For Christmas I gave my 3 older kids digital photo frames. I scanned a few hundred old photos to USB keys hidden in the wrapping. Truly enjoyable gifts, judging by the time spent with them.
Not like looking at old photos of my Little Miss. So many of the pictures are in the hospital, or she looks dazed and absent, or her thin hair dominates her appearance, or her wrinkles. I used to describe her as the “littlest old lady” because she had that look about her for so long. Ha! Benjamin Buttons isn’t a new thing! Her face looks younger (to me) now than when she was 12 months old.
As I look through those old pictures, I hold myself at a distance. I stand on the beach looking toward the water, wary. I’ve cried so much already. When I wade into the memories from her first several years of life, grief pulls me in like strong undertow at the beach. A riptide. The salt water enters my body and comes out my tear ducts. We all went through so much for so long. It was so hard just to keep her alive. So hard to suffer with her. Sometimes it still is very hard.
Besides sadness, I have felt so very angry. Maybe anger would keep this from happening to my daughter? To me. How can so many people with so many degrees in so many specialties not know how to help her??
I’m not at all predisposed to fainting. If I look at the whole of it, the last 10 years, dizziness creeps in from the corners of my eyes. It is just too much. I don’t have to do that to myself. I do not have to look at it all at once. It is over, after all. At least that part.
Fear churns up the waves in the currently calm waters: “What is next? You know something is coming.” it whispers, “Maybe tomorrow a wave will swamp her little body.” “She fell hard just now, maybe she will have to go to the hospital.” I must swim through this churning water, keep my feet under me, refuse to be pulled down. Live only in the present and, for now, leave the past and the future to another day. Today is the only day I have and, by means of a deep breath, ignoring the whispers of fear, I intend to live and enjoy it ! 12-26-08