the date is set

We made it, Starbucks in hand, we arrived at the hospital and my daughter was extremely excited to meet David for the first time, she as well, had only seen the pictures and had not seen her aunt, only on what would come to be her death bed since she had the baby.
We got to the NICU, I checked in and the nurse informed me that my daughter would not be able to come in but she would be happy to open the window shades next to his islet, bring her a chair and she could participate that way with the feeding albeit through the window.  My daughter was upset and cried, she understood, this was not the ideal thing either one of us thought would have happened. I proceeded to change and the nurse opened the shade for my daughter, she stood their the entire time and balled with the biggest smile on her face and to this day I don't think I've ever seen one any bigger!
I proceeded to the islet and woke him, unwrapped him from his tiny little blanket and man what a stretch he gave, I even heard a little peep, one that even turned the nurses heads.  I brought him close to the window for a close up look and then I sat down in the recliner I had pushed closer to the corner window at the same time the nurse handed me the bottle which I swear I think he knew was coming, he seemed to be a little more active than he was at yesterday's visit.  I sat and finished our feeding/bonding time and as the nurse came over to clean up a little and bring me more supplies, blankets, wipes and diapers, she told me "you can bring him clothes tomorrow when you come", I smiled big and held him close and tight for the last few minutes I had with him, for today anyway.  Today I didn't want to leave, I wanted to stay a little longer, actually a lot longer, I was needing to be close to her and knew through her son, my void would be filled!

We headed home and had smiles all the way, we arrived at my parents house and told them all about the visit. In my rush of excitement I made my way into his nursery and started to go through the clothes that had been all washed, folded and placed in their respective drawers and picked out a couple of cute onesies for my trip up tomorrow.  I sat on the bed, and that was the kicker, I could not control my emotions, I started to cry, I balled, I whaled, I tried to keep it in, I tried to be quiet, but I was not successful at all and soon my mom, dad and sister were at the doorway and by my side.  My daughter was outside and told my godmother "I can't go in there, I hear her cry in the shower all the time and it makes me sad, I don't like my mom to hurt this bad!"  This I did not know for a few years after and to this day will still brings tears to my eyes, I SO thought I was safe in my sanctuary and NO ONE could hear me, I was wrong, this pain could not be concealed as easy as I thought it could be!

My dad said "since we are all in here, I got a call from the mortuary today and he body has been released, we need to go pick a plot and set a date/time for the services, keeping in mind that this coming Monday is a holiday" we all sat for a second and then discussed and agreed that the viewing would be held on that Friday and the services on that Saturday.  WAIT, this can't happen, my sister's birthday is on Saturday, we CAN NOT do that to her, I think we all realized it at the same time, as she said "it is ok, it would be an honor for me to have her buried on my birthday" my mom lost it and my dad hugged my sister tight.  We all left the room a second or two after one another and walked out of the house stone faced and in a definite somber mood than when we had gone in.  We were greeted by family and friends, which there seemed to have been 'some'one always here, this proved to be a really good thing giving the circumstances.
My birthday was this coming Monday and I would be flying to New York on Tuesday, I had already made my mind up that I was not going, my dear friend Julie was tagging along and I knew she would keep my oldest company and I would not be missed, apparently this WAS a negotiable proposition I soon found out!


the talk

I woke up feeling pretty refreshed and ready to tackle my day.  My oldest had to work and my youngest daughter asked if she could come with me today for my 3pm feeding and so she to could meet David for the first time, I of course was happy to have some company today.  My oldest daughter asked "we are getting David, right mom?"  I replied to her "yes, yes we are" she smiled, kissed me and gave me a huge hug, have a good day mom she said as she left out the door.

We started off and of course stopped by my parents house before we headed further up north.  There were a few visitors at the house already, so I made my way to the shop to see my dad and then to the patio where I found my godmother and dear friend of my mom's.  I asked where my mom was and they told me she and my sister were in the house, "your mom is having a bad day sweetie" they told me, so of course I made my way into the house to find them in the baby's nursery, sitting on the bed that had been setup for my sister to use as extra refuge when she had to feed or change the baby when they both came home, just another little reminder that she was not coming home and just how prepared they were, we all were, for her to bring home her first born child, her son and raise him to be a happy, healthy little boy.
I could not stand to be in the room so I walked to the kitchen and then made my way back out to the patio to find my dad out there as well, he asked me "your mom ok" and I simply shook my head `yes`.  Both of us knowing good and well she was not, non of us were, it was just a formality at this point. 
My mom and sister came out and joined us on the patio, my daughter went inside to eat something before we left and my dad said we need to talk about the baby.  I told my parents I would be taking David, it was the only sensible choice at this time, his mother was dead, his father was proving to be absent even at this stage in the game, my sister had already made her decision clear and my mom had proposed that we all `share` him~they would keep him a month, my sister would keep him a month and then I would get him for a month~YES because that is logical!  My mom's dear friend was still there and was very blunt in giving her opinion that this was not even an option, I told them I was willing to do this and in honor of his mother, this is what she wanted, this is what I truly believed she was asking me to do when she was on her death bed.  My dad shook his head in acceptance as my mom gave me all her resistance, I was angree and knew as we all did this was about the only option we had and that in deed it would work out but I needed to hear it, I needed to know this was going to be what was going to happened, I needed something more than the uncertainty that was present, that had been present for the last week, the thought of losing him was just not my option!

My dad had asked me what my plans were for today and I told him I was going to go see David and I would be back for dinner, we were supposed to hear back from the mortuary today as well.  My sister told me she would probably be going home tonight and would be back for the services, she needed to be with her family.  We agreed, we all agreed we each needed some `alone` time since we had been going non stop and this next week would most likely be worse than what we had already been through if that was even possible and with that being said/suggested, I was off and running, 3pm feeding here I come!


my sanctuary

I got back to my parents house to find even more family and friends joining my parents in their respective 'spots' if you will and my godmother and sister in the kitchen warming some food.  My girls had not ended up coming out so I made the decision to go home this night and sleep in my own bed, enjoy a nice long HOT shower and try to relax and not ponder too much of what has happened, my girls were excited I was coming home.  This was a bittersweet decision as I was not prepared to leave my parents, how can they be alone in this house, did they want to be alone in this house?  My sister and I talked about it and decided she would stay one more night and I would be ok to go home tonight.
I made my rounds and left for home, my appetite was less than so I decided if anything I would have something with the girls.

