I Will Not Forget

March 29, 2010
Cheryl Darnell

I can’t believe it has been two years since I last saw and held my baby Billy. I still cry when I see an ambulance. Every time I’m with my nephew, who was born 2 weeks after Billy, I think of what Billy would look like and what he’d be doing now if he were still with us. When we take family pictures, it never seems complete. My husband teared up the other day at the tax services office when the rep told him she had to delete Billy from our “dependents”- his name, his social security number, his birthday. I know it’s just for tax purposes- but it’s another painful reminder that he’s not here. There’s something really sad about “removing” him from our family. Will he be so quickly and easily forgotten?

While many horrific details of that tragic Saturday morning have graciously lost their painful sting, I will certainly never forget what happened- and the devastation it left in my life. I won’t forget the image of my baby, not breathing, in his crib when I went to get him up to feed him. I won’t forget helplessly trying to give CPR to my son. I won’t forget how I pleaded with the EMTs to save my baby’s life. I won’t forget the long ride in the fire chief’s truck to the hospital and calling to tell my parents that Billy had died. I won’t forget the doctor meeting us as we walked through the doors of the ER, telling us that our son did not make it. I won’t forget holding my lifeless son in my arms in the hospital where I gave birth to him. I won’t forget begging God to bring him back to life-and then having to leave him there, never to see him again on this earth. I won’t forget coming home to a solemn, eery silence- and the toys Billy loved, spit-up stained clothes, and fresh dirty diapers that remained. I won’t forget the physical pain of every hug at Billy’s Memorial Service- because my body could not feed and yet had not yet stopped producing milk for Billy. I won’t forget collecting the mail one day- and pulling out Billy’s death certificate. I won’t forget trying to explain to a two-year old adoring big sister why her “Baba B” would not be with us anymore.

But here’s what I also will never forget. I will not forget wanting to go to sleep, never to awake again to this nightmare....and how God, in my despair and loneliness, became more real and more present than ever before in my life. I will not forget how God showed up every time I fell apart and how his Word proved its power as it began to speak hope and healing into my heart. I will not forget the family and friends that God surrounded me with to help me believe I could make it one more day. I will not forget the other three miracles God has created within my womb, who have brought such joy and healing into our lives. I will not forget the countless times I have worshipped, tears of awe, wonder, and thankfulness streaming down my face, because I believed and had seen that what I was singing was true! I will not forget the compassion God has stirred within me to be there for others who are grieving deeply. I will not forget the hundreds, thousands, and hopefully hundreds of thousands of lives touched by the love of God through SIDS America, the ministry calling God placed on mine and my husband’s hearts as we grieved the loss of our son. I will not forget the miracle of healing God has done in my heart so that two years later, today, I can say with confidence, “I am thankful for what God has done in my life and for the victory He has given us over death! I miss my little Billy, but I am grateful that he is already with Jesus. And I am another year closer to holding and being with my precious son again- for eternity.” I will not forget how the death of my son has brought me Life.  

Cheryl DarnellMarch 29, 2010

4 Comments

Thanks

Thanks for sharing these personal and moving thoughts with us. God's goodness is so evident, and your lives are a testimony to His grace and healing. Keep persevering with SIDS America as you bring healing to countless homes.

Little Billy

I am so happy that I know you!  I am so thankful for your amazing love and passion for God.  You guys have been an encouragement to me and have blessed my life beyond measure.  Praise God for the victory over death.  Praise God for new life.  Thank you for all that you are doing for other's who have dealt with the pain and suffering you have also experienced.

My heart is touched

Cheryl,

My eyes are filled with tears as I read the beautiful words you have written in this blog.  You have captured your journey in a way that I can feel it with you.  Thank you for releasing your heart to write, to ministry to others and to live again.  You and Little Billy are an inspiration to me in so many ways.  With love and remembering your precious son.

Paula

My heart is with your Cheryl.

My heart is with your Cheryl.  I have shared your story with many who are close to me and it breaks my heart every time to know what you all have faced. I pray for you guys and praise God for His never-ending faithfulness.

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