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Hanging Tough
Brandel Chamblee
March 05, 2001
The author, still recovering from a family tragedy, took a giant step forward by making the playoff at the Nissan Open
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March 05, 2001

Hanging Tough

The author, still recovering from a family tragedy, took a giant step forward by making the playoff at the Nissan Open

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The doctors told us what to expect when it was time to take Braeden off the life-support lines on his ninth day. It's scary knowing you're going to watch someone the. I asked if Braeden was in pain, and the doctor said, "No, he's full of morphine." My mom and dad were there, along with two of our closest friends. Karen and I took turns holding Braeden and keeping him warm after he was unhooked. Every 10 minutes a doctor was required to come in and check Braeden's pulse. After 30 or 40 minutes, which somehow seemed terribly long and terribly short at the same time, if that makes any sense, the doctor returned for one last check. "He's gone," he said quietly.

It took me three nights to write Braeden's eulogy. Each night I worked on it, I was a sobbing mess by the time I went to bed. The one thing I could give my son after he was gone, the only thing, really, was a beautiful funeral. It was held at our church, St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church. I talked about lullabies in the eulogy and how they come around only three times in your life. You hear them as a child, you sing them to your children and, if you're lucky, you sing them to your grandchildren. I never got the chance to sing Braeden a lullaby.

That's the hardest thing, thinking about what might have been. Karen, who has recovered from a follow-up operation she had six weeks ago, and I are still putting the pieces back together. I play golf for a living, so at some point I had to get back out on Tour. The grief still hits me. I get emotional every day thinking about Braeden. I felt it walking up 18 at Riviera during the playoff. It would be nice, I was thinking, to have him in a picture so that 10 years from now I could say, "Yeah, Braeden, that's you right there—beside the Nissan Open trophy" That would have been nice to share with him.

I keep telling Karen—and reminding myself—to be thankful for what we have. Little B is a joy, a gift from God. I truly believe we have been blessed.

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