When I got home my dear friend Julie was with the girls and they decided it would be a good idea to go get a bite to eat at our 'fav' Mexican spot, I was hesitant but knew it would be good to get out.  I had been away from my house for so long it was so nice to be home and lying in my own bed seemed almost foreign.  The girls had come upstairs to lie on my bed with me while the phone seemed to have been ringing off the hook and as long as it was not my parents or my sister I declined all the calls, I needed a good shower and some quiet time with my daughters!  I laid with the girls, they cried, we talked about my visit with David today, we talked about the services and we talked about the trip my oldest and I had planned for over 6 months ago, I was taking her to New York for her 18th birthday and her high school graduation, we were set to go in just 6 days.
I made my way to the shower and knew it would take everything I had to take one and get to bed, pure exhaustion was setting in so I was looking forward to some good, solid sleep tonight.
My youngest daughter wanted to come sit with me, my girls often did when I was in the shower, it was like "prime talk" time or something but this night I politely asked if I could shower in private, little did I know that the privacy would be my sanctuary and as vulnerable as you are in the shower, think about it, you are alone, it's quiet and your completely naked, what better time to let it all go besides no one can hear you with the water running, right?!?!?!
I started the water, got in the shower and I'm certain there were more tears flowing than there was water.  I lost control over my tears and barely had control of my body, I was shaking and completely vulnerable to my emotions, they were raging, I fell to the shower floor and whaled for what seemed to be hours.  Then, all the sudden they stopped, I composed myself and finished my shower, I had a sense of calm when I was done and now beyond exhausted, physically and most definitely emotionally, it was time for bed! 
I checked on my daughters, kissed them good night and went to bed, pulling the covers over my head.


"the norm"

This day was going to bring much joy and sorrow as it has become 'the norm'.  We got the phone call from the funeral home,they had her body and they would be preforming the autopsy and we needed to come down to make proper burial arrangements.  The 4 of us got ready, greeted a few friends that had come by already to bring us more food and we piled in the car for another "road trip", this one was local, it just seemed the norm that we had been on the `go` over this past week.  We got the mortuary where we were greeted by the director and taken into her office, we all took a seat and she started with her condolences to our family, then we started the daunting task of picking a casket, wording her eulogy, what time we wanted services and where, etc... my mom broke down, my dad had been pacing the room and the director saw this was obviously not a normal planning, like they never generally are, its just this one came with more of a sudden tragedy than she has seen, YES, even being in her line of business.
We were making progress when the director was called out of the room, we were left to look at information cards to be given out at the services, I don't know what their proper name is, but non-the-less we picked the standard/general card and picked our verse when the director came back in the room, she sat down and said "good news, we may be able to have the services on Friday instead of Monday, they are back there now completing the autopsy now and I will know more this afternoon", my mom and dad seemed pleased we would not be waiting an additional week for the results or to have the burial services while my sister continued to looking at a catalog of caskets and I had a TOTAL freak out moment.  I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut and then holding me down, I could not move as much as I felt like I needed to run out of her office, I had to take several deep breaths to just catch one single breath!  The fact they had her in another room, in the same building we were sitting in and the fact they were dissecting her made me physically ill, I wanted to run and find her, sit with her through this awful procedure, hold her hand and tell her it would be ok, then as fast as it all came on, it went away, some water, tears and my dad's embrace later.  She was dead, she was not here with us, her body was but not her soul. I was not going to be able to hold her hand anymore, I was not going to be able to tell her it was going to be ok, I can only took comfort in knowing she is not struggling or no longer in such awful pain.
there was nothing normal about what we were having to do...

After a couple of extremely long hours we left the mortuary and headed back home, I was going to head straight to Merced and my parents and sister would be staying at the house.  My girls would not be coming down till evening so I headed up alone for what would now be my bonding time and daily feeding since my schedule only allowed me to fit in one feeding with everything else going on. The drive was nice and miss channel surfer listened to nothing the entire 40 minute drive to the hospital, stopping only when I got my destination only to sit in the parking lot and ball like I was 5 years old and had lost my favorite stuffed animal.  I finally composed myself and wondering what my issue was, why was I SO damn afraid to go in alone?  I put on my big girl panties and went on up to the NICU. There I was greeted by the head nurse who checked me in, I `suited up`, signed my proper visitation forms for the CPS worker and then she pointed in the dark corner and said "there he is, go ahead and wake him up and I will bring over his bottle, I'm preparing it for you now, tomorrow you get to do it yourself"  I thought man, she is a stickler, he's not even mine, what is the deal lady! 
I walked over to his islet and stared down at him sleeping so peaceful, he was SO tiny I was afraid to touch him let alone wake him when over came the nurse, the set his bottle on the counter, slid over a huge recliner chair and grabbed him with one hand, it seemed all at the same time.  She then unwrapped him swiftly, hello, THIS woke him up, he was now squirming and moving trying to open his little eyes and then gagged over the tube that was inside his throat/mouth, I jumped forward and she said "he is fine he needs to get it adjusted and then he will be able to eat for you" she motioned me to sit in the chair, so of course I did, she reached over to hand him to me and said "open the gown you put on please, I want you to hold him skin to skin"  he has not had human contact and he needs it, especially as a preemie.  I felt very odd, again, he is not my child, but then remembered at the same time my sister telling me he needed stimuli and has missed the mother bonding, SO with my back to the rest of the room, I opened {bra still on} the front facing gown and positioned him in my arms, he nestled right in, my heart was beating out of my chest and I began to tube feed him as I was instructed, this would take nearly 45 minutes as I had to push the formula through a syringe at a snails pace so he would not choke. 

The nurse came over to me and asked if another parent would be able to come into the room now, I looked at her funny and said of course, she replied "well, I was giving you some alone time with David and wanted to make sure you were comfortable"  OK OK she is a saint in my book now, I wasn't even aware there was NO one else in the room and I was floored when she told me it had been almost an two hours now since I had begun his feeding.  David had been done with his feeding and the bonding was I guess what we BOTH needed, I think I even closed my eyes for a second or two!  I changed his diaper, wrapped him back up and dressed myself when another mother came into the room to feed her baby at it's 2 hour mark.  She looked at me and just said "I'm sorry for your loss", I smiled, kissed David and whispered to him that I would see him tomorrow. 

Quiet as a mouse and not a peep heard, the nurse said "we don't even know he is here!"


oh what a day...

today is such a mom of a 5 year old and gramma babysitting day!! 

Alarm off early, jump outta bed, hair up, quickly wipe off smeared mascara, brush teeth throw on a bra and double layer 2 holey t-shirts and comfy stretchy pants, commando of course don't judge me...

Mini pancakes it is for breakfast, even managed to pour myself a cup of 'joe' that would surely be needed to get me through the day.

time to dress the 5 year old crime fighter was simultaneously was playing his iTouch phone superman game, amazing, but he is slowed long enough to dress him as the 1 year old is corraled, diapered changed and now we are ready to bo "bye-bye", I forgot my hips would extend that far as to hold 20 extra pounds.

5 year old delivered and 1 year old is now ready to nap, nose wiped and milk administered then SUCCESS! 
I don't know what to do with myself, I am alone in a house that usually has so muh activity one can't hear oneself think a single thought...

