Thursday, November 12, 2009
It's already a Charlotte day. Ella awoke for her early bottle at 6:30, and after fetching it from the living room floor, washing it, filling it with organic winder farms milk, heating in, stumbling back up the stairs and depositing it into my daughters waiting face, I got back in bed with my cell phone.
I scrolled through my various free shipping emails and eventually found my way to Charlotte's caringbridge site which I haven't updated since June and probably again until February 21st 2010 and perhaps never again. First I read the reader comments from the days after and the day of her death, and quietly cried next to my snoring husband. Next I read, from end to beginning, every jounral entry for more than three years, forty pages of tiny print news and frustrations and joy and deep, deep sorrow. I got that pit in my stomach again reading about cardiology appointments, always my most stressful and feared appointment with Charlotte, and rememebered our superstition that as long as I went to the appointment alone, the news would be good. If Zar came with us, or felt like he SHOULD come with us, the results would be disheartening.
I had forgotten the sly way Charlotte snuck her thumb under her g-tube and would try to pry it out. I hadn't thought much about the early, early days, when she couldn't hold her head up and didn't make eye contact and watching her suck on her hand was a huge joy to me. I had forgotten that while learning to sit up she would often throw herself backwards violently and laugh and laugh when I would lunge wildly to catch her. Her therapist suggested that maybe I should let her fall once so she would be more motivated to sit up on her own. I had forgotten about how once her hearing improved, I would sneak into her room while she slept and then wake her up singing her Booper Doo song just to see her startle to sound. For posterity's sake, here is that song.
Morning, Morning Booper-Dooper!
Morning, Sweet and Precious Booper,
Morning, Such a Darling little Booper!
Let's have a Ba-ba in the morning!
That progressed to "let's kiss the mama in the morning" and other variations, once she stopped having ba-bas.
I ended up reading journal entries until 8:20. I disproporionately wrote much more when she was ill or in the hospital, but it reminded me of all good, sweet hospital moments. When I overheard the nurse giving report and saying "Now, I know we always say this is the cutest kid ever, but really, Charlotte is truly the cutest kid ever" (okay, I had my ear pressed to the door listening) When Dr. Day called the room to check on her when he noticed she had been admitted, and then came the morning right after she passed away to apologize for not being there for us (and he had been WONDERFUL!), being so pleased to see Dr. Brownstein because she knew how to get things done, and would tell those dang residents what's what, meeting John Paul and his family, the visits from friends and family and jazz players, the New Years Eve we spent with Katie and Alex and Boof watching tv in a cramped hospital room, but they stayed to ring in 2008 with us. I remember chasing the ambulance up to the Emergency Room when she stopped breathing on the school bus, and as I ran after her gurney seeing the paramedics stroking her hair and calling her sweet Charlotte to comfort her and being so sweet to her without even knowing crazy mom was fast approaching. We had many great experiences in the hospital. It was better being home, of course, but the hospital had good things. Good test results, good doctors, good nurses, good visitors, good donuts. And those extremely sweet moments, hearing Charlotte's voice again after a long intubation, all raspy and tired. The doctor saying her heart didn't look any worse than usual. The EEG being normal every time. Holding her again after successful surgery. The misplaced pride I felt every time they said "well...Charlotte doesn't follow the instruction books." Seeing a new doctor shocked when Charlotte reached out to his face and smiled for him. He was expecting her to be much less responsive. She was so defiant!
And of course the most bittersweet of moments, when Charlotte left this world for a better, saying goodbye to her send off party on a blindingly bright Saturday morning in February. It was a good place.
I have been crying a lot more lately.
Today I will bundle up Charlotte's baby sister and we will go pass out the Pennies by the Inch evelopes for Primary Childrens, and then we go visit Charlotte's beautiful headstone. And continue to remember the sweet moments, for we were blessed with so many.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
It's my birthday. I'm 29. I'm fine with it. We will see if next year hits me differently.
For now, I don't mind getting older.
I have two beautiful daughters, one of whom I'm only getting closer to seeing as I get older, and one of whom I love watching get older along with me.
I have a wonderful husband who got me the wii fit plus but said "I'm not trying to hint at anything with this..."
I'm close to my fantastic hilarious parents and sisters and brother and parents and sisters and brothers in law. It's funny how when you are a teenager you might refer family time as "doing time" and when you are older it's all you want to do. While I was 28 I greeted a new daughter, and said goodbye to my other. I gained a new brother and my other one came home. While I am 29 I think there will be more hellos.
I have friends who have supported me and assisted me through this difficult year with conversation and lunches and little pick me ups. And big pick me ups.
I have my faith. I have my health. I have a cat and a tiny frog. I have a job.
Every year I get closer to finding peace with my body, with my inborn dislike for most foods green and my voracious appetite for cheese and cookies.
Every year I am more and more grateful I became a nurse.
Every year I find some new thing that brings me joy--this year it was the slug ridden, tomato ruled garden. Or as Zar called it, the Useless Harvest. But it made summer more summery.
And I learned to curl my hair with a flat iron. So really I'm approaching perfection.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Happy Halloween! I'm glad we focused on having a fun Halloween SEASON this year, as the day itself was a bust. I'm so glad we went to Cornbellys twice, and the fabulous Temple View Pumpkin patch twice, and on the ghost tour even though the guide kept referring to the ghosts in question as "Mist-e-vious."
My mother in law suggested Ella be a little lamb this year and wear Cousin Nieve's costume from her first Halloween. I thought that was a great idea and I could be little Bo Peep, but after some investigating it turns out Bo Peep is a currently a popular lingerie theme, and there slim pickings for me costume wise. Kath offered to make me a costume and it was FABULOUS. Luckily I let my sister wear it to work on Friday, so it got some wear, and next year I'll wear it again and be Miss Muffet or something.
Unfortunately I woke up sick on Halloween, and after sleeping all morning and then taking excedrin and caffeine and zip fizz, I started gearing up for a fun afternoon and evening. I thought I had even lucked out and wasn't going to have to work, but my pager went off at 2 pm and I found myself at the hospital for the evening in grubby scrubs and a t-shirt and very curly Bo Peep hair. I missed the ward party and the friend party so after finishing my procedure I went to my moms to wait for Zar to get home from the football game. So...kinda sad.
Luckily as aforementioned, I made sure we had a fab season all together, and now I will not be on call for Thanksgiving OR Christmas...so I guess it was worthwhile.