Cooper would pass away Tuesday March 29th, at 7:10 PM.
It was raining in California that day, I remember around 5:00 PM staring out the window sipping a crappy cup of hospital coffee wondering what it would be like when Cooper died. At this point in our journey Cooper was heavily medicated to keep his pain under control, he had been asleep for a day or two. I believe that he could still hear us talking to him, but he couldn’t respond, we truly lost him days before he actually passed.
At some point around 6:00 PM my mom crawled into bed with her baby boy, laying with him for what would be one last time. I sat on the other side of my baby brother holding his hand softly. We watched TV and blissfully sat in his presence, holding him, just us three.
Soon enough my Dad came back into the hospital room.
I remember the look on his face so vividly it pierces my soul every time I think about it.
He calmly said to my mom, “Mary…”
I immediately turned my head towards Coopers chest and watched as he took one of his last breaths.
My physical body was in complete disbelief.
I had emotions and pains in my body that I’ve never experienced before.
I hurled my body on top of Cooper screaming for him to come back.
And then the strangest thing happened, they started packing.
My family, my Aunt and Uncle who were graciously around the corner to help us, packed. They weren’t just packing my stuff or my families stuff, they were packing COOPERS stuff.
My mind could not comprehend what was happening.
“You mean we’re actually LEAVING him here?”
As they packed up, I, still hunched over Coopers lifeless body, looked around.
I saw a white board filled with Coopers vitals and medications.
I saw Coopers XBOX and his gamer gear.
I saw suitcases and comfy sweatshirts lining the make shift air mattress my sisters and I slept on for a week, as we watched our brother die.
I saw my Dad, who had done every single thing he could to keep Cooper alive, to keep our family afloat, to save us.
I saw my Mom, who had sacrificed years of her life to live in a hospital room, who had just seen the worst of the worst, yet still had the courage to get up and believe there was something better out there for her one and only son.
I saw my sister Julia, who holds everything together with the grace of a ballerina, she promised Cooper she would be strong and she was doing just that.
I saw my sister Jenna, who suddenly became the rock everyone was leaning on, as a young teenager she took on the weight of the world for her brother and she would do it again in a heart beat.
And I saw Cooper, I’ve seen him in a million hospital beds, but not one quite like this. When I looked at him, he didn’t look like the Cooper I grew up with. Friends, he looked like Jesus. He looked like peace. He looked like heaven.
And then there was me.
There I was, holding Coopers lifeless body, never wanting to let it go.
I would of stayed there forever.
I sat there questioning every single ounce of the religion I believed in with all of me.
I sat there KNOWING my life would never be put back together again.
I sat there broken.
You see, I saw the strengths in every single one of my family members that day, except myself.
Because I never thought I would be strong enough to leave that room, walk to the elevator, get into the car, and drive away from Cooper FOREVER.
But I was.
I walked all the way down to the car and turned to my Dad and said,
“We’re just going to leave him here?”
We got in the car and left as a family of 5.