Thursday, February 12, 2009

Five years

I really can't believe it's been five years today that Ellanor suddenly passed away.

When I say "suddenly", I mean.... they phoned us at 7am while we were organising to both come in (wouldn't you know, Steve had decided not to go straight to work that day and detour past the hospital - something he hadn't been doing because he would go in at night after work and sit with her for hours... just looking at her, with me by his side). They - the doctors - were not scrambling in a life-threatening way at this point in the day.

They were getting increasingly concerned by lunchtime. We were on our way out to grab something to eat - still unaware that they were just so worried about her - and we sat at fricken McDonald's (my stomach leaps and punches my solar plexus with an acidic burn every time I pass that particular fast food outlet near the hospital) and ate whilst trying to distract ourselves from the worried looks that had been belying the staff's reassuring "let's just try and figure out what's going on, she's probably 'just' got a virus" gestures.

By mid afternoon, she was dead.

I think that's what shocked me most about Ella's dying - the fact that there was no indication the night before. The fact that even in the morning, though she was very pasty-looking and did not want to open her eyes (like you do when there's bright lights over your head and you are just feeling crap), we were oblivious to this being just SO terribly irreversible.

NEC takes hold so fast. For some premies, they will miraculously survive. With Ella's heart condition the way it was, she was already pushing uphill.

My beautiful big bubba was born to die. I became firmly convinced not long after her death. And I determined back then, I think, without knowing, that I would one day share her story in such a manner that her death itself was not the key point. Certainly not the final fullstop in the book.

And it's not.

A quiet day will be spent today. We're taking the LGBB for a swim, the three of us. Doing things that remind us we're all still here, we're all still close. Ellanor will most likely not be here. I can tell when she is and I feel a great sense of respect and honour for her, that I do not pull her close in my thoughts - call on her - on days like these just to fulfill my own desires. I don't need to anymore. She's there, not gone, and I'm here. Living.

Today is a day when the clouds will look just that bit more whispy, the bush on the hills more commanding and majestic, the LGBB's face much sweeter, Steve will seem far more vital in our lives. We will be living life today. That's what the anniversary of our memories from today, five years ago, is all about.

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