Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Amanda Marie ( 06/21/82 to 07/06/82 )


My beautiful daughter, Amanda Marie, was born this day 28 yrs. ago. She was our first child and a joy to see. Amanda was the first girl in our family in 2 generations. My oldest brother had 4 sons and as time passed, we had three sons.

Amanda became ill on July 4, 1982. We weren't sure what was the problem and called the hospital. They told us that she most likely was changing patterns and it would pass. It didn't pass and we called the hospital the very next morning. They asked us to bring her to the emergency room.

We lived within walking distance and headed out to the ER. When we arrived, one of the pediatricians from our practice came in to see her. He told us that he thought she had a cold. I explained to him that she was diagnosed with a small palate and had some x-rays taken before she left the hospital to go home for the first time.

Well, he wanted to see those x-rays and suggested we take more.

My wife, being a juvenile diabetic, returned to our home to get her insulin and I went with Amanda to get the x-rays. I returned with her to the ER and the doc said that her heart was "noticeably larger than the last x-ray." I looked at him in utter disbelief. He saw my expression and asked me if I knew anything. Of course, I did not.

I asked that she be baptized before heading the Penn State Hershey, Pa. Hospital. He told me that I could drive her there. I told him to get an ambulance in asap to egt her there.

By the time my wife got back to the hospital, Amanda had been baptized and was heading out to the ambulance. I had to explain to her what was happening... Not a good thing to have to do.

We got to Hershey in about 40 minutes. By then, Amanda was not breathing well.

The doctors in the ER did a preliminary exam and told us that they needed more extensive tests to determine the severity of her problem. I about one hour, the one head doc returned to our little room and told us that there was nothing they could do. She had a partial right ventricle and the shunt b/w the ventricles was now closing. Her blood was starting to back up and wasn't passing through her body and being cleansed. It was a matter of time until she would pass... "Not her, Lord, take me!"

Bargaining with the man upstairs does not work, folks. I have proof of that.

Amanda survived through the evening and was given bicarbonates in her bloodstream to help her feel more comfortable.

In the morning, she was still with us and I was holding her when the monitor showed that her heart was slowing. I called the nurse to us and asked her what she thought. She got a doctor to Amanda immediately. He looked at me and said that it wouldn't be long. I asked him to unhook her from all the monitors and I.V.'s, which he did.

As I stood up, holding my precious Amanda, she died.

I carried her into our little private waiting room and told my wife that she is no longer with us. Folks, that was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life and will always be.

She had a beautiful funeral and many of our friends and family attended. When we got to the grave site, the funeral company did not have anything to lower her into the grave. I told my father that I would not leave this graveyard until I knew my daughter was in her grave.

My dear father used to work at this church cemetery with his grandfather when he was a young man. They would mow the grass and dig grave sites, lower the coffins into the grave, and do the final work.

My father asked the grounds keeper if he had any rope available. He did and my father ask me if I would be willing to help him lower our Amanda into her grave. I agreed.

With the help of my dad, my brother-in-law, the grounds keeper, and me, we lowered Amanda into her grave.

Some people have asked me how I could do such things. My only answer is "faith."

Take care, Folks. Thank you for visiting "Fishing With Dad". I appreciate you coming to read my stories about great fishing adventures and a little about life, too.