Our family went to Brenna’s graveside on Memorial Day and it was a wonderful purple sight to see. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and remembrances of our sweet angel. It humbles us to know that Brenna had an influence in so many lives and she is loved by so many. There was even a secret friend who left a single purple flower with a bow on it on our doorstep and rang and ran. Soooo sweet! We loved it!
Just for my purposes, because I’m getting old and have been steadily losing my memory brain cells, I want to record all my memories of Brenna’s short journey on earth. If you’d like to read along, I love to share.
Brenna was a cute, somewhat chubby, 9 year old blonde German girl who absolutely loved to have friends. She was a defensive player on Bob Peterson’s all girl soccer team. Speed was not her forte, but power was behind her foot. There was no chance of that ball making it past her when she was on the job. She would bomb it out of the field every time. She loved it.
Brenna loved to sing, act, dance, ride her bike, play school with her brothers and sister, and act out Britney Spears shows on our front porch for the neighbor kids (when Britney was actually a good role model, of course.) She was a very active little girl.
The ENT said he needed to remove her tonsils & adenoids to help her with her snoring and restlessness at nights. It was the first time ever we’d taken one of our kids to the hospital-except the minor incident of Brenna cutting her chin open falling onto the corner of the kitchen counter when she was 3. The ER nurses said she was the bravest and best behaved child they’d seen.
So the surgery was without incident. However, in the recovery room, I was holding her on my lap when her face turned a strange hue of navy blue. I screamed for the nurse and they whisked her away. They administered Narcan, which reversed the effect of the Demoral they had given her for pain. Poor girl had no pain medication for 4 hours. But she was so brave.
So, the doc determined that she was allergic to Demoral and sent us home with Lortab. I’ve learned since that they are in the same narcotic family. Hmmm. It's not rocket science.
I am not an avid administer-er of medications, so I only gave Brenna one dose when she complained that it ‘really hurt.’ 2 nights after, she woke up in the night with chills and pain. She was NEVER cold. I wrapped her up in a warm blanket, gave her ½ a dose of the Lortab and put her back to sleep.
When Gordon and I checked on her early the next morning, she was catatonic, staring at the ceiling, biting her tongue, which was completely white, and foam was all over her chest. Gordon tried to pry her mouth open and get her tongue where it belonged and she bit him-hard! We were told later that she was having a seizure but they didn’t find seizure activity on her EEG.
My motherly instincts kicked in and I told Gordon to put her in the car. I drove her to the nearest hospital, JordanValley, and expected Gordon to get the other 4 kids off to school. We both called our parents. G’ma Joyce went to stay with the kids so Gordon could be at the hospital with me and Brenna. She’s so thoughtful that way. Someday I'll grow up to be just like my mom.
When I reached the ER door, Brenna’s eyes were peacefully closed and it looked like she was just sleeping. I tried to wake her up, but to no avail. I ran in the door and asked for help. The nurses asked if I needed a wheelchair or a gurney. I said, “She’s asleep, so probably a gurney.” They met me at the car with a wheelchair.
They ran a CT scan on Brenna and had me a Gordon look at the films. They noted a medium sized dark blob on her brain scan and said, “She has a brainstem tumor. We will life flight her up to Primary’s.” Gordon and I just stared at each other for a moment and I said, “I don’t think I’m going to handle this very well.”
Not 2 months before that morning did I say this exact thing to Gordon, "We are so blessed! Everything is great in our lives! We have a great house, our kids are all 110% students, and you have a great job! God is saving up for something."
Shut my mouth.