Monday, March 4, 2013

Home

Home. Isn't that a comforting word? We've all been hoping for the day that I could go home with my parents and meet all my friends. Home and Love. In my world those two words are inseparably connected! Hopefully it's the same for you. I made it home. Just not the one we were originally hoping for. This Home is even better! There is no pain, no sorrow and I am looking forward to my parents, family and friends joining me here soon.

Well, last I wrote, we were all celebrating that I had peed and my settings were going down! It was exciting. I was trying so hard to get better, I guess I just wore myself out. When mom and dad came back after the nurses shift change, I was struggling more and more to breathe. They kept changing my settings and giving me medicine, and my skin kept feeling tighter and tighter. But I kept peeing, because that had made everyone so happy before. I guess, this time they were too worried about everything else to notice as much. The doc had to come back in around 11 to get me back into a good breathing range. He said he wanted to talk to my parents about "options". Then he told them about different medicines or things that they could do to help me. They decided to paralyze a lot of my muscles and give me some Fentanyl for the time being. After my oxygen came back up, the doc left to get some rest. Around 3 I was still doing good, although it was a little scary not being able to move, I could still look around at my sweet parents' faces and that gave me comfort. Soon I heard the nurses saying they had found a place for my parents to get a little rest.

About an hour later, everything went fuzzy . . . things started beeping, nurses surrounded me, giving me what they called "an epi" over and over, pushing on my chest and saying things like, "come on buddy, you can do it!" I was trying so hard! I heard them talking to my parents and all the sudden, a couple nurses left my bedside quickly and I heard my mother saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, just take care of Marshall." I heard them telling her to sit down, she must have been struggling. We all were! Soon, instead of feeling the pain and pushing, I was looking around at a bunch of stressed people, and a tiny little baby in a bed. They couldn't hear a heart beat. They tried with a stethoscope and couldn't hear a thing, then they tried with a doppler (how'd I know that word? Somehow I knew all the words they were using!), they thought they heard something, and kept pushing on the tiny little baby's chest. Things became a little strange, but comforting. One second I was looking around at everyone, the next looking up at them. Soon, the doctor came. They tried more medicine and more pushing, xrays, and lots of prayers. The weird thing is that I could hear a lot of the prayers. I could hear some of their worried thoughts! The face on the little body grimaced a couple times.  I was looking around at everyone again. As I turned and noticed my parents staring intently at the bed, I realized that the little guy was me, my body at least. I heard the doc telling my parents that we had an asystolic baby. They were keeping the tiny baby, me, oxygenated but my heartbeat wasn't functioning. He suggested having my mother hold me.  I heard her frantic thought, "no, not yet. What if he can still make it?!", and I felt a tremendous amount of love.

I felt the burning of hope surrounding my parents. Hope can be a hard thing to understand. As I sat watching them, I thought back to the day they found out the news that I was going to come early. They had hope that I would live, but it was guarded. I did live, and as I continued to grow stronger and stronger, so did their hope. They began to hope that I would be able to come home and be with them, and that I would have no negative effects from all this trauma. It grew and grew. Other people were also praying and fasting for me and hoping that I would live. As I sat watching my parents and thinking of all the family and friends hoping for this same thing, I realized what the hard part of hope is. Hope, TRUE hope can't simply be the hope for good things to come - that type of hope is too easily crushed when the good things we want don't happen, like what my parents are going through now. True hope is always hoping FOR the best, while hoping THROUGH the worst. For example, my parents were still hoping that I would live (what they saw as the best thing), but I also know that they have hope that no matter what happens we'll be together forever. Their ultimate hope is a knowledge and belief that because of Christ's Atonement, all will be well in the end. If we can just rise every time we fall, and trust every time we despair, and love every time we are able during our short journey on earth, having our lives filled with the light of Christ - the Atonement makes it possible to live together forever with our loved ones when there is no end to time. And all our hurts will be made right, all our scars will be mended and we will be WHOLE.

They unhooked me from the machine, and placed my fragile body in my mother's arms. My parents looked stricken. My nurses and my doctor looked stricken. I did my best to comfort them. I hope they felt me there!  I heard my sweet mother's thoughts and prayers. . . "Please no. Please bring him back. He's shown us miracles, please can't we see one more! Did I feel him move? Wasn't I good enough to keep him? I can't do this!" My father sat holding my mother close, pleading and begging Heavenly Father. I heard words like spare, deliver, protect, preserve, and sustain, repeated a lot. "You promised..., you promised...", he demanded inwardly, unable to finish the sentence. I heard a reply to him and understood: "When you placed Marshall in My hands on the day he was born, My promise was peace for your soul."

