Remembering Amir 💕😇💕
Updated: Jan 30
“In the blink of an eye, everything can change. So forgive often and love with all your heart. You may never know when you may not have that chance again.” -Unknown
In today’s blog post I want to pay tribute to my precious nephew Amir.
It was Sunday, December 3rd, 2017. I instantly knew something was seriously wrong. I had just started a load of laundry when my mom called my name. She was at the bottom of the stairs and as I walked over to see what she wanted to say....
She attempted to talk but couldn’t form her words. She said “Amir.....Amir....Amir” and then her eyes filled with tears. I have only seen my mom cry a few times in my life and this was one of those rare times.
She tried to complete her sentence again saying “Amir.....” .
I couldn’t take it any longer. I had to know what happened.
“What? What is it? Is Amir ok? Did something happen to him?” I asked with intense fear and curiosity.
“Amir had a heart attack.” My mom finally was able to say before bursting into tears.
All at once my legs gave out from underneath me and I could no longer stand up. I dropped to the floor in shock!
”What? Is he dead?” I asked in complete shock and disbelief.
My mind couldn’t comprehend what I just heard.
There HAD to be a mistake.
Some kind of misunderstanding. Amir was only 17 years old. There is no possible way that he could have had a heart attack! These are some of the thoughts that immediately ran through my mind....all in less then a second.
“They are trying to revive him right now.” my mom said through her tears.
“We need to pray right NOW!” I said to my mom. And we did.
We prayed right then and there with me sitting on the edge of the top of the stairs and my mom standing at the bottom of the stairs.
As soon as we finished saying a prayer for Amir, I asked my mom how she found out about Amir’s heart attack.
”Did Malika call you?” Malika is my sister, Amir’s mom.
”No, she didn’t.“ my mom said. “Your cousin Heather happened to be driving on the road near Malika’s house when she saw an ambulance pull into Malika’s driveway. So she stopped at Malika’s house to find out what was wrong and that’s when she saw the EMT doing CPR on Amir. She called her dad (Uncle Bill) and told him what was happening and he called me. I just got off the phone with him just a minute ago.”
”We need to go right away. We need to drive there.” I said....still trying desperately to comprehend what I had just heard.....all the while still in a major state of disbelief.
She agreed that we needed to leave ASAP!
At the time, we lived in Portland, Oregon and my sister lived in Moscow, Idaho. It is a solid 6 hour drive.
“I will pack up the boys stuff and be in the car ready to go within 15 minutes.” I told my mom.
We were on the road in no time headed to Idaho to be with Amir and my sister.
(Amir & I in August 2010)
On our drive there we got a call informing us that the hospital in Moscow didn’t feel equipped to properly care for Amir so they life flighted him to Sacred Heart Childrens Hospital in Spokane, Washington. So we headed straight to Spokane instead of to Moscow, Idaho.
The drive there seemed to take forever. I kept worrying and praying that Amir would be ok. That he would pull through.
My mind was flooded with SO many questions.....
What could have caused him to have a heart attack?
How long did it take them to revive him?
How long had he been without oxygen?
How was Malika doing?
Having driven from Seattle, Washington all the way to Merritt Island, Florida....I know what a long car drive feels like. But in all honesty....that drive from Portland, Oregon to Spokane, Washington was to me, by far the longest drive I have ever experienced!!
I could hardly wait for that drive to be over. I just wanted to be there with Amir.
Finally, we arrived at Sacred Heart Childrens hospital and went straight to Amir’s room.
He was in the ICU.
I will never forget walking into his hospital room and seeing him lying there on that hospital bed all hooked up to so many wires.
There were IV’s and tubes and machines all around him.
He looked totally out of it. His eyes were shut and he was unresponsive.
He was in a coma.
I remember wanting to hug him but being scared that it might hurt him. So I just held his left hand and said “I’m here Amir. It’s Auntie Nadya. I love you SOO, SOO much Amir!! We came here just as soon as we possibly could.“
I picked up his left hand and kissed it and began rubbing his hand back and forth with my right thumb.