Shhhhhhhhhhh, it's quite time~please read in silence to support the cause!!


the break-down

We returned home from our visit, my first time meeting with David to find the house was full of our family and friends. There we joined our respective areas of mourning, where my dad went into his shop, my mom settled out on the outdoor porch and my sister and I migrated between both their areas as well as the house which seemed to be the most quite place with all the people stopping by bringing food, flowers and simply wanting to give their condolences for our tragic loss.  The girl's had come down in the afternoon and stayed for just a little while before they went back home, I choose to stay at least one more night with my parents as did my sister, her husband and daughter had gone home for now and would return for the services later in the week.

I was moving food around and cleaning up a little bit of the house when my mom came in the house, just stood in the kitchen and started to cry.  I walked her into her room where she could rest a little bit and have some quiet time which in all honesty I don't think was the best thing for her but she needed to sleep, the lack of sleep on all of us this last week was not going to fair good in all we still had to do for her as well as the baby.  Passing her room was hard for me, when I left my mom's room and closed her door I placed my hand on her door knob, took a deep breath as I fought back the tears.
My godmother who was in the house with me, came outside with me as my dad was coming into the house to check on my mom, I told him she was resting, he hugged me tight an said "thank you" and went back to his shop. 

The company had thinned, if you will and I joined my sister, my girl's, my godmother and a few close friends on the outdoor porch where we all sat and discussed what was going to happen to the 'baby'.  My girl's and my sister came forth sand said my mom, Trisha will be taking him home and we will figure out the logistics with the father when everything else is settled, they all agreed that was the best choice and was the more sensible one other than our mother saying she would be the one to take him so her and our father could raise him, we all knew this was not fesible and would not happen, she had just lost her yooungest child and this baby boy is what is left of her.
It was becoming dusk and most everyone else was gone by now, a couple close friends were still here and we were preparing to eat a bit and I had hoped it would be in peace tonight.  The outpouring was amazing and I don't want to sound selfish or ungrateful but the littlest moments we could spend in silence were far and few nowadays yet SO needed by us all! 

My dad went into the house to check on my mom, wake her for dinner as my sister and I followed behind to prepare some food for us when we heard a loud cry, more like a screech, it was bone chilling as we all stepped up the pace, we rounded the kitchen corner into the hall and found "her" bedroom door open and our mom laying on her bed, sobbing, tearing the covers off her bed wrapping herself in them, my dad grabbed her and held her, it was heart wrenching, that was the epitome of losing a child right there is all I could think of.  My sister and I left the room so they could have a private moment and retreated to the living room where we held one another and silently cried with her/them.
My sister and I finished warming the food and my parents joined us a little bit later, they both actually sat at the table and ate, then went to bed for the night.  We had a very busy day lined up for tommorow, we would have the daunting task of going to the funeral home and make the proper arrangements for Tanya and I had already planned on making the the trip back down to Merced for David's 3pm feeding.

If this was the true meaning then these next few days would be described GO TIME!

the D word...


disappointment is being in {extreme} pain while going through a major life changing experience, illness, you are promised a visit, a meal, good company and great conversation & knowing it quite possibly may just  be the highlight of your day when in the end you are left waiting, wondering and sending "your not on your way are you?"

I was unfotunately the recepient of such a message and I was devastated to say the least!!  Im not devastated for my benefit I am so for the hurt and disappointment I caused someone who was counting on me to be there and I wasn't.  It was not intentional but that somehow has no bearing on the way it had broken someone's spirit.

I got the message that "it is o.k., there is a lot of pain today and I am ready for bed, yes this early".  This makes it real confirming that the slighest of visit time would have brought a little relief today...
The bravery is more that admirable and the willingness to forgive makes the friendship one that is un-breakable...
for that I must take comfort in knowing it IS ok, NOT acceptable, but understood and that I will have an opportunity to make it right!

I have been disappointed and devastated~I take to heart the words and the gestures of making something happen that may I say/suggest or promise. So I can be this hard on myself because I know first hand the effects of both and at the same time!

"I am human and to error is human to fogive is divine"


nice to meet you

With much anxiety in the 40 minute drive we took, we arrived and all piled out as fast as we piled in.  We headed up to the NICU where David was and my parents went in, as they were on the `list` and had a card with the code that my sister had given my mom after the baby was transported, we got to stand at the window outside right where David's islet was, we waited for the nurse to appear and open the blinds so we could see him.  My dad came out and said that there was some issues and the nurse was having to call in her supervisor since my sister and I were not on the list and that the only one who had access to see, be with the baby was the mother & father, they then had told us that David's father
had come to see him just yesterday bringing his parents whom were only allowed at the window as well.  My mom was still in the NICU with the nurses trying to sort it all out, I was less than happy as was my sister, my dad offered us a walk which we both declined.  My mom popped out and called my dad into the unit where the nurse then opened the blinds for us as she left the unit for 3 minutes, that was the max time she gave my parents to be alone and have a private moment with their only grandson whom had just lost his mother.
My mom held him close and cried, my dad held my mom and cried, my sister and I were arm and arm when the nurse came up to us and apologized for our family's tragic loss and that she was sorry there was a delay in seeing David.  The nurse explained that she had to get permission especially due to the circumstances to have family other than the biological parents come and visit and care for this newborn child that had been in the NICU for a week now with no regular visits or care.  We told her we understood and thanked her for caring for him this past week when we obviously could not, she obliged and said that since the father was not as involved we would be allowed to come and visit and care for the child, my parents were eligible automatically since they were listed as her 'next of kin'.

Our parents took just a short amount of time with David and then came back out to the hallway were my sister and I had been admiring him through the nursery window wondering what the future held for this teeny tiny baby boy and what on earth were our parents thinking about, I a mother, can not even imagine!  My sister and I had talked about it briefly but I think it was a given at this point that I would be the one to take David in and care for him as my sister simply put it that I was the unselfish one, she had a 3 1/2 year old she wanted/needed to give her undivided attention to and spoil her as I had already gotten to do for my girl's who were nearly 18 and 15 years old coming up in July, both still at home with me. I was recently divorced and had a good paying, secure job at the same time becoming set in my {new} ways.  I Married young, right out of high school, ALWAYS had to be the responsible one and quite frankly didn't have a whole lot of fun, I was in a new phase of my life, being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and I surely in love with my 10-12 hours of sleep I got on a daily basis!

It was finally our turn to go in and see him, I was so nervous I think I almost puked.  We had to wait 30 minutes to allow the other NICU parents to come and see their children and then the nurses would be able to give us the same private time they gave our parents.  I remember walking in, the nurse pulling the islet away from the wall, pushing over another big comfy chair and saying "god bless you both" as she left the room, we both stood there watching over him as he slept like an angel, I swear he was lying there so peaceful it took my breath away, I had to sit down before I fell down as my sister scooped him up and sat next to me holding him out right so we could both take a good look at him.  He was a whooping 4 lb, 5oz dark complected full of hair, trust me on this one, head to toe.  He had a feeding tube coming from the side of his mouth which didn't seem to bother him at all as we passed him back and forth, only once a piece until I ended up with him and at that very moment I was connected and I promised myself I was never going to let him go, THIS is the moment I knew what she meant when she said 'take care of the baby.'  Now that I think about it, she didn't say "my" baby, it was "the" baby, interesting you may think but to me, yes now 5 years later, I'm convinced it was her ultimate gift to me.