They moved my heart-struck parents, my Grandpa and Grandma Thornton, and my middle name namesake - uncle Jonathan - to another room. My Grandma and Grandpa Stout arrived. They each took turns holding my frail body. My aunt Bekah and my uncle Nathanael came. Other family members and friends were able to make it. Eventually they brought in pictures of me, and things from my bedside to give to my parents. My pal Woody, and the leads to my monitors. . . and still my sweet mother prayed for a miracle. My heart ached for her!



Some of my dear nurses came in to see my body and my parents. One of my nurses mentioned that I just completed my mission on earth faster than the rest of us. And my other nurse said, "overachiever!" It made my mom smile. I was thankful. I want to be near my parents often during this hard time! All the nurses were crying and consoling my parents, wishing they could have done more. Expressing the desire to turn back time. They said sometimes they think they can decide what's going to happen. That they can save everyone, but then God reminds them Who is in control. One nurse talked about how excited she had left the previous night. Going home to tell all her family how the little baby had peed (still embarrassing). She said, "That's so Marshall - wanting us to go home with lifted hearts by showing us that he could still pee." I sure tried to lift the hearts of all those around me! I just feel this gigantic amount of love for everyone, and I hate seeing them sad. So, even if I was struggling, I sure tried to lift their spirits! I think I learned that from my parents. They sure love everyone a lot, and try not to let it show when they are struggling. Please friends, help me watch over them! I know they are strong, but they sure took a blow today!

Time is a strange thing. Earth-life is but the blink of an eye. Trust me, I know. But when you're there . . . when things seem their bleakest time seems to slow down, but the good times just fly by and sometimes you sure wish you could change the speed, and all your loved ones could be back together again. Please believe me when I say, it will happen. You can be together forever. And when time is trudging on at the pace of a crippled snail, remember I believe in you. I love you. More importantly, Christ loves you. You can do hard things! I will sure miss you all! I'll be watching over you, but I'll be pretty busy too! Please treasure each other and the time you have together. I know I sure treasured mine! Although it was hard, it was definitely worth it!


53 comments:

  1. Oh my heart is breaking for you both. What strength you have already shown. Thank you for sharing your faith and amazing love. Love and prayers of all I can muster I being sent your way. Marshall has great work to do and has done so much already here. One day we will be able to see the great work he will be doing on the other side. Stay strong you two I know you are both being watched over.

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  2. Our prayers are with you and you family!!!! May Heavenly Father bring you comfort.

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  3. My heart hurts for you.

    I love you

    Kent

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  4. My heart is aching for you both. I am so sorry for your loss. What an amazing little man you brought into the world! So amazing, his strong spirit was needed more on the other side. I feel like we got to know his little spirit just by reading your blog. What a great treasure this will be to you in future days. It will give you strength and comfort as you remember his amazing journey.

    Our prayers will continue to be with you and your family. Please let us know if there's anything we can do. You've both been so strong for so long. Now you need to lean on those who love you and let your friends and family be strong for you.

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  5. What an amazing little guy! You are truly are special parents. Our prayers are with you and please know of our love for your great family Tyler & Mandi.
    - love, Paul & Shelley Petersen

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  6. We love you! We are praying for you. We feel your heartache. Thank you for sharing Marshall and the many miracles he has brought into your lives with all of us. The three of you have touched so many with your strength and faith. We love you.
    Mike and Shelly Barnett

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  7. Thank you for sharing that beautiful entry. What a lot we all can learn from the love you have described. Bless you now and in eternity.

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  8. His life and this post have inspired me to be better! Romans 1:8-12 came to my mind as I read this. I am so sorry for your loss and we will keep you in our prayers. I love you guys:)

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  9. What a beautiful love story. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Marshall. What an amazing spirit! Please know there are strangers praying for your family during this time.

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  10. Janae Orme ScottMarch 5, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    I have no words that will help. I have tears and a heart that aches for you and your family. Peace and comfort to you and your family. Marshall is home, at peace, and whole again. We love you! Prayers to you and your family. I hope you can feel arms around you giving hugs of comfort.

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  11. I have deep sorrow for your loss. I am so sorry. Hugs.

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  12. Thank heavens we have the blessings of the gospel in our lives to know that our families WILL be together again. Trials are so hard, and some have heavier ones than others. May Heavenly Fathers blessings comfort your lives this day and always.

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  13. I am so so sorry you guys. My heart is broken for you. You'll make it through this trial.
    Much love!

