Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Essay

The morning Sage passed away his Aunt RaLee was there.  She was there when he entered this world and she was there when he passed away.
RaLee comforting Crystal when she was in labor with Sage

Sharing a moment over Sage's Casket

RaLee was 15 years old and a sophomore in high school when Sage died. This experience has touched her life in many ways. Before her freshman year at college, this fall, she went on a trip to California. Where she visited many of the beaches up and down the California coast. Her love of the ocean, coupled with Sage's memory, influenced her first college essay. I was so touched by her words, that I had to share it.

"I stand on the edge of the midnight blue shore paralyzed by the ocean's beauty. The majestic tune of the oceans breeze fills my ears and sends an enchanting feeling down my body. Forever is in my sight, serenity engulfs every inch of me, and at this moment in time, I am at peace. All of a sudden the oceans substance begins to spiral into a dark suffocating hole. The wind joins in by shouting out its fierce chords that anxiously take me into the abyss of darkness.

My eyes fly open and I see a familiar face shouting words to me that I cannot comprehend. I scan the room and notice that the clock reads 8:32 am and I can hear panicked voice's outside my neon green door. My father drags me out of bed and repeats himself three more times. I pull myself together and fixate on the movements of his mouth. Within five seconds my body sinks back into the black hole of my prior dream.

Cold sweats drench my body, my lips begin to quiver, and my heart is pounding through my chest, as if I had just finished running a marathon. My body is immobilized and I cannot move a single muscle. I stand beside my bed as my dad runs to the closet, grabs my shoes and puts them on my feet. I playback the words he has been shouting at me in my head repeatedly. "Sage is dead, Sage is dead. My grandson is dead." I'm steady staring at the porcelain angel on my bedroom dresser and a rush of adrenaline fills my soul and I take off running for the truck.

With my knees pressed hard against my chest, I try hard to focus on the surroundings that fly past me outside my window. Tears fill my eyes and everything becomes a blur. I reach for my chest to retrieve the knife that was plunged into my heart, soon coming to realize that there was no knife there to begin with. It feels as if i had been driving for a lifetime and suddenly we arrive at my sisters' home. My family runs up the giant staircase and makes a dash for the wooden doors at the end of the hall. The door flies open and sunlight drowns my eyesight out back to where everything was only a blur. I search for my sight and my eyes fixate on the fallen angel sprawled out on the floor.

It took all my will to walk towards the baby boy. With each dreaded step I pushed myself to take, two more knives were thrown into my heart. I make it to the fragile angel and without thinking, I fell to my knees. Chaos arises around me and yet my soul and mind are at a standstill. I reach for his hand and grasp onto it lightly. The words, "I Love you Sage," drift out of my mouth and dance into his ear like the ocean's breeze. And at this moment in time, I know he is at peace.

I close my eyes and suddenly I'm standing on the edge of eternity staring into the depths of forever. The crystal blue water sways its graceful dance with the touch of the sweet chimes of the breeze. A gust of wind fills my soul and wraps around my body like a warm embrace that I have missed dearly. I glance up at the sky and a tear races down my cheek and crashes into the white sand. Gusts of wind circle around me and the words, "I love you Sage," part from my mouth and begin dancing away with the breeze to the Heavens above."

By, Aunt RaLee Jewel Reidhead

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Crystal wrote this and shared it in her support group forum. I thought it was worth sharing with you.
On Doing laundry:

Will, Wayne, Trey, Jayden, Sage , and Ellie...piles of clothes. Only Sages pile is missing. I fold the clothes and look at the line up and my heart hurts because he should have a pile.
 I wonder what Sages favorite shirt would be? How dirty would his socks be? Or would he like flip flops? Would he prefer shorts? He would be potty trained by now so I wonder what under ware would he pick out? I would give anything to wash a pair of muddy jeans because he had played in the water hose with his brothers. This is what I think about while doing laundry.
I miss my son.




Thursday, May 3, 2012

"If I Had One Wish, It Would Be..."

Wayne, Sage's (now 9-year old) brother, took his turn at being Student of the week in his fourth grade class. Each day of the week the teacher would spot-light something special about Wayne. One day he shared his favorite toy, another his favorite foods and hobby, he shared photo's of his family and of himself as a baby, and finally he had to answer the question, "If I had one wish, what would it be?"

When Crystal asked Wayne about what his "one wish" would be, without hesitation, he answered, "I would want my baby brother Sage back again." She gently tried to convince him to pick a different wish, explaining to him that, while wanting his baby brother back is a wonderful wish, it might make others feel uncomfortable. Wayne stood his ground and was firm in his decision. So on Friday, armed with an 8 X 10 picture of his baby brother, Wayne went to school.
Crystal and I anxiously waited for him to come home so he could share how his day went. He said that he stood in front of the class and said, "If I had one wish, I would wish that my baby brother Sage did not die. This is my brother, his name is Sage and he died in his crib. I miss him and I love him and I wish he was alive, if I had one wish I would wish that he didn't die."
Well we could only imagine what his teacher and his class mates were thinking, but for Crystal and I we, were both proud and heart broken for this sensitive little boy, who misses his baby brother. Wayne told us that the kids all asked questions about Sage and that he liked answering all of them. They asked how, where and when he died and Wayne handled all of them like a champ. We asked him what the kids said to him about his brother and he said they were sorry and sad for him. Then he told us something that melted our heart. One of those things that reminds you that despite the sadness and grief of losing a child there are lessons to be learned on this journey. He told us of a boy in his class, that he had never spoken to before. He said that this boy never really talked to anybody and that he kept to himself. During recess this young boy said to Wayne, "I didn't know your brother died. I'm sorry that must be sad. My dad is in the war, he is far away and I worry everyday that he will die." Wayne said, that he told him that was sad and that he felt bad for him and that he would be scared too if his daddy was in the war. Since that day the two have become friends.

It's amazing the blessings that have come to us and to others since Sage's passing. We could have forced Wayne to choose another wish, one that would have made other's more "comfortable", but because we didn't, "Waynes wish" touched the heart of a grieving class mate and helped him deal with his fear of losing his father.

If we were honest with ourselves, I think each of us who have suffered the loss of a loved one, has had the same wish as Wayne. Even if we only wished to have that person back for a few minutes, to hug them, see their smile, hear their voice, and to have the opportunity to tell them that we love them one more time, or even to have the chance to tell them goodbye. Many times I have found myself looking at a picture of Sage or my mother, or even one of my babies and wished that I could step into that photo and love on them one more time. Thankfully, because of the Gospel, we know that by obeying the commandments, and because of Christ's sacrifice, love and grace, that we will have that opportunity to be with our loved ones again. I shudder to think how dark this journey would be without having the hope of eternal life.