The nurse came in, knelt by us on the floor and gave us instructions on feeding David as it was that time and of course we wanted to be involved.  My sister had gone out and asked my mom if she wanted to feed him and she was too emotional so my sister and I would be administering the feeding on this day, our first date as I like to call it!  The nurse prepped the food/bottle and showed us how it worked with the tube and the cleaning procedure when we were done.  She stood by us, wanting to ask, then she would walk away and then came right back "ok I have to ask, I have to know, who will care for David, what will happen to him?"  My sister and I looked at one another, we cried, I held David even closer as he ate, still never opening his eyes and my sister told the nurse, "she will, I'm too selfish and have a daughter to raise, Trisha will care for David and do so in honor of our sister Tanya" the nurse started to cry, hugged us both and went on about her rounds in the small NICU room we were all contained to at this time. 

Lunch time was over, he started to stir and then it happened, he opened his eyes, he looked at me with those huge brown eyes and locked in his target.  The nurse came over and was like "ok here is the game plan" it was like a football coach and we were on this field about to win the championship title, she told me you should come down everyday so he can bond with you and you can feed him at least his 3 p.m. feeding. I shook my head, agreed and told her I would be here, god willing with all this other stuff we had to take care of now as she gave me the card and code and her personal number as well as number to her station.  My sister laid David carefully back in his islet and we went to the hall to meet our parents who went back in to say good bye to David, we had a lot we needed to get started so we needed to get back home. 
Talk about feeling torn, I wanted to snatch him up and take him home right there, he did not need to lay in that bed alone for another day!

The drive home was a silent one, an emotional one, a heart wrenching one~but we did it and we did it together. Iit felt as if we were the fabulous 4 and nothing was going to stop us now, we were on a mission to make sure my mom's child, my dad's daughter and our sister was given all our attention in preparing for her final journey, her journey that would lead her to peace, a well deserved farewell.



We finally woke up with all the hustle and bustle that was starting to happen in the house, this was just my parents getting up, making coffee and moving around.  I remember like it was yesterday, still, my parents watching us sleep, wanting to be quiet but wanting us to get up and be with them, the first silent thought that went through my head was I woke up and my little sister did not!
We all migrated outside, it was a gorgeous morning as it always seemed to be at my parents house, we all sat on the porch we all loved to sit at and look at the hills and drink our coffee, believe it or not that is where I got my obsession for the java, I detested the stuff till then.

My sister started off the conversation, our parents were less than speechless and seemed we were the ones to keep them on track this past week.  We discussed the trip we would be taking to Merced this morning or early afternoon and how excited and scared to death we all were, we still had not talked a lot about what was going to happen with the baby boy that was lying in an isolate and had been all alone for the last 5 days with no visitors.  My sister had seen the baby, David, after his birth and then again when my parents took her up to see him 3 days after she had him, my parents had talked little about him other then what a wonderful job Tanya had done during birth and how very  proud they were of her and how she was looking so forward to raising her son which at that point the conversation ended as the tears and heartache brought us back to the reality that she was really gone.  We all sat for a little time more, composed ourselves if you will when friends and family started to arrive, it was mid morning and I was grateful they gave us that much time because it was non-stop for the next week.  Many close friends and family were in and out, there was a lot of food, a lot of phone calls, flowers and just as many hugs and tears.  
We had a huge support team, for a lack of better words, there was always someone at the house inside with my mom and someone outside with my dad, I can't tell you who all they were but I know my godmother was a god send and my dad's closest friends never left his side.  My sister and I as well as my girl's filled in the gaps, not slowing down once, that would have meant we would have had to 'really' think about things and that was just not an option at this point there was too much that needed to be done. 

The 4 of us took turns in getting ready as best we could and headed out the door, it was almost 1pm by now when we piled into my dad's truck as if we were 8 years old and going on a vacation road trip, it was a fond memory that rushed back to me and as fast as it came, it left with the simple fact of this was not the vacation road trip I had planned on taking.  I do remember we had a nice drive, although there was not a lot of conversation, it was about 40 minutes north of were we lived so it was just enough time to prepare ourselves for a rush of emotions, again!


disbelief and the reality..

I swear every step we took once we left the elevator seemed as it was the length of a football field, I can’t tell you how we made it to the parking lot or how I got to our parents’ house. My girls were already there as well as a majority of our family and friends who had come from the hospital as well as those who had heard wanted to come and see what they could do & lend their support. We had a few people come by the house in utter shock as they had stopped by the hospital to visit/see us and were told my sister had past, can you imagine their shock when they came out to the house, YES I can! We were raised in a small town and we had lived in the same house for nearly 30 years now, so to say the least it’s a place that had welcomed a few people over the years.
The afternoon quickly turned into evening, most of the friends had gone home, a few family members hung around making sure we were all ok for the night, the girls had gone home with their dad’s mother who had gone to the hospital and then came to the house after hearing the news, she wanted to make sure the girls were ok and I was most appreciative as I was going to obviously be staying with my parents and my sister tonight at their house. My mom was a “zombie” that is the best way to describe her state, my dad was busy, he was not/could not sit still, my sister and I were cleaning up and making sure our parents were settling in for the night as the 4 of us then sat and discussed that we would definitely take a drive to Merced first thing tomorrow morning to see the baby and make sure his needs were now met and he was taken care of, I was excited to meet him for the first time, we now had to hurry and grieve and focus on this new little life, we had to make sure we focused on him and got him home. WAIT, his mom just died, how will he handle this, what is going to happen to him? Panic was setting in for sure!
Our parents went to bed, we tucked them in and made our way to the living room to sit and "veg" for just a moment, we sat in silence and before we knew it was almost 2 a.m., it had only been a couple of hours now and we both said we should really get some sleep, we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow and before we knew it our dad came into the living room, quietly and kissed us each on the forehead and covered us with our favorite blankets we used as little girls staying up all night as if we were having a sleep over.
My sister and had I sat and reminisced about our childhood and our youngest sister who had just passed and as sudden and tragic as it was we laughed just as much as we cried. I married right out of high school and I was off and all about living my own life, I had a huge responsibility of caring for my two youngest sister's pretty much all my life as well as my grandmother {my senior year of high school} who had passed years prior to cancer just 3 months after her diagnosis, so for me to really 'know' & be connected to my family was something that had been absent in my life for a few years, this was going to be a definite reconnect but one I would have preferred to have happened in a much different light!
My sister talked a lot about her and Tanya and the shenanigan's they would get into and the trouble they were constantly dodging, the parties they attended and the fun they had on the road trips that they took from time to time also how she knew Tanya was not going to finish high school and was down on herself for not being more involved with her `growing up` than she was worried about having a good time and partying herself. I told her, she was in that "teenage/graduated" stage and it should have been about her, she should have been finding herself, within reason of course and that Tanya was also coming to a stage where she was also needing to figure out her life and what her life plan was, what she wanted to do, needed to do and get on track by finishing school or securing a job. I looked at my sister and I cried, I balled, she asked what was wrong, what did she say to upset me so much, I told her there was nothing she said, it was me and how horrible I felt that I do NOT have those memories, I had no "fun" stories, she stopped me with huge tears in her eyes and looked at me and said but "YOU got to put the band-aids on her cuts and scrapes" you got to comfort her in her pain, you got to hold her when she did not feel good!" We both sat and I think at that moment had cried ourselves to sleep and that is where our dad found us.


