Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not The Mom Whose Son Died

Max, Max, Max, Max. It doesn’t matter how many times I say his name, he is not going to be coming back. Something tells me, if he had the choice, he would choose to stay in paradise and happily wait for us to join him.

As I close my eyes at night my thoughts, as hard as I try not to, usually end up replaying the events of Max’s accident.Tears roll as scenes flash by. A girl, waving from the dock. A voice yelling Max was hurt. Ryan and I jumping off a boat and swimming to shore. Seeing a crowd of family circled around my son trying to revive him. His little body moving up and down with each compression. Me, reaching for him and begging him to breathe. Ryan begging God to save his son. Holding his small hand in the ambulance. Disbelieving what I was seeing in the ER. Holding his face in my hands. Watching Ryan tell him how proud he is of him. The life flight. The prayers at his hospital bed. The scans that showed Max’s lungs and brain. The sickness that covered the scans. His body, so perfect on the outside. Holding him, knowing it was going to be my last time. Lifting his hand to my face, feeling it on my cheek. My cheek on his cheek. Whispering a message into his ear that only a mom could give her first child and only son. The Dr. declaring Max’s death. Telling the girls. Flying home without him. Our house. His room. His bed. His Legos. His books. The funeral. The burial. Knowing our life as we knew it was forever changed.

It’s not the pain and sorrow that finally lulls me to sleep but the thoughts of the amazing boy he was. I don’t want his accident to define me. I don’t want to be known as the mom whose son died in a boating accident (commotio cordis). I want to be known as the grateful mother of Maxwell Ryan Harris. Grateful to have been given 10 incredible years with a boy we called Max. Max, the older brother who made and packed school lunches for his sisters in the morning. Max, the boy who was excited about pretty much everything life had to offer. Max, the scholar and the musician. Max, the kid who never needed reprimanding, only reminding. Max, the boy that could make friends with anybody and make everyone feel included. Max, the protector and man of the house when Ryan was out of town. Max, the boy who would write his inventions in his journal, then read past midnight. Max, the boy that loved to lie on the warm sandy beach and surf with his dad. Max, the person who taught me so much about life and how to live it. The boy with the bright blue eyes and the crooked smile.

I am not the mom whose son died. I am the luckiest mom in the world who was privileged enough to have raised and be loved by the special angel that is Max.


8th birthday. . . Lego cake for breakfast :)




Ventura, Christmas 2009



Stay tuned for more living

20 comments:

Kelli Salter said...

love you leanne!

Meghann said...

all I have to give is prayers and love sent your way. He really is a special angel!

Rachael said...

You are an incredible woman.

Harris Family said...

You really need to write a book. Your words paint a picture!! Even though I wasn't there, I could picture everything you wrote. We love you guys!!

Mzbrandy said...

I am inspired by all of your blog posts and by your family. My little brother was a friend of Max's and I couldn't believe what he told me. I looked him up and found your inspiring blog. You are like a hero to me.

Christina said...

simple & perfect --the real Gospel.

You're awesome.

Megs said...

I agree with Shelly - you are an incredible writer and the things you share need to be shared. Your words are not just for you but for everyone who reads them. I think we all need the gentle reminders that you give us - I don't really know you but have learned so much from you. Your family is always in our prayers.

Mom said...

Dad & I loved it, although it turned us into blubbering idiots. You're right, Max was an Angel, but we had one too, you. He was so much like you Leanne, gentle, thoughtful,kind,loving and wise. We're so proud of you and Ryan, and the way you're dealing with these hard times. So much good is coming out of it because of the choice to put yourselves in the Lords hands, and one day ou'll be able to breath and smile again without the pain. We love you, Write a book. You were born to do this.

Steve and Jeri May said...

yes, keep writing Leanne...it blesses us all.

Amy Snell said...

Hi, so I dont actually know your family personally but I know two different people {that dont know each other} the know you guys and I have to say, Max sounds like the most amazing little boy a mommy could be blessed with!! Your words inspire me, as well as bring me to tears, but you have such an amazing family! Your a wonderful example of the type of mother I want to be to my children :) Your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, hope you dont mind :)

xoxo Amy

Freddy and Mandy said...

It's hard for me to type while I'm crying, but I'll give it a shot! You are my hero. My heart just swells with so much love for your family. If I were ever to describe the ideal "healthy" family in this situation, you are it girl. Much love sent your way...

Rhonda Riley said...

Dear Leanne,
There are a million ways for you to express your love for Max ~ you did it every day of his life :) Love you Leanne...you are still the 'little girl' we fell in love with when Ryan 'discovered' you! So young? So wise and warm...love and hugs

michele said...

Leanne,
It was really good to see you today -- I know it wasn't your intention to be a mentor, but you continue to teach me so much about family, love, living, staying present and being grateful. I love what you wrote about Max. He's touched so many people with his gifts and his sweetness. I think about your angel often. Thank you for sharing your journey.

ellen said...

I love hearing about Max and that you are keeping his memory alive.

Anonymous said...

Greetings to your wonderful family from Penni & Greg -- just want you to know you are in our prayers constantly. I cannot tell you how much MY family has been touched by your sweet, sincere comments on your blog. We love you all. Penni

The BRU Crew said...

Leanne,
There hasn't been a day that goes by that I don't think of you...now that you know I am your stalker...jk! Seriously, you have been in my prayers and just reading this post, I seriously cried and FELT YOUR LOVE! You are an INSPIRED person, a WONDERFUL WIFE and MOTHER and GORGEOUS might I add...I don't have to see it everyday, I just KNOW IT! Ryan and you are just AMAZING people! SO STRONG and so LOVING! So glad to KNOW you! LOVE YOU GIRL!!

Melinda said...

WOW! Thank you for sharing. Those are some of the most inspiring words I have ever read.

Anonymous said...

Leanne- Your words are beautifully written and of course I'm crying (here at the store) but that is fine with me. Your photos and stories help teach people compassion and love. Everyone has an interesting story to tell.
Thanks again for sharing yours with me.
Sharon O.

Dana said...

Leanne, I want to put my arms around you and give you a big hug. Your amazing.

Anonymous said...

Leanne
Your sweet Max is such a handsome boy! He is so special. I too lost my first born just two months ago in a drowning accident. My heart knows exactly how you feel. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Max. My sweet Ollie has blue eyes and blonde hair too!! I know both boys were too pure and too lovely to live on this wicked world. They were spared this awful trial. How thankful I am but miss my baby so so much as you know. Thank you for your blog and inspiring words. A big hug to you
With love Tiffany Hebb