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.