A year ago was the last day.. likely in my entire life I will have felt hope. Hope. I miss it. Color I miss that too. It seems I see the world always through a haze of gray. A truth in everything I see..
That my daughter is dead.
…and I can’t do a damn thing about it.
It was a year ago tonight we got the phone call about tumor progression. I remember what she was wearing… a blue shirt that said in sparkle letters.. girls have more fun.
i hate that shirt. i love that shirt.
I remember making banana muffins with her. She has asked for them specifically. It was just the two of us that made them. The boys sat at the counter and watched. We pretended we were hosting a cooking show. She smiled. She stood. How hard was that for her I wonder? How weak was she already feeling?
I think she knew. I think she always knew she was slowly dying.. I think she could feel the cancer growing within her.. taking over.. Suffocating her little body from the inside out.
That damned muffin was the last thing she ate. By dinner she threw up.. and she never stopped after that.
I think maybe she was waiting for us to know. After the phone call I remember she just seemed to settle into us more.. let us feel and carry her weight as she leaned into us on the couch. She couldn’t tell us what she knew.. But somehow she knew that we did finally know. And it was a relief to her I think.
Middle of the day we had sat down together… we did a lot of online shopping that day together. She was so excited to pick out things for her little brothers and baby sister. It was a little of what she loved most in life. Time with me.. doing for people she loves and a secret..
i miss her so much. i miss her so much.
I got the phone call right before dinner. I remember hearing Dr Partap on the line.. it was just supposed to be just Dr Shau. But they were both on the line. For just a moment I thought it was monumentally good news. I thought they were calling to say it was gone. Somehow it had shrunk to nothing. It was the end of the day and both calling, those things must have meant something..They did but not what my heart first leapt to.
A moment of high lead to a lifetime of a low I can never accurately describe.
I remember relaying it to Tony without words.. just my eyes told him so much. I remember watching him escape to the garage .. I remember the look in his eyes. Worse than the day we first learned of her cancer was this day. The day we learned she was actively .. and slowly dying.
He looked like a trapped animal. Scared. Terrified.. and wanting to run away and escape. To just get away and save himself. But he didn’t. He stood strong. And has continued to do so over this whole nightmarish year.
I went outside to call my sister. To have her tell the family. The news. Not like the first time.. not like her 6th birthday when the call told everyone she would die. But this call. This call that told them she was dying.
dying. I miss that. It is so much better than dead.
oh that feels shameful. She suffered so much. But now.. its me. It’s us. We are suffering so much.
I pulled it together. We had friends over already. . She was enjoying herself. We ate dinner together. And she stayed at the table afterwards with the grown ups, she never did that. But a year ago she did, enjoying watching us eating the muffins she had baked..
I can’t remember tucking her in that night. Damn it. That’s probably a good memory. I can’t remember if she slept with us or in her room.. but I think. I hope with us.
The negative is still so fresh. so burned into the back of my eyes.. but the good feels so distant .. erased from my memory. Trapped only in picture and videos.
Tony and I talked that evening. We made plans. I still have it in my phone. Our bucket list. Because we knew it wasn’t just Jennifer, we had something for each of us on that list. The things we had to get done.. for her and with her. We did almost none of it. Her death .. her dying was that slowly intense.
It stole all the things on that damn list.
How did this happen to us? How is this real? How am I here?
.. how am i surviving?
… am i?
we had breakfast for dinner tonight baby girl
and banana bread for dessert