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  14. What a beautiful and heartwrenching blog. So sad for you all! Amazed at your strength and testimony. We love your family so much, our thoughts and prayers are with you, hugs and much love always! Fred & Sisca Broekman

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  15. What a beautiful testimony of love and eternity! We love what we read and we know it is true. You two are amazing. After seeing you today, we know you will be fine. We know this is so difficult but you are being cared for by the best little angel around. We will continue our prayers for you and offer whatever we can to help. We love you, Dave and Marj

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss. I have prayed for him the last couple of months
    and loved the pictures and blog of his day to day experiences. What a creative way to describe his brief time here on earth. What a blessing to be sealed as a family and know that you will see him again. May the Lord continue to watch over you as a couple. Love ya Lorraine Cook

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  17. I know that it is very hard to lose such a precious little one. Yet the gospel teaches an eternal perspective. Prepare yourselves so that you can raise him in the Millennium. I hope that you guys are comforted in this difficult time. Love you and do follow you in this very creative blog. Don

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  18. You are wonderful special parents! My prayers and love go out to you and your family.
    Love from the Decker family.
    The Netherlands

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  19. I don't even know what to say except I am so sorry. He is a beautiful little boy who will be with you forever. Our love and prayers go out to your whole family. We love you guys.
    Dave Broekman

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  20. My heart is aching for you, Mandy, but I am sending you so much love at the same time. What a little miracle Marshall was, and he changed you forever. I know he loves and misses you and counts himself very lucky to have you as his mom. You are in my prayers. Love you! Katie

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  21. Tyler and Mandy, we are praying for you that you will feel the peace that passeth all understanding at this time of heartbreaking sorrow. We have been praying for you all along and have put your names on the temple prayer roll and on the Choir prayer roll. May the Lord bless you and all of your family as you prepare for tomorrow.
    Love, Wendell and Nola and Esther Child

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  22. You guys are so strong! We want you to know that we are thinking of and praying for you during this difficult time. Wish we could be there to support you tomorrow, but we will be there in spirit.

    Love,
    Brian, Nikki, and Brynlee

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  23. My heart aches for you!!! My husband came home from the viewing very somber! I felt the pain and sadness from him. I came to your blog and feel blessed by my Heavenly Father! Thank you for sharing such a tender spiritual experience! I look forward to following your journey!

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  24. Well done Marshall! Your parents know that you had the ability to see angels while visiting us here on the earth. Through your valiant effort, Marshall, we now know that you were and are an angel who graced us with your presence to send us a message straight from the Heavens. What other kind of spirit could teach and portray love to the extent that you have through your selfless charity?! Through you, God's love has sharply penetrated the hearts of everyone who knew of your mortal existence. This love will continue through your story.

    Not very many people have the opportunity to love and hold an angel! Only through a mortal body can us mortals see angels sometimes. What a great gift you have been given from your parents and your Heavenly Father! Yet, these frail mortal bodies can not handle the capacity of such magnificent virtue. No matter the effort, angel virtue will overwhelm mortal flesh. Yet, we know you are happy and congratulate you on a job WELL DONE! I hope to meet you some day in spirit-person, and 'till then - we will continue to love your parents!

    See ya around, little angel! ~Sarah Abeysekera

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  25. Tyler and Mandy, I dont even know what to say. My heart is breaking for you both, and our prayers are with you. I do want to thank you for your absolutely incredible examples of faith through affliction. Thank you for your testimonies. Thank you for sharing this sacred journey with us. Thank you for choosing to "Look to God and live", and again, being such an amazing example of how we all should live. We love you very much.

    Kelsey and Ryan

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  26. Tyler and Mandy,
    May God watch over and guide you through this trial of life. I know that one day you will have the opportunity to raise beautiful little Marshall. He is yours forever! He is working on the other side of the veil building the home you will spend eternity living in. Know that you are in our prayers and hope that life brings many sweet blessings to your life. I would like to share the poem I wrote for Marshall when I heard of his passing. Would you please email me your permanant address so that I can send the finished copy to you? I will also share the digital copy with you and you may do with it as you will if you will email me at Legacy. You are forever a part of our family here, both of you. We love you and mourn with you.

    Carv Wilson

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  27. I am so sorry. I am so thankful you let me meet your sweet angel Marshall. What a strong spirit-you could feel it in the room when I was there. I will continue to pray for you and your amazing family.
    Terra Cooper

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  28. Dear Stouts, what a sweet and loving experience you gave Marshall in his short time on earth! You inspire me with your great love for him and each other. Thank you for sharing the journey with us in this tender blog. I could see this story in "The Ensign." You'll be in my prayers.

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  29. Thank you for sharing the great love you have for your family, Marshall! And Mandy and Tyler - you're such incredible parents. Thanks for your example of loving tenderness. You're in my prayers.