it was a busy day, when is it NOT a busy day in this household that we operate and live in?!  I was coming upstairs to bring up some clothes when I heard it as I rounded the corner and entered my bedroom, down the hall, on the opposite end of the house,  the sweetest and deepest belly laugh I had never heard before. I thought it may have been one of the boys in David's room playing with him as I had put a movie on as he asked so he could watch it while we got ready to leave the house for "errand" day as David got to stay home from school today. 

I snuck down the hall, peeked in and saw him lying on his stomach, crossed legs, arms up and palms holding his chin up, he was alone in his room and TOTALLY laughing at a scene on the movie!  I was excited and had not heard him laugh on his own to a movie before, a sign I take that he is getting older ): and he is gaining his "own" person I guess, I can't explain it other than it was the cutest thing as it gave me a 'sad mommy feeling of joy' then all afternoon he was replaying the scenes and phrases...SO adorable (: 


the decision

My dad had stopped near a huge window in the waiting room, it had a decent view of outside, it was a hospital view but non the less it brought in a little sunshine into a dark room.  I stood by his side for a few minutes and said to him "I'm taking the baby dad" he looked at me and shook his head then turned away and wiped his eyes and replied to me "I know, we will discuss all this later". 
A few family/friends had come over to us, I hugged my dad and I walked back into the family room to check on the girl's and my mom, my sister was still praying I'm assuming with Eugene.  Eugene you ask?  when my sister and I had gone down to the chapel earlier in the morning we kind of got locked in, they were painting the outside walls and not looking before they blocked/taped off the door to the chapel, we had a hard time getting out.  Eugene was the one who un-taped the doorway and made a sliver of an exit for us, saw that we were upset and asked if there was anything he could do, my sister immediately told him "please pray for our family" Eugene was ready and offered at that very moment, my sister declined and said we would be back.  To this day I'm not sure if she found Eugene or not but knew she was down at the chapel for sometime before she came back up to the family room.

I went into the family room to find my mom laying back down, my girl's had left and went to the waiting room to visit with family that was more than willing to comfort them and support them since non of us knew what was going on.  I knelt down and caressed my mom's face, she opened her eyes and she greeted me with "how are you sweetie?" I told her I was fine, I was, I felt great, I felt like we were making head-way on what needed to be done and we were going to fix this, fix her and she would be able to raise her son as she had talked non stop about for 8 months, I knew this I felt this but the reality was more apparent and I told my mom "we have to say goodbye, we have to let her go" she sat up, she did not cry, she grabbed my face, my hands and said "I know".  My dad had come back in the family room bringing my girl's with him, my sister followed shortly, it was mid afternoon now and we knew the nurse would be back out shortly and as we expected, the doors opened and she came out with papers and clipboard in hand.  The 6 of us were all sitting together in the family room, while our family and friends were respectful enough to let us have some time, the nurse looked at my dad and explained the DNR paperwork that she had for him and my mom to sign.  She began to explain to us that she was not responding well to the antibiotics and during the course of late last night & up to now her body, her organs were beginning to shut down and they feared when they began the blood transfusion that she may not be strong enough to complete the process, no one said a word, we all sat still like good students getting instruction for our daily lesson.  She then explained how the DNR would work and that if something happened and she took a turn for the worse they would not take measures to save her life, my mom put her hands over her face and cried, my girl's held one another and my sister and I sat arm and arm, my dad then stood up and said "this is what we want, we don't want her to suffer anymore, we need to do this for her, she put up a good fight, she has been beyond brave!" the nurse hugged my dad and said "I understand, please trust me, you are doing the right thing in making this decision for your daughter" my dad then took the clipboard and signed where he was instructed. 
She told us she would allow all of us to go see her before they started the procedure and that it would be a few hours before we would be allowed back into see her, we all began to discuss who would go in first and what we would tell her, we truly believe she had been listening to us this entire time anyway, this would be the one visit with her that ``really`` counted when just then, the doors to the ICU unit flew open, huge heavy double doors, the nurse assistant looked past us to our head nurse and said, her heart rate is dropping fast, she is going NOW.....I can't tell you how 6 of us fit through that family room doorway but we did and with 2 or 3 other family members from the waiting room we all rushed into her room just in time, well, we had hoped, the nurses seemed to be in slow motion yet they seemed to have been turned off and moving some of the machines away from her bed, she had passed as we all entered the ICU unit, she had taken her last breath, her soul was now, finally, going to rest in peace!

It was moments later,  I turned around and the only ones left in her room were me and my daughter, she was across the bed and I was hugging the ventilator, I had it up to my ear listening to her breath, I thought to myself how can she really be gone, she looks so beautiful lying there, I noticed they had taped her eyes closed and then I lost it, my daughter was pleading for her to come back, my cousin was behind me holding me up.  I turned and asked her where everyone had gone, she told me my folks left the hospital, my youngest daughter, my sister and her husband had all gone back to the waiting room.  I can not tell you how long we were in her room after the Dr called her time of death on 09/01/2006 @ 1532 hours but I can tell you I was NOT letting go of that ventilator, it symbolized her and I was not ready to let her go!
The nurse came in and told me she needed my parents to sign some documents and extended her deepest apologies for our loss and how truly sorry and heart broken she was, I thanked her for all she had done especially making my parents feel so comfortable about the DNR process.  She then asked with respect that they start to clean the room and prepare her body to be taken away, my sister came back into the room at that time, my cousin followed m daughter out and my sister and I stood there in total and utter complete shock that our youngest sibling was lying in front of us, a new mother, a proud mother, a proud woman who had come so far in her young life and had huge accomplishments only to now enjoy none of them, that thought was extremely overwhelming for us both, I mean this was NOT seen or expected by any of us!
With one of us on each side of her, holding her hands, I kissed her forehead one more time as did my sister we whispered that we loved her so very much and removed the tape from her eyes so we could say good-bye then we slowly left the room.  We entered the elevator and rode it at least 4 times up and down, up and down, up and down I, we could not bring ourselves to get off, it meant we would be leaving her here, she would never be coming home, it meant she was really gone.


the cough...

