Whether you are saying goodbye for an extended period or saying your final farewells, it can be hard to find the right words. Goodbyes are complicated. Some goodbyes are gut-wrenching, while others can feel underwhelming and leave you wondering if you should have said more. Saying goodbye to a loved one can feel overwhelming during an unimaginable time. Unfortunately, this toddler had the ability to say goodbye in the most bittersweet manner imaginable. Nolan was only three years old when he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a uncommon form of soft tissue cancer. His family decided to start a Facebook group in order to share their wonderful times with him before the illness took him away for good following his initial diagnosis.
Nolans’ mother, Ruth, posted a painful final message in one excruciating diary entry. This was what Nolan said to his distraught family before he departed life and left them behind with a broken heart. Ruth posted: “We sat down with his ENTIRE team. When his oncologist spoke, I saw the pure pain in her eyes. She had always been honest with us and fought alongside us the whole time, but his updated CT scan showed large tumors that grew, compressing his bronchial tubes and heart within four weeks of his open chest surgery. The Metastatic Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma was spreading like wildfire.” She said, “She explained at this time she didn’t feel his cancer was treatable as it had become resistant to all treatment options we had tried and the plan would be to keep him comfortable as he was deteriorating rapidly. After a while, I composed myself and went into Nolan’s room. He was sitting… Watching YouTube on his tablet.”
Ruth then described her conversation with Nolan. She asked him first if breathing hurts, and he responded “Well… Yeah.” Then she said, “You’re in a lot of pain, aren’t you, baby?” He hesitated but said, “Yeah.” Then she informed Nolan that he doesn’t need to fight anymore. And she observed how his demeanor changed when he said, ” “I DON’T? But I will for you, mommy!” When she saw this, she understood that her bad son was fighting so that he could do it for her. She said, “, “Nolan Ray, what is mommy’s job?” And he replied, “To keep me SAFE!” She said, “Honey… I can’t do that here anymore. The only way I can keep you safe is in heaven,” despite the fact that it was difficult for her. “So, I’ll just go to heaven and play until you get there! You’ll come, right?” he said. “Absolutely! You can’t get rid of mommy that easy!!” she said, “Thank you, mommy! I’ll go play with Hunter and Brylee and Henry!” That must have been an emotionally draining conversation for any parent to have with their child. But she has no choice but to do it. She was well aware that if she did not act, he would suffer even more.
Nolan, sadly, died the following day, shortly after Ruth’s conversation with him. She requested permission to take a quick shower. He responded, “Um, okay, mommy. Have uncle Chris come sit with me and I’ll turn this way so I can see you.” Then he went into a deep sleep and never woke up again. She wrote: “I stood at the bathroom door, turned to him, and said, “Keep looking right here, Poot, I’ll be out in two seconds. ” He smiled at me. I shut the bathroom door. They said the moment the bathroom door clicked, he shut his eyes and went into a deep sleep, beginning the end of life passing. When I opened the bathroom door, his team was surrounding his bed and every head turned and looked at me with tears in their eyes. They said, “Ruth, he’s in a deep sleep. He can’t feel anything. ” “I ran and jumped into bed with him and put my hand on the right side of his face. Then a miracle that I will never forget happened… My angel took a breath, opened his eyes, smiled at me and said, “I love you, mommy,” turned his head towards me and passed away as I was singing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ in his ear.” Nolan awoke from a coma with a grin on his face to tell his mother he loved her. For Ruth, Nolan was a hero who died a martyr. Ruth will always be reminded of the star she lost and will continue to contribute to the Facebook group dedicated to him.