Ruth Scully never knew how devastating the sight of her bath rug could be every time she walked into her bathroom. To anybody else, the bathroom rug would appear to be an ordinary rug, incapable of triggering any type of emotional response.
For Ruth, the rug represented her son’s love and need for her. Nolan Scully never wanted to far from his mother as he battled a rare soft tissue cancer, so he would lie on the rug waiting for his mom to be finished showering.
It all started with a stuffy nose, to which most parents would not pay much attention. Stuffy noses are usually no big deal. But for Nolan, it would lead to a devastating diagnosis.
Once he was snoring and having obvious trouble breathing at night, his parents took him to the doctor. Subsequently, Nolan became to used to antibiotics, saline spray, steam, and a humidifier to treat a supposed sinus infection.
When those treatments did not help, a specialist noted that Nolan had swollen adenoids that would need to be surgically removed along with his tonsils. In November 2015, he underwent this surgery.
His adenoid tissue was tested and revealed that Nolan had rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a soft tissue cancer. Suddenly, this 3-year-old boy’s life became centered on chemotherapy, radiation, and many tests.
Those who knew Nolan, and even those who did not personally know him, prayed for a miracle that he would become cancer free. On Feb. 4, 2017, Nolan was ready to end his battle with cancer and passed away with the eager expectation of going to heaven.
There is nothing a parent can do to prepare or “be ready” to let their young child go from this earth. Yet, Ruth realized that it was time when her son’s entire medical team, with clear pain in their eyes, sat the family down to discuss making Nolan as comfortable as possible and ending treatments.
When Ruth told Nolan that he did not have to fight anymore, he was obviously happy, yet concerned, because he did not want to let down his mom. She realized that her son had been holding on for herself, so she told him that the only way she can keep him safe is in heaven.
Nolan wanted to go to heaven and play as he waited for his mom to join him someday. Nolan’s family was ready to take him home from the hospital, hoping for one night with him, but he gently placed his little hand on his mother’s and said, “Mommy, it’s okay. Let’s just stay here, okay?”
At one point over the course of the next 36 hours, Ruth told her son that she wanted to shower for a few seconds and asked if it was OK for her to leave his side for a few moments. By the time she came out the shower, she was told that Nolan fell into a deep sleep with oxygen levels dropping.
She jumped into bed with her son, and he miraculously awoke from his coma to say four words before letting go. Nolan smiled, opened his eyes, and said, “I love you, Mommy.”
Ruth wrote on Facebook, “Now I’m the one terrified to shower. With nothing but an empty shower rug now where once a beautiful perfect little boy laid waiting for his Mommy.” Though the heartbreak is unimaginable, Nolan made sure to leave his mother with a smile and beautiful words that she will forever hold onto until she can see her son again in heaven.