I find it hard to {still} imagine what it is like to struggle for a breath, talk without having to cough or breath with the weight of a semi truck on your chest.

I should know this by now, I took care of my sister for years with this condition and now care for her son with the same ailments.  He is so brave, hospital stay after hospital stay he has the routine down, the `puffer` then Tylenol and then the "achine" when he can now tell me in his tiny voice "mama I can't breev."
It is bittersweet, I hate when he is sick but love the fact he is cuddles and sticks by my side "mama, I don't feel good, hold me pweese"

I still after 5 years struggle to accept the fact that he has such special needs yet he is the single bravest little soul and most energetic little boy I have ever known, I am truly blessed!

God Bless you my love,

and on this 4th day...

My mom and my sister came into the room to join us, my girl's followed in a short time later.  The chaplain asked if we would like to say a prayer and we all agreed that would be a good idea, bring us all a little closer even though we were all standing in her small, cold, ICU room where she was now breathing only with the assistance of a ventilator as the Dr had explained to us, this will help her rest more comfortably and give her some relief in struggling so hard for one simple breath.
My sister and I left the room, arm in arm, our parents and my girl's had stayed in her room for a bit longer, I was worried about the 2 person max they have been heavily enforcing these last 4 days but today seemed as if it was not going to matter.

My sister and I had not had a lot of time to talk, we went downstairs to the hospital chapel, we closed the door and we cried, we laughed & we prayed, we prayed for our family and the very uncertain future that had come it seemed just over night.  We sat in silence for a time and then decided to make some phone calls and pondered some decisions that would need to be made, who would make them, our parents were in no condition what so ever to make any type of decision about their youngest daughter who was fine 1 week ago, giving birth to a baby boy, her first child and the first boy on our side of the family for 3 generations, what is going on here, I just don't understand!

My sister and I made it back to the waiting room where she was greeted by her husband and what seemed to be a full house of family and friends that had come to be with us in this time of uncertainty.  I made my way to the family room to find my mom resting, on a small row of chairs in between the arms, perfectly tucked away and as uncomfortable as it looked she was resting well, my youngest daughter was in the room with her, sitting quietly curdled up in a chair, I hugged her, kissed her forehead and left to go back into the room, as my dad was in the waiting room talking to my brother-in-law while my oldest daughter was in the room alone where I was headed.
I entered the room and stood at the threshold watching my daughter attempt to talk, interact with her aunt, touch her skin, held her hand as she looks at all the machines and monitors, I fought back my tears and stepped in. I asked if she was ok, she looked at me from across the bed and asked me with brave tears in her big brown eyes, "mom is aunt Tanya going to be ok?" I told her, honey, I don't know, things look really bad right now, she needs to stay strong and fight this and it hit me, THIS is what she meant the other night when she said she was tired, this is what she meant when she said she didn't want to do this anymore, she was needing me to tell her I was proud of her, of all she had done and that everything would be ok and it was ok that she was tired, she needed to know just how brave I knew she was and that I admired her!  Did I make it clear to her the one night when we had our talk, did she understand me, did she know that there is nothing in this world I would not do for her, what if it was too late now?

The nurses came in and needed to change over some of the machines and medications, they politely asked us to leave the room, we did and joined my mom and daughter in the family room where my dad and sister came when they saw us come through the doors. My mom woke up as we all sat in a little bit of silence, no one was sure what to say next but I knew this was going to bring the 6 of us closer together no matter what the outcome was.  The nurse that had been with Tanya the whole week came in and told us that she would need a signature to do another blood transfusion this afternoon as the one given last night was not working and she needed more blood, she let us know that they would be increasing her antibiotics and the infection she had was spreading.  I remember my dad moving closer to my mom, none of us had dry eyes at this point and my dad told the nurse "whatever we need to do we will do." 
The nurse looked at me, smiled and them looked back to my parents and said I need to talk to you folks and see if we can get a DNR signed for Tanya, the room was now more silent, my mom broke down, my sister ran out of the room and grabbed her husband on her way out and was in a frantic panic "I need to pray, I need to pray where is Eugene the painter", my girl's went to my mom's side and my dad and I stood up, the nurse {I still can't remember her name} looked at us as we approached the door and said I will give you folks awhile while I get the paperwork ready, I will prep her for the transfusion and be back in a little bit, my dad nodded and he left the room, I followed. 


day #4

I want to recall that I slept well once I got home, but to be honest, I can't remember, I had called the hospital and checked in to make sure nothing had changed and I checked on the girl's as they were sound asleep, I don't even think they knew I was home until they woke up to leave for school.  They came in and made sure everything was ok and I mumbled to them that their aunt would be taking the early morning shift at the hospital and I would be going down with them when they got home from school, confirmed to them that I would allow them to come home at noon since things were now up in the air and it was Friday. I would take the first part of the day to get some stuff done and have a bit of a {mental} break which they agreed was a great idea!

I checked in with my parents and they said they were getting up and ready and that my sister was waking as well and they would all be headed back to the hospital.  I got up, took my shower and called into work.  I was on vacation this past week prior & had been on days off up to today, I was due to go back to work this evening.  I had been in contact with work so I called my supervisor and told her what little we knew still and told her I would call her when I got to the hospital but more than likely would not be in today, she agreed and gave her reassurance that if there was anything I needed to just call her.

I made a few other phone calls and laid back down on my bed to rest since my sleep this past week was less than and I maybe slept for a total of 5 hrs last night, my mind was full of  `what the heck is going on, what is happening`, my heart was aching to the point it almost felt as if had stopped beating entirely. 
It was mid morning when my cell phone rang, it was my sister, she had a urgency about her tone as soon as I said hello, she told me it would be a good idea if I came to the hospital now and not waited till this afternoon, I questioned nothing, called my oldest daughter as she was on her way home anyway, she was too upset to stay at school today. When she got home we hugged and cried, I told her I knew nothing at this point but knew last night she took a turn for the worse and told her what the Dr had said and how she had looked when I left her. My daughter had already called the school so when we arrived my youngest daughter was outside waiting for us and we headed down to the hospital.  I called my supervisor on he way down, she had offered the department chaplain, I respectfully declined but thanked her for the offer, she gave me all the time I needed and to told me to please take care and let her know if we needed anything today.

The drive was a long one it seemed, my daughter was driving as I was definitely in no shape this time to do so, I can confidently say we were all in a state of shock, it was survival mode at it's best! 
what was going on?
what had happened overnight?
was she going to be alive when we got there?
what was going to happen to the baby?
the girl's pleaded, mom what are we going to do?
We each silently cried the rest of the way...
We arrived and ran up to the ICU waiting room where we found my mom and dad in the `family` room and my sister in her room visiting with her, she had not seen her in over a week since their visit to Merced to see the baby after he was born.  I didn't see the urgency at this point and was kind of mad, my mom was a mess, that was nothing new given our last 4 days, my dad was pacing, again, nothing new, the girl's were in panic "what now they asked" I was determined to get to the bottom of this all!

