I have a story I want to share, but every time I try to write about what happened, it does not sound right. So I have decided I’m just going to tell this story as it unfolded, and hope it comes across as special as it is to us..
About half way through my pregnancy with Gavin, I started to see what I can only explain as a ghost in our house. It was a glowing figure, about the height of an 8-9 year old child. I would see it out of the corner of my eye, going into the nursery we were preparing for Gavin. Sometimes during one of my many late night bathroom trips, I would catch a glimpse of this spirit quickly passing the bathroom in the hallway, again going towards Gavin’s room. I have never been a believer, in fact, I’ve always considered myself a skeptic. So I kept what I was seeing quiet and did not share it with my husband or child.
A few weeks later, as I was passing by my then 7 year old’s bedroom door one night, I heard him having a conversation with someone. I stopped and listened, and could not hear anyone talking back to him, but he seemed to be talking to another child about something. The next day I asked him who he was talking to, and he simply said, “The little girl that has been visiting me when I have trouble falling asleep”. Alex has Aspergers, so he is honest to a fault – and he’s also not the most imaginative child out there. When he says something, you can take it as the absolute truth. I was blown away – was this little girl visiting him the same one I had been seeing in the hallway? I asked him some questions and he was able to give me complete details about his new visitor – from her whitish glow to some freckles on her face. He said she was wearing a long white dress and had her hair in braids. I couldn’t believe it … what I had seen was exactly the same. I had never seen her face, she moved too quickly. But I could tell it was a little girl, and she appeared to be wearing a long white nightgown. Alex said she would ask him what games he liked to play and talk with him until he would fall asleep. He said she only visited on the nights he was having trouble getting to sleep.
That night I told Jeremy about what I had been seeing, and what Alex had told me. I could see the color literally drain from his face. He told me he had been seeing something too – glowing white, from what he could tell a little girl usually walking into Gavin’s room. He said he didn’t know how to bring it up and thought I wouldn’t believe him.
So we all saw this little girl, and she became a pretty regular presence around our house. She would come visit Alex when he was having trouble sleeping, and both Jeremy and I would just catch small glimpses of her late at night. One time I woke up and saw her peeking into our bedroom from the hallway. I only dared to tell one friend about her, she was pretty much our little secret because we thought everyone would think we had lost our minds. We wondered why she had decided to hang around our house, but accepted her presence.
The rest of my pregnancy came and went, and as you already know our baby boy Gavin was born very ill. His brain had not formed correctly and from the moment he left the protection of my womb, he struggled to survive. Gavin spent his first two weeks of life in our local University Hospital NICU – and while I was up several times a night pumping milk for him, I would still see our little girl ghost. Gavin came home – very sick. He had frequent seizures and required around the clock care. As I would sit up feeding him late at night, I would see the little girl. Sometimes she would peak around the corner of his bedroom door, but more than anything I could feel her there with us. Gavin had horrible seizures – there is nothing worse than holding your baby, watching him seize and feeling completely helpless. On many occasions I would rock Gavin and cry, telling him it was going to be ok, this seizure was almost over .. while wondering how I was going to survive the pain of watching my newborn baby suffer like this. I felt her there. As my tears fell, I knew I wasn’t alone with Gavin, she was very close to us.
Gavin went back into the hospital to try and get his seizures under control. He was there another two weeks and again, while I was up at night pumping milk, she was with me. I saw her every night. Gavin came back home, still very fragile – on around the clock medications as well as daily injections. Again, as I was up with him each night, she was there. His seizures never improved, but as we struggled through them, she was with us.
After two weeks at home, Gavin went back into the hospital – this time, he would not return home. I was exhausted and decided to quit pumping – so I didn’t see our little visitor very much because I was at the hospital with Gavin all day, and sleeping at night. On December 19, 2010 – our sweet baby Gavin fell asleep forever in our arms. It was a Sunday morning, and we were preparing to meet with hospice and take him home the next day, but he was ready to go. Watching him die was the single most painful experience of my life – I can’t imagine anything will ever be that hard, ever again. But it was also very peaceful. He did not struggle – he went to sleep in Jeremy’s arms. The next few weeks are honestly a complete fog – funeral, Christmas, trying to survive and continue on with life for Alex .. while a huge part of you is dead inside.
Weeks went by before Jeremy and I realized that we no longer saw the little girl anymore. I asked Alex if he had seen her, and he said no. I could feel she was gone, not hiding, but completely gone from our home.
Looking back, I believe that little girl was Gavin’s angel. She appeared in our home right around the same time his brain stopped forming correctly, and she was with us until he was gone. I believe she was here to watch over Gavin, and take him to Heaven. She did her job, and we have not seen or heard anything since. I wish I could thank that little angel for taking care of Gavin and for giving me such comfort while I struggled during his life .. but I’m pretty sure she knows how much he was wanted and loved – and I believe she knew exactly why she was here, and how much she helped.