Tricia Somers enjoys watching her 8-year-old son play with Legos. She knows moments like this could soon be gone, not because her son is growing up, but because she is dying.
Somers, 45, was diagnosed with liver cancer last year. In March, she found out it was terminal. The single mother’s biggest concern was her son and who would take care of him when she died.
“He is the only thing I got and I have to leave him,” she said. “It is really hard and I feel bad that I am doing that to him and he says, ‘Mommy it is not your fault.’ “
Somers’ options were limited. Her parents passed away from cancer years ago, her brother told her he did not see a child in his life, and her ex-husband has not been a constant in Wesley’s life.
She was devastated until a nurse, with the same first name, walked into her room at Pinnacle Health’s Community General Campus in Harrisburg.
“She came in and I just felt this overwhelming feeling of comfort,” Somers said. “It was strange. I never had that feeling before and I thought she is going to take care of me. She is the one.”
Tricia Seaman has been a registered nurse at PinnacleHealth’s Community General campus for 14 years and works in the oncology area.
“I remember when I walked in I told her it would be easy to remember her first name,” Seaman said.
It was late one night when Seaman walked into the room at the hospital to say goodbye to Somers that she got the shock of her life.
“Frantically, I said to Tricia, ‘If I die can you take my son? Can you care for my son?’ I pretty much floored her because no one had asked her to take their child. I figured she thinks I am crazy, but I knew that is what I wanted,” Somers said.
“I think my jaw just kind of dropped to the floor. I truly was speechless,” Seaman said.
Seaman told Somers she would take the request back to her family. What Somers did not know is the Seaman family was already in the process of trying to adopt a son. They just did not think it would happen this way.
“Sometimes God has a plan for our lives,” Seaman said. “Sometimes we think we know what that plan is, but we really do not.”
Although Seaman’s husband was shocked by the request, he was open to the idea of helping a woman he had never met.
“In 20 years I have never had an occasion not to trust my wife’s heart,” Dan Seaman said. “When she called I said, ‘we have got to do something. We have got to figure out a way to make this happen.’ “
After much thought, the family decided they would take care of Wesley when his mother passed. They invited Somers and Wesley to move in with them at their home in McAlisterville, Juniata County.
They have been living with the Seaman family since May.
“They wanted us to be together and go through the journey with me,” Somers said.
The two families have become one, and are building memories together.
“It is a privilege to be able to walk with her on this journey,” Tricia Seaman said. “We are going to be able to utilize this as we raise Wesley as we go forward with him. His past is not a mystery to us and we have learned the traditions that are special to them and we can still do those things that meant a lot to him.”
As for Wesley, the once “only child” will have three sisters and a brother.
“I did not have anybody until now, except Mommy,” he said. “I am happy to have a brother.”
Somers is undergoing another round of chemotherapy that hopefully will slow the progression of her cancer and give her more time with her new family.
“I am just hanging in there and holding on,” she said. “Hopefully, I can see my son grow up. I am at peace and I accept it. I know he will be taken care of . I just hope that I can be here as long as I can be here.”
To donate to the Seaman-Somers Family Fund please send a check to the First National Bank of Mifflintown:
24021 Rt. 333
Thompsontown, Pa. 17094