My dad and I went into her room, passing my sister at the door, she grabbed me and sobbed and said she looks SO BEAUTIFUL, thank you.  I told her I would be out in a few minutes and we would take a walk.  I entered the room and saw the police chaplain standing at the foot of her bed, my dad looked at me and smiled and whispered "thank you", I was a little confused at this point & then it hit me, the urgency was here and it was real.  She was laying there, completely flat and now hooked up to a ventilator, we were told her breathing had gotten worse through the night and was only manageable by the assistance of a machine by the time the day nurses came onto the floor.  I stood in awe at how quick this had all seemed to have turned bad, I mean I have been here the whole time, what could I have done differently? 
As my dad and the chaplain were continuing their conversation, to this day I could NOT tell you what the conversation was about but I can tell you my dad had not talked that much in 4 days and it was nice to see him `relate` to someone in the midst of this now crisis. 



night #3

I mean how selfish of me to think `we` had something to fight for, she was the one in the hospital, the ICU unit at that. The Dr told us they had done several blood tests, several x-rays and were still puzzled at her high fever and her inability to fight this now infection. There was no name for this infection, no cause, no explanation other than him simply telling us we needed to pray for her. He said they would be monitoring her closely through this night and they will perform more tests tomorrow. PRAY FOR HER?? WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?? I asked him, he looked at me and said "We don't know what is wrong with her, but I do know she is very very sick right now" "We have to control her fever and this infection that came on and seems to be spreading". I sat in disbelief, pray, PRAY? My dad grabbed my mom as she fell apart, my dad put his hand on my shoulder and I said I have to go back to her room, I have to be with her right now!

I had made a brief phone call to my sister as I was going back upstairs, she was extremely upset and on her way down, she was in more disbelief as she had not come down sooner to see her and to be with us. I assured her this was news to us as we/I had no idea it was this bad. I told her the last couple days have been a difficult haul but nothing I thought would have ever turned this drastic in a matter of a few hours. She told me she would be at the hospital first thing in the morning and I wished her safe travels. I went back up, buzzed myself in, my parents shortly followed to say good night to us both.
Tanya seemed to be in a pretty uncomfortable state, it appeared to me they had her bed in a flatter position than they had earlier in the day, I'm confidant it was due to the fact she seemed to be having more difficulty breathing so they had also, what I described as a breathing treatment machine on steroids placed by her bed to help her along. I had a bad gut feeling about this `sudden` change if you will but knew this was the fight that needed to be fought!

I walked my parents out of the room and when the double doors closed behind us, I lost it, I mean I LOST IT, I was a hot mess, I could not control my sobbing, my outbursts, I was shaking and not sure how that wall was going to hold me up, my parents froze in fear, I saw it in my mom's eyes and felt it in my dad's embrace. I regained my wits, I HAD to pull it together to be strong for her tonight, I had to take care of her, tonight would be the night I talked to her and told her what she needed to do to get better even though I had not the slightest god damn clue what that was, but she did not need to know that!

My parents left and I went back in to her room, it became immediately apparent this night was going to be a challenge, we had "Helga" and you know there is always a "Helga" {the horrible} nurse out there and she always has to pull at least one of your shifts, this was HER night and HER shift. I went into the room and was soon greeted by Helga, she told me I would have to leave shortly, she was not going to allow me to stay the night, I told her, I was sorry, that I had been here for 3 days now and I was not going anywhere, I was not leaving my baby sister's side. Helga informed me that they would be doing some test and giving her blood transfusions throughout the night and that it would be better if I was not here. I was appalled and told her, she is scared to death, she does not realize what is going on, I have to be here to explain it to her and...I was cut off, Helga advised me my sister is an adult and if she is incompetent to sign her name for the authorization for the transfusion then they will go with the Dr's authorization anyway.   I was like ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW, she can't even talk, and you want to explain to her your going to give her blood and expect her to sign for this?? Helga did not seem to care at this point and it was obvious I was losing this battle quickly.
I was able to speak with her and tell her what was going on, what they needed to do to make her feel better, I think she knew although she seemed really nervous. I was then able to say good night, tell her I loved her and kiss her forehead as I heard her mumble back to me, I was then asked to leave the room.  
It was late, nearly 11p.m., I was told I could stay in the waiting/family room for the night, but thought the best place for me would be home, in my own bed, with my girl's, a place I had been away from for 4 days now.  I was probably in the worst possible emotional state `ever` to drive 30+ minutes but it did me some good to be alone and have some quiet time.


day #3

Morning came, day nurses came on, it was shift change, I kissed her forehead as she was finally in a good sleep and I stepped out of the room to get some fresh air and enjoy the sunlight and make a few phone calls. I called my girl's to make sure they were ready for school, my folks to tell them nothing had changed overnight other than more tests and blood work and we should have the results later this afternoon, then I called my sister to make sure she was better today and she told me she would be coming down after work today which I have to be honest was a relief to me, I might be able to sleep a little and take a break from the hospital setting that I have been living for the last 3 days now. I was not willing nor able at this point to tell my parents about the conversation if you will she and I had shared last night.

My parents arrived late morning, family and more friends seemed to fill the waiting and family rooms today, there was also a lot of activity in and out of her room. My mom and I were next in line to go into her room, as we entered the doors, the nurse stopped us and said to my mother, I have an urgent phone call for you and handed her the phone. My mom started to cry and plea for nothing more to happen until she and my dad could get down there to sign the proper paperwork, she hung up the phone and told me that was a CPS worker calling from Valley Children's Hospital in Merced advising her that they would be placing a hold on the baby who had not had and visitors up to and including the mother and father in 3 days now. Needless to say, my mom already running on high emotions fell apart and as her and my dad rushed 45 miles up north to meet with the CPS worker as well as the NICU staff nurses. The baby was a month early and in fairly good health, he was admitted to NICU due to his size and his inability to swallow and keep down any formula, other than that his vital organs & birth condition was fine.

I stayed in her room most of that afternoon, there was a lot of activity if you will with nurses, more tests and such. She seemed to be in a state of rest, it is the only way I can describe it, it was weird to me but a relief at the same time to see her finally resting.

My parents returned to the hospital a few hours later, most of our family’s & friends had gone home and my daughters were about ready to leave when we all decided to go to the cafeteria and get a bite to eat for the evening shift change, we ate and the girl's left for home, it was a little later than I had preferred but considering the circumstances I guess it could slide.

