Sarah’s Story

Sarah Elaina Ruth Bates
November 6th 1988 – December 8th 1988
T’was a Thursday… in the wee hours of the early morn. I remember like yesterday… having just fed my lil girl,  I sat there for a while holding and enjoying her in my arms. She felt like a magnet, her whole body snuggled so tightly. Little did I know that would be the last I held her so.

Around 8 am I awoke and was on the phone with my mom. In seeing the time and wanting to keep Sarah on a schedule, I thought I’d get her up while on the phone. I didn’t think anything really when picking her up, just thought, “oh you sleepyhead, Momma’s gunna wake you…”.

I put her down to change her; no movement. It was then I started to panic n tell mom on the phone. Everything happened so fast. I remember Mom saying she was going to call Arlene, my landlady upstairs; she was a nurse. Before I knew it, she was there. She took Sarah to do CPR. Seeing the helplessness in her face and telling Brian, her husband, to call the ambulance. I felt like I was out of my body viewing everything; Mom telling me to get dressed, hearing Matt my 3 yr old son in his room crying, pulling clothes on and before I knew it I was following mom and Brian to the car like a maniac. We weren’t waiting. We only got down the street when we met the ambulance. Mom immediately gave Sarah to the ambulance driver in the back, I crawled in the front. We got to the hospital in minutes and they took her into the ER. There were 3 docs onto her and nurses all huddled around the bed. They then guided us to a little room to wait… and wait. Brian called Curtis , before I knew it , he was there and we waited. Then the doctor came in. He confirmed what we didn’t want to hear; she was gone. There was nothing they could have done. They believed it to be SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Mom then asked if we wanted to go and see her. Curtis didn’t want to, so I went with Mom. I went in the room and they had the curtain drawn. I went around, and there she was. I went to pick her up, she was so cold and so stiff. I held her and cried…”oh Mamma she’s gone”.

I then passed her to Mom n wandered back thru the hall to Curtis.  My Dad then came to the door and gave me a hug.  I then started to come apart.  I can hear my Dad’s words to this day “get a hold of yourself Mellie”.

Then like zombies, we went home. I remember going into the apartment. Dad was sitting in the kitchen,  we went in on the couch in the living room. We sat there, stunned.  I felt like my heart was coming up through my throat and was choking me. Then in waves the warm tears started rolling down my face. I don’t know how long we sat.
Only bits n pieces seem to come to me, like it’s fragmented. I remember being in the bedroom at Sarah’s cradle, I don’t know how long. People coming in and out. I remember all of a sudden with a house full of people, going to the
kitchen, going through the cupboards cleaning like a mad woman. The few
weeks that followed where just that, fragmented… and I guess a part of me forever will be.

But what isn’t fragmented is the memories of my daughter. For the 31 weeks I carried her inside and for that precious month and 2 days holding her in my arms; every moment is etched in my heart and mind. A flame that never goes out. She has taught me life is so precious and should be enjoyed to the fullest for hopes and dreams here on earth can be gone in a moment. One truth remains; is love and the fact one day I will hold my sweetpea again.

Love you Sarah
xox Mama

“Beyond my smile, there lies a tear
for my daughter I loved so dear
My heart it aches
as I whisper low
I love you Sarah and miss you so”