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Apr 14, 2010

Untitled ~ part Two

“Do you want to stay in the room while I wash his body?”

Andrew had just passed from this earth to Heaven and his hands and lips were already tinged with blue. It was a moment in time when every particle of my body and mind wanted to give in and go with my son.

I wondered, “Can I simply will myself to die?”

I remembered the words I had whispered in my friend’s ear as she embraced me upon hearing Andrew’s diagnosis.
“If this doesn’t turn out like we are hoping and praying, I want to die, too.”

My worst fear was spread out before me. My beautiful twelve year old son lay in a hospital bed. No longer with us. Bright, red blood stained his upper right sleeve and the bed sheet. One of the IV's had left a pool of blood when the nurse had removed it. I hated seeing that blood and I asked the nurse to please change his gown. Seeing my son’s spilled blood upset me and I wanted it cleaned up.

The compassionate, young nurse presented me with options.
“You can leave the room while I wash his body. Or you can stay while I wash his body. Or you can help me wash his body. It’s up to you. Whatever you feel you want to do.”
I was not going to leave my son. I would help wash Andrew.
I had given him his first bath and I would give him his last.

The nurse was so gentle with my son and I wept quietly as we bathed the body of the boy I loved. I washed his perfect face with his still flawless skin. Then under his neck where I had so often scrubbed those dirty neck rings boys get from playing hard. Next I gently ran the warm, wet cloth over his legs and his feet.

Those were the same feet I had washed time and again when he was a little boy.

I thought back to that day, when in my small bathroom, I washed his toddler sized feet in the sink and felt the presence of God in such a powerful way.

When the nurse and I were finished, I kissed Andrew’s face, his shoulder, his hands and, finally, I kissed his feet.
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the gospel of peace.

In the days to come, many of our neighbors would tell us how Andrew had impacted their lives and those of their children.
They told us how they had admired Andrew’s skill as he skateboarded on our street, how patient he had been with the younger boys and how they looked up to our son. We also heard that Andrew was always polite and friendly. And that trademark smile!

One day I will see that smile again. One day I will kiss his flawless face again. One day I will kiss my boy’s feet again.

But I have a feeling that before I do all of that, Andrew will lead me to Jesus and show me HIS nail scarred hands and feet. And I will kneel and I will wash HIS feet with my tears.

And then I will kiss the feet of Jesus.

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”
Isaiah 52:7


  1. Your Ability to write this now is a healing bath for you. As Jesus is holding you up and you lean hard into HIM he will continue to guide and direct your path and Andrew's Message. May God always be our strength when our strength is gone.

  2. beautiful. absolultely beautiful!

  3. Thank you dear one....for sharing your story...sigh....I just received Tammy's parcel for the young family that lost their little girl Avila. My girlfriend will be picking it up this morning to hand it to them...

    Could you please pray for them and for the peace of God to continue to envelope them and that they may find strength and encouragement when they open that parcel and KNOW that God is for them! To comfort, to strengthen, to grant hope and love during this time of great loss in their life...

  4. This touched my heart - no doubt, my mother's heart - more powerfully than I can describe. I found myself bathing the infant bodies of each of my now-grown children, reliving their first baths, and the many inspections my eye gave their wee forms.

    This is a bold & courageous telling; one filled with God's presence & peace, yet containing the authenticity of deep sorrow. It will remain with me for many long days to come.

    Thank you, and God's richest blessings upon you,


  5. Im just breathing it in, Thank you.

  6. This brought tears to my eyes this morning. Thank you so much for sharing your most private moment.

  7. Hard to read, but it points fully to the hope we have in Jesus. Thank God we have that hope in Him. Thanks for sharing hard thoughts, Melanie- you're driving the Truth home deep and I, for one, need this spiritual pounding.

  8. Melanie. There is a line in the song "Best of My Love" by the Pointer Sisters that says, "Love has kissed me in a beautiful way."
    The marks of that kiss are on you.

    I see a book.
    Love, B

  9. Thank you Melanie for sharing this tender moment you shared with your beautiful son Andrew.

    It brings back a flood of memories for me as well, as I stood by the bedside of so many I loved.

