Tuesday, March 02, 2010

This morning, the Washington Post had a story about a hockey player for the Caps who lost his infant son last summer. His little boy lived for 54 days in the NICU of Children's National Medical Center here in DC (the link won't paste but it's on today's front page of the Sports section of the Post: you might have to register to read it but it's free and the story is lovely). Jose Theodore finds solace on the ice, playing hockey, even though he is sometimes overwhelmed with the memory of the little boy he lost, Chace. He has founded a charity to benefit Children's, which in this area is known more informally as Children's Hospital. I read this story about a younger man who has already gone through so much of what I experienced when we lost Thomas--it was a difficult start to the day.

Thomas spent a night in Children's when he was five years old. After years of ear and throat infections that had held back his growth and probably contributed to a small language delay, the pediatric ENT decided that his tonsils should come out (I will never forget the medically accurate if linguistically inelegant phrase "Icky green goo here!"). He wore his bright yellow t-shirt and shorts from Lands' End and walked jauntily up the ramp from the parking lot towards the lobby of Children's, holding his daddy's hand. By the time I saw him after the tonsillectomy, he was considerably more subdued. But, he recovered well and he grew fast in the year following, freed from the cycle of infection and antibiotics, so no regrets about that.

I need to think about this.

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At March 3, 2010 at 2:29:00 PM PST , Blogger Me and I said...

Hello Lee Ann...

My name is Jason, and I went to Basic Training with Thomas ("Doerflinger", as he will forever be known to me). Today I finally visited his grave. It was buried under snow, and took two maps from the front office to finally find. I dug it out, and cleared it off, left some chocolates, and took a few pictures. In my searching for Thomas, I found another Doerflinger in an adjacent plot. I am guessing it is a relative.

Thanks again for sharing your stories over the years, and keeping him in all of our memories...


At March 3, 2010 at 8:10:00 PM PST , Blogger Lee Ann said...

Jason, oddly enough today I visited Thomas's grave for the first time since all the snow started: and there I found the graves cleared off and the chocolate poised. OK, I had a moment of temptation (Thomas came by his love of this stuff honestly) but I left the candy there. I love that you visited and that you also cleared off Eugene's grave. Gene was Thomas's uncle--he was in a car accident at age 19, in 1967, and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. He was Thomas's Confirmation sponsor, and it is my belief that he never recovered from losing Thomas.
I will be writing more tomorrow I hope because I spent the afternoon at a meeting planning local memorials for our fallen--there is a lot to talk about.
Thank you for also keeping Thomas's memory alive!


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