I joined my parents back in the cafeteria after walking the girls out, hoping to finally talk about what happened in Merced when we were then meet by her Dr that had apparently been looking for us in her room, he approached us and asked us to join him outside, we did as he looked at us one by one. He was a family Dr and had been her Dr for 20 plus years for her asthma symptoms and treatment. He called us all by name, my mom, dad and then I, this was not going to be good, I had a gut feeling this was not going to be the news we wanted to hear but still positive it would be something we could fight for.


night #2

The girl's had a good visit, they came out and it was obvious they were NOT prepared to see their aunt in that type of setting.  You spend your life raising your children, protecting them from the outside world, all the bad and all the ugliness. You protect them from harm and hurt and you definitely don't want them to experience anything that will be devastating before they are truly ready, I mean are ANY of us truly ready? 
The girl's stayed for a little while longer, got a bite to eat with my folks and cousin and then they went home to do homework and get ready for school.  I joined my folks a little later down in the cafeteria before they went up to say good night. We discussed what our game plan for tomorrow would be as far as the Dr's and nurses were concerned and the {hopeful} answers we would have.  I called my sister to tell her there was no change and that I would call her first thing tomorrow as soon as I got the Dr's report.  I assured her Tanya was ok and telling her she would be ok in staying home tonight as we would see what tomorrow unveiled.  She was a little reluctant but knew I was there to take care of it and I would not give her false hope as apparently our mom had in a conversation they had earlier in the afternoon. My mom was eluding to the fact that Tanya would be home in a day or two at the most, it was simply her asthma that was bothering her.

I again choose to stay that night in her room to make sure she was not alone. This night I gained a little resistance from the night nurses but they conceded once I let them know I had been here from day one and I pretty much was not leaving her side.  It was a quiet night, no changes except for more noise, in the way of the machines that were added at her bedside, a few more IV poles and the machine to cool her was now a mattress that they had put her bed, this was a manual operating one, when her body heat rose, it would turn on and regulate the temperature on it's own. 

I think I had actually dosed off for a quick minute and woke up to Tanya stirring, she seemed to be uncomfortable and was needing something.  The `cooler` had turned on and I got up to see if she was ok, what she needed.  She wanted some ice chips and mumbled to me she was tired.  I told her I know, stroked her head which was burning up and told her it is ok, your ok, close you eyes and go back to sleep.  Tanya was agitated, mumbling over and over "Im tired", "I can't do this/anymore" I finally heard & understood her words and knew at that very moment she WAS tired and as helpless as she looked to us, she was just that, helpless! 
Tanya then mumbled to me repeatedly, "take care of him, don't let him go away", I knew this was NOT the talk I wanted to have with her, not under these conditions and NOT the way I planned on talking to her about her and her son's future.  This night turned out to be for her and I, she apparently needed to make sure I knew what she wanted, what needed to be done, I refused to believe it would be anything different than HER being at home and taking care of her son.  I listened and made sure she knew I understood and would do nothing short of what she had wished/wanted me to do. 
I had a different perspective this night, after our brief interaction, which had not occurred in nearly 3 days now, I could not help but have a sense of vulnerability as I sat there and watched her try and rest in her uncomfortable state, she had a calm about her, I could see it in her face, don't ask me to explain it, just trust me, it was there.



day #2

I went back up to the room, to relieve my dad as the ICU Dr came in and told us, my mom and I, that to be perfectly honest, they had no idea what was going on with Tanya.  They would be preforming a multitude of tests today and for now they needed to focus on her spiking high fever and her breathing.
Kind of a blow to the system at this point, my mom left the room, I stayed behind to be with her and make sure she was comfortable as she was seemingly becoming more and more nervous and having moments of anxiety, my heart was heavy as I felt very useless, I could not make the hurt go away, there was no band-aid I could give her at this point to make her feel better!

I stayed by her bedside for a good portion of the morning, nurses in and nurses out.  There was not a whole lot of conversation, just one or two visitors and the girls would be coming down after school this afternoon to see her and be with me.  I called my sister and let her know what the Dr had said this morning and she had a definite "freak out" moment and was ready to be here in minutes.  I assured her there was nothing any of us could do at this point and that we would hopefully know more this evening after all the tests and blood work that they would be doing today.  I retreated to the cafeteria to find my mom, dad and cousin sitting outside enjoying the sunshine and having a bite to eat, I joined them and all I could think about was her, laying in that cold room, scared to death and not able to be out here with us.  We talked, we definitely cried and said not much more, there was still that shock factor of the unknown and what the next few days, hell, the next few hours held for us all!

It was early afternoon when I returned to her room with my dad as my mom and cousin stayed in the family room area just beyond the waiting room right outside the ICU area.  I sat there as my dad stood over her bed, looking at her, holding her hand and staring at all the monitors that had seemed to have multiplied since we had left the room just a few hours earlier.  Not much was said, I mean what do you say to a man that is the one you have always looked up to, that man who is the strongest person you know, the one you have always looked up to for your strength, the one who always took care of you, your family, the one who now stands in silence with the youngest of his children and he does so absolutely helpless and feels there is nothing he can do to make the situation any better for her, make it right, perhaps even take her place in the hospital bed.  I whispered to him across the bed, "I love you", he nodded and said "I have to go be with your mother, I will be back sweetheart, thank you".

I stayed till late afternoon, when my girl's had arrived and went to the waiting room to see them.  To my surprise the waiting room was full, my cousins, my aunt, my uncle and a few close family friends were all surrounding my parents and lining the walls of the family room.  I remember having a brief moment of "why such sad faces, why are you all here?"  she will be fine, we need to get her fever under control and she can go home, she is resting well and gaining strength".
I greeted everyone and took my girl's alone in the family room, we had a good cry, we hugged and they wanted to go see her as they had not since she had been admitted.  I told them she was resting, she was not talking too much and that she would love to see them!  They wanted to go in alone, so I took this opportunity to take a little walk, get something to drink and just have a `quiet moment` alone.


the lane...

is as long or as short as you want it to be....A wise man once told me....

"you can leave, but know if it is in a hurry or with hast, the walk back is a much longer one from when you left...either way you are welcomed back"

the memories, the thoughts, the dreams, the visions and the words are some that stick with you forever....
it may be a picture, a scene, a reminisce or a dream that brings them all back with a rush of emotions that make you feel as if you were still sitting on the porch looking at what seemed to be an eternal walk, lined with 50 year old eucalyptus trees layered with the dirt & gravel as you often times hear described in country song....

Well, I did come back, I was MORE than welcomed even if it was after everyone had gone, things had changed and no one was left, yet they all came back together for MY walk down the lane....

Dream often...
Never forget...
& Live like it WILL happen again!!



change you say...


I am guilty of change, constant change (: 

I am a radio channel changer

I have a need to keep things the same way, pattern, habit but like the switch up, BUT

as long as it is on my terms .. don't judge me, LOVE ME!!

My husband says I'm NOT stubborn, I just know what I want, I love that man ..

SO, on that note, the background change is one of a passion you could say, even have it tattooed and not finished (:

Cherry Blossom are the most delicate flower in the Asian culture and for this 'meaning' I have forever adopted their beauty!!

The cherry blossom meaning in China signifies power. A cherry blossom in Chinese culture is a symbol of feminine dominance. It indicates female beauty and sexuality. A cherry blossom blooms for a short period of time then it dies.