    I've learned over the years how special a time this truly is, and how God is in the midst of each experience.

    Now Andrew is walking free in his "new body". He's finally home!

    Looking forward to meeting your son!

    With lots of love and tears...


  10. Oh Melanie thank you soo much for sharing those sweet final moments with your precious son. I felt like I was living them in a small way with you and it of course brought me to tears. When my young DIL passed from the earth to glory, my sister and I changed her into the shirt my son wanted her to wear with his picture on the front of it. He was to overcome to do much more than sit and watch as we did it. Such beautiful moments. Will be praying as always for you today. HUGS...

  11. Melanie,
    I have no words after reading this. Only want you to know that I will be praying ever harder this month as you miss Andrew's absence here and await the time when you see his sweet smile again.


  12. Melanie, your post really touched my heart today. A heart of a mother. As I sit here in the quietness of my home while my boys are at school, I will pray for you. Your post made me cry like a river. Please know that I often think of you and your family. ((HUGS))

  13. Melanie, such a precious memory you have, what a blessing that you were able to be there for that moment. May God's grace and love enfold you, dear one, thank you for sharing this with all of us.

  14. You - and Andrew...and your story - are a blessing. Thank you for allowing us to share a glimpse of such a special, private, Mother/Son time. What a gift that you were given that opportunity.

    Hugs - Jennifer

  15. I can hardly see to type through the tears filling my eyes and streaming down my cheeks! I just don't even know what to say to this, except to thank you for sharing something so deeply personal and special to you. I am praying for you right now, and every time the Lord brings you or Andrew to my mind (which is very often each day.)

    With love and tears...

  16. Your post today really spoke to my heart as a mother and grandmother. I thank you for again sharing something so personal and intimate as your special time with your son. I continue praying for you and your family.

  17. Melanie:

    There are a few things I will never forget. I will never forget what you have written here today.


  18. Oh Melanie, I'm crying with you!

    As a cardiovascular nurse, I've washed many people after they died. I love that you as a mom were the one to do with for Andrew. What a precious loving act on your part. I'm sure it was so difficult but you were the perfect one to do do.

    Hugs to you,

  19. Melanie,
    The timing of this post is remarkable. Today is the 21st anniversary of the death of my sister...looking at the time....well, I am overwhelmed..it was "NOW"...around 4pm that she ascended into her Heavenly Fathers arms far too soon for me. She is never more than a thought away and I gain peace in knowing one day she too will lead me to Jesus!
    Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

  20. No words...just tears and prayers....

  21. I love you so sis, and I love how you loved dear Andrew.

  22. I am moved beyond words....praises Melanie.

  23. Love and prayers for you on your journey of grief and healing.

  24. I keep coming back here. Even though it brings me to tears so often. I feel pain for you and then I cry more because I know its nothing next to yours. This will sound so crazy Melanie but I find that I'm growing to want to know more and more about Andrew. So many times now I look at my 4 yr old and think of you and Andrew. Often I will pause and think I can never take a moment for granted with my dear boy. You have given that to me. I will continue to say, thank you Melanie for opening up your heart and Andrew's life to us. God bless you and your husband and your children. XOXO Lisa V. in NJ

  25. I don't think I will ever forget this post....I read part one as well....may God bless you for having such courage to share with us such intimate moments with your Savior and your son...blessings

  26. A mother's love and devotion to her child is most precious. Sharing this, writing this, could not have been an easy thing to do. Intimate moments of a mother with her son. I will cherish this post and hug a little more today. This life is but a breath. my love to you.

  27. Dear Mel, I was catching up on the last 3 posts about Andrew. I am in tears, becos he is an angel and I too am missing my boy when he left me at 5. I hugged him so, but I could not bear to see his lifeless body and face. It would hurt too much. I just remembered him as he was, a smile on his face and full of energy. Even now after 14 years when I think of that moment I lost him, I break down in puddles. Take care and blessings.

  28. I am crying as I read this. I too have lost a son. He was older than yours but it is not any easier, he was my buddy. I have 5 children and was closest to him, we had been through a lot together. I long to kiss his sweet neck and hear him call me momma. Only another mother who has lost a child can know how much it hurts. It has been 3 years and I still cry everyday and wish God had taken me instead. I think that is the mother in me, because I surely don't want to leave my other children. I know your Andrew is in heaven waiting for you as is my son waiting for his momma.