I wasn’t sure if he was aware that I was there. I didn’t know if he could hear me or feel me rubbing his hand, but I hoped and prayed he could.
I desperately wanted him to know how much I loved him.
The staff at the hospital only wanted two people in the room with Amir at a time, so that his room wouldn’t be too crowded.
We all took turns visiting with Amir, while the ones not visiting him would wait nervously in the waiting room.
There were so many tears and questions and confusion as to what went wrong.
It all happened so suddenly.
One day everything was fine and normal, the next he just wasn’t acting like himself.
As I held his hand in the ICU room, I noticed some green coloring underneath his fingernails. I remember asking my sister if she knew what it was.
”Oh yes, that is from when Amir was helping me bake Christmas cookies a couple of days ago. I thought I cleaned it all off, but I must have missed some.” my sister answered.
I thought to myself “How in the world could he be helping her bake Christmas cookies one day, and be in a coma in the ICU just days later? This just doesn’t seem real?”
So much fear and worry.
The nurses and doctors at the hospital were absolutely wonderful. They did everything they could to help Amir and to have him be as comfortable as possible.
We got a hotel nearby and stayed there hoping and praying that tomorrow Amir would come out of his coma and start doing better.
The following morning, Monday December 4th, we went back to the hospital to be with Amir but instead of getting better, he was getting worse.
I remember the nurses coming in and recording Amir’s heartbeat with a little recorder thing from Build a Bear. We didn’t know it at the time, but the nurses knew that he didn’t have much time left and so they wanted to record his heartbeat and put the recording into a Build A Bear for my sister to always be able to hear his heartbeat.
I thought that was SOO sweet of them to do that for her.
Around noon the doctor asked to speak privately with my sister and her husband. The doctor explained to them that Amir didn’t have much time left and said he was so sorry, that they had done everything they could to save him, but that his organs were shutting down and they should prepare to say their goodbyes.
They moved Amir out of the one room he had been in and put him in a “comfort room”. They allowed as many of us to be in that room with him as we wanted.
I remember being in shock that he wasn’t going to make it.
Would we have a couple days, a week, 2 weeks with him, I wondered to myself?
At 3:42pm on Monday, December 4th, 2017 Amir passed away. Exactly 3 years ago today.
I will never forget hearing the machine flatline and hearing my sister break into a heart wrenching wail as she screamed “NO!!!!!!” and grabbed Amir squeezing him tightly.
In that moment, my heart was broken.
Just that fast, and he was gone.
I couldn’t believe it! I was in total shock!!
I just witnessed my 17 year old Angel and sweetheart of a nephew pass away right in front of me.
He was gone.
How could this be?
It was like a horrible nightmare!! I wanted to wake up and realize that it was just a terrible dream. But every day after that I woke up and realized that it was in fact REAL!! It had happened. It wasn’t a bad dream.
For the next 2 weeks I couldn’t even talk. If I even attempted to say anything, I would just burst into tears.
I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t do hardly anything. I just prayed and prayed and asked God to help us.
I share this very personal story of what happened with my nephew Amir in hopes of helping you realize that you just never know how long you will have with your loved ones.
Please, I beg you to cherish each and every moment.
Tell your loved ones daily how much you love them and spend as much quality time with them as you possibly can, squeeze them tight and capture those precious memories in your brain....because tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Life is truly a blessing. Each day is a gift. It can be so easy to take for granted but we should remind ourselves daily to appreciate each day we are given and remember to let our family and friends know how much we love them.
~ If you are a parent of a special needs child, I would Love to have you in my private FB group. It is a safe environment, strictly for parents with special needs kids, where you can get the encouragement and support from other parents who can relate to what you are going through. The name of my private FB group is “Special Needs Parenting SOS.” ~ 😇💕