Next to giving my son’s lifeless body CPR and giving him my own breath, the second most difficult thing I’ve had to endure was to call my wife from the emergency room at Lehigh Valley Hospital to tell her that our son would not be coming home. From the moment desperate screaming started after my son Elijah found Caleb motionless in the pond, I still had hope. While running full speed to take my son in my arms to start CPR, I still had hope. With every chest compression and breath I gave to my son, I still had hope he would return to me. While giving stern instructions to my wife to call 911, I still had hope. From the first cry for prayer on social media by my wife, I still had hope. As the prayers and support started rolling in, I still had hope. When the ambulance arrived, I still had hope. On the ride to the hospital, I still had hope. My pleading to God increasing with every mile, I had hope God would hear my cry. Caleb was in good hands, trained professionals and I still had hope. Arriving at the hospital and rushing into the emergency room with Caleb a fierce and well prepared team of ER doctors and support staff were taking control and I had hope. I continued pleading to God as time stood still, I still had hope. Sitting in the ER room with lots of organized chaos all around me I still had hope Caleb would come back to me.
An eerie quiet fell over the ER room and I quickly began to realize Caleb was not coming home. The ER doctors were not able to intervene or to reverse God’s will. The prayers of many faithful failed to change what was predestined to occur at that very time, the very moment that God had preordained before the foundations of the earth. Reality and the raw truth of the moment had consumed me completely. God said, “No” and time and space seemed to stop as I had only one focus. My wife was home in prayer with many other people from as far and wide as social media would take and as fast as word could travel. A lot of people still had hope and faith that God would intervene in that very moment however I and the people in the ER room were the first to know the grave news and now I was the first to pass through this door with no return. This door I had past through left hope behind as a carcass on the ground of life. New reality crushing me from every direction. No way to go back the other way and one by one, others too would have to pass through this same door as they came to know that Caleb went to be with the Lord. It was his time (Psalm 139:16)
Time stopped and reality continued to punch me over and over in the gut as I had to call my wife. From every button pressed on the phone to the ringing I heard in my ear, I can recall every moment as vividly as that day. My anxious wife distraught with stress answered the phone awaiting my call. You see my wife still had hope… She was eagerly waiting for good news from me as she hadn’t yet passed through the door. When I heard my precious wife’s voice all I could say was, “Caleb’s not coming home Tiffany”. To share this news with my wife was to crush her spirit. There was no way around the door. No way to reverse reality and with that my wife fell to the floor in uncontrollable sobbing. All I could do was listen on the other end of the phone to her desperate cries and suffering as she joined me in horrid misery and untamed anguish.
As the one year anniversary of my son’s death is upon me, I’ve spent time in reflection of that day today and that door I had to pass through from one world to another. Literally where my life changed in an instant then to where I am today. In those first fiery hours where I spent time in shock and anger trying to make sense of it all and shaking my fist at God in my pride and disbelief. This last year as been a journey. Though I have gained mental strength and fortitude, I am still weak. Driven… yet restrained. Moving forward yet stuck. Full of faith yet numb. As this write and this moment in time is just that… a moment. This blog post is me processing the last few hours of my day and most of what I am writing now is what I thought of just on my way home from work. I have up and I have downs. If you read my last post you can tell I am in a different place. I try not to put too much weight on the one year anniversary and I feel just like Caleb’s birthday, the days leading up to that day were more difficult than the day itself.
(break – few hours – couples bible study tonight at Rocky Mountain Calvary)
My wife and I have been intentional about meeting people here in Colorado at our new church and we are making some great new connections. Tonight I was able to briefly share my story to two couples and it felt good to express where I am at and where God has brought us. The one couple who had eight children asked if anything good came from it. I had to reflect a bit because being so close to the anniversary I’m left in a place where I am more focused on the tragedy of that day and the trauma we went through vs God’s plan so it’s all very real and a bit raw. I spend quite a bit of time reflecting on my life and where I am and where God has brought me to. As I’ve expressed in previous blogs my life and who I am is not about me. Everything is for God’s glory and it’s easy to lose site of that. I am truly blessed and God continues to bless my family I feel because of our faithfulness.
This journey is really just beginning when I consider eternity. This very moment is extremely small as hard as it is I look forward to seeing Caleb again. I’m not sure what that will be like. A lot of things in life seem really small compared to what I have been through. So there is so much flowing through me in all of this. I am truly growing spiritually. Through the first half of this blog was a moment in time, I took a break and and I am in a different place. It’s remarkable. I just need to keep looking up and pressing on. I’m not sure if I will post on the anniversary of Caleb’s passing. I was considering just continuing this post in draft and post it 10/14/15 but I feel led just to post where I am at and where I was just in the last few hours. This post is just processing the upcoming anniversary approaching fast. Know that I am well and my family and I continue to covet your prayers. The next few weeks will be extra challenging as it’s hard not to focus on losing Caleb who was/is incredibly precious to us. God’s will, not mine be done. Caleb is not coming home…No, he is home. Home with God who created him. Until we meet again little buddy! New hope.
Author: Andrew Dubas
reminder: I am not a professional writer. I write to express my emotions the best I can as it relates to losing my son and the battles I face and win lose because of it. So please excuse typos, grammar and other structure issues and that I bounce around a lot. This is really for me more than you but I know people visit this site for various reasons. In fact, since this site went up, the stats show 16k+ unique visitors. I just pray Caleb’s short life and my experience can help another family or parent get through their own struggles as there is hope after losing a child and yes it’s difficult but I promise you I would not be where I am had it not been for God in my life and my faith in Jesus Christ my Lord and savior. 🙂
Instead of fighting God, press in.
I MISS YOU CALEB ANDREW DUBAS. REST IN PEACE MY SON.