

A couple that lives 2 hours away came to show their respects. I have met them once in my life yet they kept up with his story through the Caring Bridge website.

The Hubby's cousin-in-law's daughters colored pictures for Corbin. They came up to me and told me that they put the pictures in his memory box. I go over to look and burst into tears. One of them says "I miss you Corbin." I'm so moved and so heartbroken at the same time. I wish they could have met him. But I can only cry.

Overall, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Seeing his coffin there, in the middle of the room made me sad. I tried to avoid it mostly, as did my Hubby. It meant a lot that so many people showed up and that tears, other then mine, were shed.
I have never been so greatful for such a big family. I'm glad it went smoothly.
Tomorrow will be rough.


mama to j and bean said...

I wish I could be there with you. Know that I am thinking of you all the time!

Hayley said...

Hello, we have never met but I just wanted to let you know you are a true inspiration along with your angel baby. I have followed your blog for quite some time and checked it frequently. I have been in tears many times while reading and I sit here tonight in tears as I think of what you must be going through. I am sure you have heard this many times but please know you, your family and Corbin are in my thoughts and prayers. I admire your strength and love for your children, I can only hope that when I become a mother I will be half the mother you are to your boys.

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