Baby Braden Petska

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grief...what it is it? How can one describe it? It's a feeling like no other. It grabs hold of you when you least expect it and makes the hole inside of you even deeper. It's gripping, it's real, it's suffocating at times. I look at Braden's picture and I can't help but feel this longing desire to just hold him once more. The reality I won’t is too painful to even admit and come to terms with. I cry with anger that he was taken from us so quickly. I feel like we were robbed of his innocent life. I can understand if he was in pain and suffering, but to our knowledge he was not. We have no answers as to why – I know only God knows this, but I’m hoping and praying for some kind of medical answers. We were told there was a great possibility that we will never know. One week ago last night, we put him to bed to have him wake up just hours later complaining that his tummy and arm hurt. He couldn’t get comfortable after Rich tried rocking him back to sleep. One look at him told me something wasn’t right –was it the flu, was it heart related? There was maybe a 15 minute window of us trying to figure out how we could help as parents to make our baby feel better. He became unconscious, needing compressions for the next 2 hours as paramedics and doctors did all they could to bring his weak heart to a stable rate. We knew when we were at our local hospital that his heart was not responding and CHW could probably do no more than they could. As parents, you hang onto that one little strand of hope that maybe, just maybe our “hospital home” could be our miracle workers once more. They flew him and admitted him to the PICU. It was here that our docs we’ve worked with from day one met us to explain what we feared to hear the most. We held him, kissed him, and helped him understand that he was the most perfect son and that it was okay for him to go see our Heavenly Father. We left him in the hands of our Dr. Ghanayem as we left in disbelief. We shared sweet memories of our “B” all week and celebrated a beautiful life last weekend. It’s now that’s tough – having to relive our routine only in our minds and not share it with the precious life we had thanked God for everyday. How can one say “time” heals when more time away from him is what hurts the most? I’m trying to search for strength at these times, but I feel like the weakness gives in and the cruel reality that he’s gone wins. Uggh!

I will sign off today with the letter Rich and I wrote to Braden to be shared at his service. I will share this to help find my strength for the day. Thanks to all who have written us, sent cards, flowers, stopped by, called, and were there to help us celebrate his short yet precious life. Thank you for the prayers as that is what has helped us get up and move through each day. Please continue to pray for our strength as the days ahead will be even tougher.

Dear Braden, our perfect little boy…
We sit here today with the impossible task of putting your life and the sweet memories we hold for you on paper.
Where do we begin? You were our miracle created especially for us to take special care of. Your mended little heart created a foundation of love that spread to the hearts of many. We knew your little life held more purpose than we could ever imagine.

Your beautiful blue eyes were always engaged on what you could learn and gain meaning from as you were so incredibly gifted. You would see things big or small, near or far, we would have to search for ourselves to see.
Your smile could brighten the darkest room and your beautiful voice held excitement for everything that surrounded you. We embraced your vivacious spirit everyday as you taught us how important it was to cherish and hang onto the littlest things in life- especially God’s beautiful creations:
A cardinal perched on our railing, a blooming flower, the tiniest bug only your eyes could see, the sound of a morning dove, the rumble of thunder or funder as you would say, a beautiful sunrise that would paint the sky pink, the moon that would follow us home on your side of the car, and the baby in mama’s belly you longed to play and share your toys with.
Your eyes, your smile, the dimple that would appear on your nose, and your apple cheeks are what we long to kiss and stroke as your physical presence is no longer in reach. You brought an indescribable amount of joy to our lives where our hearts were overflowing with pride and love for you.
Thanks for teaching us the meaning of life as it should be lived – with gratitude for every day of your existence and cherishing every hug and expression of love you gave to not only us but to everyone around you.
Our lives sit empty as we hold on to your precious moments and the sound of your sweet voice as it echoes in our minds. As we will never know why you earned your wings so early, we will hang onto the belief that someday you will be in our loving arms again.
Until then, we hope your gentle spirit will help ease the pain of our broken hearts and guide us through each day that we are unable to hold you, squeeze you, wrestle you, kiss you, read and sing to you.
Sweet dreams our precious little B-man, our hero, our son.

Our eternal love,
Your Mama and Dada

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Rich and I are humbled by the amount of support we have received. It is comforting to know our son has touched so many lives. We are so grateful for our family, friends, colleagues, and the surrounding communities who are holding us all in prayer. We feel your prayers and continue to welcome them. Rich and I were able to finally sleep last night. Waking up was the hardest part as we continue to face the reality that our lives are forever changed. How do you go on with your day when the one who was the center of your world and the sole purpose of your existence is no longer within your reach? We move through the day surrounded by the precious memories he has granted us over the last 2 ½ years. We are also comforted by the gentle words you have all posted on our blog and e-mail. Rich and I were able to witness the most beautiful sunrise yesterday morning. I know that was God letting us know that our precious angel made it Home. Until that day we see him again, we hold a celebration of Braden's life this Friday and Saturday:

Wake: Friday 4-8 pm
Haase Derrick Lockwood Funeral Home
620 Legion Dr.
Twin Lakes, WI 53181

Service with burial and luncheon to follow: Saturday 11:00a.m.
Messiah Lutheran Church
8720 368th Ave/ Corner of Hwy 0 and F
Twin Lakes, WI 53181

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No words....

Dear faithful blog followers and prayers warriors,
There are no words to describe the heartache and pain we are feeling. Our dear, sweet, precious Braden gained his angel wings last night. We are still searching for answers as to why and how this all happened. As his heart is now whole, ours is completely broken. Please pray for our strength as we grieve for our little boy. We will post arrangements at a later time.
Steph and Rich