Today marks the 20th month since Eleanor died. I have cried twenty times on the 14th.
I still vividly remember that day. We were so hopeful. The doctors said she was stable enough to fly to Washington D.C. for heart surgery and after being delayed one day already (so the flight team could assist with Haiti earthquake disaster relief), we were very eager to get going. Chris and I sat by her that morning and allowed ourselves to fantasize about bringing her home. We talked about how protective we would be of our sweet heart baby, but how important it was to let her be a normal kid. Oh, how we wanted to hold her! We made plans for me to fly with her that evening and for Chris to fly commercial the next morning. The Ronald McDonald House at Children's National had a room ready for us, although we knew we would be staying with Ellie as much as possible in the PICU. We busily cleaned our room at the local Ronald McDonald House in preparation for checkout and made final arrangements with family for the care of our then 19 month old son while we were away. At 2pm that day, we received a call that Ellie wasn't doing well and rushed back (we had only been gone an hour or two in order to pack up and clean). We only had six more hours with her and then she was gone.
I am starting to get anxious as we get closer to the 24 month mark. Two years since my baby left. It feels like a lifetime ago, yet it is all still so fresh. I feel like a different person and don't think I will ever be who I was January 3rd of last year when we were still so blissfully ignorant. Ellie was perfect as far as we knew. But she was already fighting for her life.
Will I ever be 'normal' again? Will this ever make sense? Will this hole in my heart ever heal enough to where I can say her name without fighting tears or feeling that lump in my throat?
As I am typing this, her baby sister is wiggling and kicking inside at 34 weeks. What a bittersweet time.