Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 115

Friday December 10, 2010

The kids woke up fervently excited....the Dawsons were coming....the Dawsons were coming!!! For them, the day couldn't pass by quickly enough....the Dawsons were coming and they could hardly contain their exubberance!

While Teddy was at school, my neighbor Sharon watched Nina for a couple of hours so that I could have lunch with my friend Pat. Pat and her husband had lost their daughter unexpectedly when she was 18 months old during heart surgery. At the time, their oldest was 6 years old. Pat and I cried over our lunches at Marmalade Cafe. We each shared the myriad of emotions that had and continue to occupy our minds and hearts. Pat listened and sweetly offered her experience and what they would do differently. No one knows how to go through these awful journeys. Bottom line, there is no guidebook! Of all the things that Pat said, the thing that struck me the most was her confessing that she had forgotten things about Elizabeth. She said that if Elizabeth had lived, she would be 23 years old today and then she explained that as hard as she tried, time wears on memories and things are forgotten. Tears just cascaded down my face. I don't want to forget a single thing about Nina!! After I hugged Pat goodbye, I sat in my car for a good long while....sobbing!!! What we are going through is awful, terrible, hideous....but forgetting my child....nothing could be worse. I DON'T want to forget a single thing! That is why I am obsessively documenting everything, taking a million photos and videos. I don't want to forget her smile, her laughter, her silliness, her sass, her tantrums, her tenacity!!! I don't want to forget her smell!!! Most of all, I don't want to forget her smell! I felt like Mt. Everest was on my chest!!! I couldn't breathe!!! I just sobbed. Then my alarm rang. It was time to pick up Teddy!! I wiped my tears and drove. I have no other option but to always wipe my tears!!!!

I picked up Teddy and the kids resumed their excitement about the Dawsons coming. The Dawsons were coming. The Dawsons were coming! In the meantime, Teddy gave Nina a gift he had bought her at school, a penguin drawing. He was so proud of himself. He had used 44 Checchio Bucks (money he earns in the classroom for good behavior) to purchase the prized drawing for his precious sister. He beamed! I was so proud of him. His love for her shined! What an incredible boy!

Promptly at 6:00pm, the Dawsons arrived! Happiness filled our home instantaneously!! Teddy took Niels upstairs to see his new room. Sander chatted Nina's ear off. Robert and Todd did their man thing...hello, shake hands, grab a beer. Yvonne and I hugged!! We hugged each other tightly, as if we hadn't seen each other in years. In many respects, it felt like light years since I had last seen Yvonne!!

With the kids playing and the father's sipping their beers, Yvonne and I went to pick up dinner at our mutually favorite Thai Restaurant, Your Place Thai Food. While we waited for our order, I confided in Yvonne the realization that I had experienced the previous night. I explained how we are so sad ourselves that we've lost sight that it is Nina who will get the shortest end of the stick! If she is not healed, then she will never excel in school, she will never form friendships that will stand the test of time, she will never go to 6th grade camp, she will never be an "ego-centric" junior higher, she will never PMS and have to learn to keep herself in check, she will never fall in love, she will never go to college, she will never get married, and she will never have her own children because all of these opportunities will be stolen from her!!! Yvonne concurred that this was the greatest tragedy of all, not our own pain of potentially having to live without her, but that she will not get to experience life herself!!! We cried. We held hands and we cried!!!! Then we returned home to a house full of happy children so we laughed, we smiled, and we were thankful!!

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