There has been many times since losing Scooby that I have been angry. Not at a person, not at God, not at myself – just angry at the whole darned situation.
If I’m completely honest, life with Scooby has never been easy. Fun and extremely rewarding, yes, but not easy. We had raised him through his baby years, and through a crazy toddlerhood, with epic tantrums and noise and chaos that only three small boys together could generate in such a huge amount. It was tough, exhausting, fun and definitely not picture-perfect. We had seen him develop into a sweet natured, still highly excitable school boy and thought that the most difficult part was over. We had no idea how much harder it was going to be.
We fought and we fought hard. For a really REALLY long time. We put everything we had into keeping that kid. We turned our lives upside down, we stayed with him every step of the way, we administered every difficult medical action we had to, helped him through more epic tantrums as the medication took him on emotional rollercoasters, and we were prepared to move house, give up our careers and care for him night and day to get him better. We went through so much and we had to witness so many things a parent should never have to see their child go through.
The doctors fought hard. From the first week he was transferred to Manchester, they devoted time, energy and medical resources into diagnosing and treating him. They consulted with other experts around the world, they took his details to conventions to discuss him as a case study, they stayed up late researching and having conference calls with consultants in other countries. They sent us down to Great Ormond Street. They celebrated our victories and shared our tears. They didn’t deserve to have all their efforts end in defeat.
Our family and friends fought hard. They spread the word and gathered people to pray. They did research on our behalf. They looked after our other children and brought so much joy and sunshine to them that during all this, they’ve experienced some of the best times of their lives. They paid for cleaners, for hospital coffee and meals out for us. They called on their friends and total strangers to join in with our story, and set Facebook, Twitter and church prayer slots all over the world alight with the name of Scooby Scholes.
We did everything right. We did everything we could. In the end, all we could do was hold him, and then let go.
There have been times I wanted to scream and stomp my feet and break everything around me as I yell ‘IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!’ at the universe. I don’t understand how it came to this. The doctors don’t understand how it came to this. Our friends and family don’t understand how it came to this.
We did everything we could. There’s not a single thing we could’ve done better or different.
And there comes the perfect peace.
There is NO moment in Scooby’s life that we look back on and say ‘If only....’
'If only we had noticed his symptoms earlier...'
'If only we had been watching him...'
'If only we hadn’t left him for that moment...'
'If only we’d spent more time with him when he was younger...'
We do not carry the agony of ‘If only...’ that so many other people do after they’ve lost a loved one.
We were given the chance to fight long, and fight hard. We fought to bring out the best in him as a toddler and to conquer his self-destructive side. We fought hard to make sure he was happy and secure and loved and knew the God who loves him. We fought to keep him alive, and so did every person around us. From the first symptom to the end, we were given the best doctors, the best family, the best friends around us. We got to be by his side every step of the way. We tried every treatment possible, even to replacing his whole immune system. We did everything we could, letting no chance pass us by. We took every opportunity for his friends and family to visit him and cuddle him, there were no words left unsaid, we had every opportunity to tell him how much he was loved, we were able to ask and grant forgiveness for past faults, we were able to tell him about the beautiful place he was going to, and were able to hold him safely all the way until the end. No regrets.
How completely and utterly blessed we are.
From ashes to beauty, from despair to praise, from anger to overflowing with thankfulness.
Isn’t this just the way our God works?