A week ago, a new baby was born into this world. Eleven hours later God called him back home to heaven – Mason Anthony Vigan the son of my friends Marlon and Theresa. Every morning since then I wake up hoping I was just mistaken. I pray that all of what happened on May 1st didn’t, and they were still pregnant waiting for little Mason to come out and surprise us. Reality comes rushing back to me in the form of a knot in my throat that makes it all the way down to the pit of my stomach. He is gone…forever.
We got a text from Marlon early that morning saying that Mason was born, but was having some trouble breathing so he had to go the NICU. When I woke up that morning and read his message I was certain it was just one of those times that things may not start off as planned, and the baby would have to stay in the NICU for a time, but ultimately he will go home with his family. I did feel for them right away. The NICU is not a place any parent wants to be with their children. But I have seen parents come in and out of the NICU and you would never know the baby had any issues when they were first born. I was certain this was going to be one of those times.
With that confidence I went off to work, just waiting to hear back from Mar or maybe Mike that Mason had stabilized and things were looking good. Hours passed and that confidence slipped away. No text messages? No pictures? No Facebook announcements? Something was up. Finally Mike posted on Facebook to pray for his nephew. Before that post I had held onto hope that everything was going to be ok that day. Now it was sounding like we might be in it for the long haul. I prayed for Mason and for strength for Marlon and Theresa and clicked “Share” on Mike’s post to all of my friends. I also believe in the power of prayer will help those in need and the more people praying, the better a chance Mason would have. I knew things must have just been crazy with the family, but I did want to offer any help with them so I texted Mike:
Me: Hey. How’s Mason doing?
Mike: Not good
Me: What’s going on?
Mike: We’re gonna lose him bro
WHAT? How did things go so terribly wrong? How did they get this bad THIS fast? Why was this happening? I sat there outside of my building at work and started to cry. I called Jazmine to tell her what I had found out. I was paralyzed. I’ve never felt so helpless in my life and I knew that my feelings were nothing in comparison to what Mason’s family must have been going through at that exact moment. I called Erick and Joe to let them know the new developments. Both were as shocked as I was. I imagined they also were thinking that things would just get better over time. Not that time was now running out. I also called Potter as he is one of my spiritual advisors and I know he is always a good resource for a prayer. We needed everyone praying and praying hard. I had planned on going to the hospital with Jaz, Erick, and Abby to show our support, just so they knew we were there. I just wanted to go in the lobby and pray with my friends for maybe an hour, text Mike and let them know we were there, and then just leave. We were in our own group text message trying to figure out what time to go. We even started to convince ourselves that maybe things weren’t as bad Mike made it. Maybe things appeared real bad and everyone is so emotional that there was a misunderstanding. There was no way it was as bad as they made it seem…right?
Mike: Mason has passed, please keep the FAM in your prayers
I had the same feeling when my dad died when I was younger. I know the world is full of people and I was even surrounded by them at work, but the world felt so empty. It felt like I was alone. It felt like the only person that could fill that void in this world just left it, and wasn’t coming back. I felt hollow. Sick to my stomach. Angry. Destroyed.
I can’t even fathom what Marlon and Theresa felt that moment they had to let him go. All the hopes and dreams they had for Mason vanished with his last breath. All of the future diaper changes, birthday parties, first steps, laughs and snuggles were gone in a blink of an eye. The word “loss” does not seem large enough to capture that feeling. Then I thought about their daughter Alyssa and how she will probably never fully remember this. Maybe she will think it was a dream she once had, where everyone around her was so sad. Or maybe she will have one vivid memory, maybe of the time all four of them were finally together. All of these thoughts raced through my mind and heart kept sinking and sinking with each of them. It was just buying time and preparing me for the one fact I did not want to admit. He was gone.
I talked to Potter again and we cried on the phone together and prayed so very hard for Marlon and Theresa. He told me to go home to my family, there was no need for me to be at work anymore. I drove home and Justine was taking a nap. I cried with Jaz and hugged Justine while she slept. I looked at her differently. I always knew she was special, but now I remembered why. We are not always fortunate enough to live out the dreams we set out for ourselves. To me, Justine was my dream. I so desperately wanted to have a child because my dad didn’t get a chance to see me become a man. I want to make sure I am around when Justine becomes a woman. Somewhere between her follow-up appointments, medications, and therapies I lost sight of that. Mason helped me remember that life is not all about the THINGS that you can buy to make you happy. But it is the LIFE you lead with the PEOPLE you LOVE that makes it worth fighting for.
Mason fought for 11 hours to make sure he got to be with his parents and meet his sister all together. Mason now lives in the souls and hearts of everyone he touched both physically and spiritually. I may have never met him in person, but I know he is with me from this day on. We love you Mason Anthony Vigan, you will forever be with us.