  29. What beautiful posts and what a wonderful gift to have been there with Andrew when he went Home to Heaven. As hard as all of this is on you and your family, I sure hope that being with him till the very end comforts you for many years to come. I wasn't with our sweet Micki when she left us ... I was actually 850 miles away in TN visiting my Mom. I would have never of left ... not in a million years had I known her life was coming to an end. She was terribly ill with Crohn's, but it was something our family had grown accustomed to. My Husband wasn't well (and still isn't) at the time either; but it had been sooooo long since I had seen my Mom, they both convinced me it was time to make that trip ... they said they would be fine while I was gone. I knew there was a good chance that she might be in the Hospital when I got home; but once again, we had grown quite accustomed to that as well. She did go to the Hospital the day before she died ... spent the entire night and most of the day in the ER ... they finally had a room available and said she was chatting up a storm when they were wheeling her to it. Then, out of no where when she was getting off the gurney and into her bed, she became non-responsive. A blood clot had broken loose and traveled to her lungs and she was gone just like that. They tried for 45 minutes to bring her back, but it obviously wasn't God's plan for that to happen. When I heard the news, I was convinced ... absolutely 100 convinced that it was wrong. She had coded several times and they always brought her back, and I truly felt at that moment that they did it again. I was in total disbelief and would have given anything to have been with her when it happened. That obviously wasn't in God's plan either, so it is something that I have chosen to accept cuz after all I will see her again someday :) Thanks so much for sharing Andrew's peaceful entrance into Heaven and thanks so much for allowing me to share Micki's as well :) Hugs!

  30. Strange that you would comment on here after me and my name is Mickey. I also have very bad colon trouble and have been in the hospital and emergency room lately. I don't even know how I got on this web site. Maybe God? Sometimes when you lose a child, there is a comfort being with others that know what you are going through. I also was not with my child, he was killed in a car wreck and burned up and we never saw him again. What I would have done to have held him one last time. I had a dream after he died and he was whole and looked at me and said "Mom look, I am ok, and held his arms out to show me. He was showing me he was whole again, which to me meant he was with our Lord. I think God gave me that dream to bring me some comfort. I hope we all find comfort.

  31. How beautiful... that's all I can say.

  32. Beautiful posts, my sweet friend ~ Love you ~

  33. Stunningly beautiful, the love displayed here. This post moved me again. Thank you, sweet friend. This is so hard to imagine you and your son. God is using your broken heart to mend mine.

  34. My prayers continue to be with you!..

  35. This is a beautiful picture of a mother's love. I have no words and wish my tears could mingle with yours in a big hug. I love you, Melanie.

    Weeping with you,

  36. Beautiful, precious recollections; thank you for sharing them with me.


  37. I keep returning to read this. It is so precious!

  38. I am completely broken as I read this. I can hardly type through the tears, but once again know that I am lifting you up to Him.

  39. I found your blog off of the Lazy Mom's and have been touched by your sweet words. What a wonderful gift to know you will see your sweet boy again some day. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  40. Aunt Melanie,
    As I read Part One and Part Two, so many emotions filled my body. I laughed; I cried; I smiled. My earliest memory I have of Andrew is when he was a newborn baby. Granny Dorsey had pictures of him, not long after he was born, hanging on her wall. The frame was hanging on the wall to the right as you walked out of the kitchen. It read, "Andrew Christopher Dorsey - Born April 25, 1997." I can almost see in my mind every picture that was in that frame. He was such a beautiful baby. Your story is so inspirational. It's the little things in life that mean so much; just something as simple as washing your baby boy's feet. I think about you all every day. I wish I could see you more often than we do. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. I can't wait to the day we all get to see Andrew (and Granny) in Heaven!!! I love you very much.

  41. My girlfriend picked up the package that was mailed by Tammy to me to give to Alvia's mom. We stood outside talking. I talked about you. I talked about your post. We both choked up when I, who had memorized this: "I had given him his first bath and I would give him his last." She repeated the words after I said it. We both stared into each others eyes. ...