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  30. XXX Love to all the family

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  31. Thought with love to you both. I feel that you will be reunited with him one day somewhere we cannot see right now.

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  32. Wonderful story and writing. I was blessed reading it, I just don't have any words, God had blessed you and you have now blessed us with your strength and words. Ken

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  33. My heart is breaking for you and Marshall. When I saw the photo of him with his eyes open and his little hand reaching up, I burst into tears. What a sweet face. I am so sorry he's gone. But in the short time he was here, he brought you so much love. I hope you find comfort in knowing that he's at peace now.

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  34. I found your blog tonight through the article in the Daily Mail. I just wanted to tell you that your story and your son really touched me. He is just beautiful. May God continue to bless you and may you always feel the peace you seek for.

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  35. Thank you so much for sharing the story of Marshall's life. God bless you both and fill you with His perfect peace. You'll see your beautiful son again one day.

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  36. What a beautiful post. I'm so sorry for your loss and I'm praying for your peace and comfort. Thank you for sharing the truth of Christ's light to the world.

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  37. I am so sorry for your loss. I could not stop crying watching this. I can't imagine your pain and heartbreak. you are lucky that you were blessed by an angel for even a short time and that he is now pain free and with God. I pray you and your wife and family find strength, comfort, love and peace and are blessed with more children.Your little angel is watching over you from above and lives on in your heart. He will always be with you.God bless you all.

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  38. Much love to you both and of course, Marshall. I'm sitting here in tears after reading his story and I can understand the pain of a lost fight as I lost a 29 weeker almost 13 years ago. His twin battled through a similar infection and we thought we would lose him Easter Sunday 2000. May you both feel Marshall's presence in every day life. It will never get easier but you will learn to live with the pain. Hold each other tight and remember him every day.

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  39. sending thoughts to you on the loss of Marshall - beautiful name too.

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  40. I'm stuck for words...ha! This from a writer. All I can say is that your blog has struck a deep chord. I have two healthy boys and can't imagine the fear, worry and anxiety that you have experienced. I know your little bub is now an angel, hovering over you. Blow kisses in the air for him everyday. And by crikey, am so glad he got to pee! *saidthroughhertears* Am wishing for you all the love in the whole universe.
    Dana
    x

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  41. Dear Marshall,

    I am a 27 weeker as well so I know how brave you would have been. Now you are with the Angels and I just know you are looking down on your Mummy and Daddy. May God bless your family.
    Love Joel, England, UK

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  42. My twin baby boys were born at 25 weeks, just under 2 lbs each. Michael died 18 hours later. Matthew is now a healthy (almost) 14 years old. Reading your story brought back all the memories, and, tears. Thank you for sharing and reminding me how much I have to be thankful for.
    Hugs,
    Melaney

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  43. Sorry, I wanted to add that my boys were born on Good Friday, so this time of the year always seems to be a bit more difficult for me.

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  44. Sending your our warmest hugs from Australia. Marshall has touched people the world over and probably will continue to do so. Definitely an "overachiever" for such a little man. He has taught my 34 year old self some valuable lessons and some much need perspective this week when I read marshalls story, that I will take with me going forward.
    May god bless your family and may you have your cherished memories and moments always. Xxxx

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  45. I'm crying like baby now , I just can't believe...This is something most sensitive I've ever seen...

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  46. Dear Tyler and Mandy,

    Little Marshall's story has touched lots of hearts in Taiwan through local newspaper. Marshall is a true angel watching us from above. May God bless your family.

    Will, Barry and Karen

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  47. Thank you for sharing. Three years ago on the 28th we lost our little William. Our story is similar to yours. I'm so sorry for all the hurt, sorrow and pain you are experiencing. But it's ok to grieve! It's ok to cry! You have an amazing son whom you will be with again.

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  48. You are the best parents
    加油 ! ^_^

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  49. You are the best parents
    加油 ! ^_^
    Around the world to give you blessings

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  50. Every time I read this post it makes me cry. What a truly special little boy.
    For someone so small, he has made such a big difference in the world.
    God bless you both. Marshall certainly picked wonderful parents to be born to.

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  51. Can't stop crying.Love you Marshall,please come back earth again as soon as possible with a good body,you and your parents are the best...(Belinda Shen from Taiwan)

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  52. I've just finished reading this from the start. The three of you are amazing.
    I'm sure Marshall is taking lots of big breaths on his own now, and wishing that mummy and daddy could see him do it. And I bet Woody is missing him.
    My heart is hurting so I can't imagine how much your hearts are.
    Take care. You've got a perfect little angel watching over you and waiting for the day he can run up and hug you.

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