Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 9 - Dear Nicholas Spark (Guest Blogger Susana Maria Rosende)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

My son, Sean Matthew, was born on April 29th, 1988 in St. Peter's Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ. When Sean couldn't breathe on his own, Xrays revealed he had a Diaphragmatic Hernia.

Sean survived the surgery that repaired the hole in his diaphragm. The plan was for him to be flown out-of-state to Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital, and be placed on the only available lung bypass machine.

Sean never made it to the Pittsburgh Airport. He died during the flight, having lived only 15 hours.

Though his life on earth was short, and I was permitted to hold him for just a few seconds before he was rushed off to surgery, Sean has had a profound affect on my life and that of his brothers. I will always love and miss Sean. He is in my heart, forever.

At nine months pregnant, I was looking forward to bringing my second little boy home. My first born, Brian, was 18 months old. My then-husband, Michael, and I had recently purchased a real bed for Brian, leaving his crib for the new baby.

Since we knew that I was once again pregnant with a boy, we picked a boy's name right away, and always referred to the baby as Sean. Ironically, the ultrasound revealed the sex of our child, but not the birth defect.

Preparing for a life with two little boys, we painted their room blue and decorated it with Disney characters. We dreamed of our lives as a family of four, with two little boys growing up together, both in Little League, going to school together, double dating, being best friends.

Our dream shattered in pieces, with the shock of Sean's birth defect and death, and culminated in the breakup of our marriage and family.

April 29th, 1999 is the 11th anniversary of Sean's birthday. His big brother, Brian, is 12 1/2, learning to play guitar, getting straight A's in the sixth grade, and excelling in track, basketball, soccer, and football. Brian is also an artist, an avid reader, and music lover.

Five years after Sean, there is another brother, Joey. Joey is in Kindergarten and almost six years old. Mischievous and always on the go, Joey takes everything apart to "see how it works," enjoys building things with Lego's, K'Nex, and even paper, tape, and cardboard boxes. He dreams of being an inventor.

I have a full life as a single, working Mom to Brian and Joey, but I always long for my second-born, Sean. I wonder what Sean's dreams and talents would have been, and I regret that I didn't get the chance to hold him, kiss him, help him with his homework, and even scold him for teasing his little brother, sneaking the dogs into his room, or muddying the living room carpet.

When I say I have two boys, I always think three. In my heart, I love Sean as much as I love his brothers. I will always miss him.

Sean's mom, Susana Maria Rosende (Florida)

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