Posted by Aimee Bruner on Oct 07, 2011
The deconstruction of my soul began on June 24th at 12:30am. It's been ripped, frayed and pulled apart thread by thread over the past few months at an excruciating but slow and steady pace. Until now. Each week that passes brings a new and more terrifying reality for us as we watch this tumour wreak havoc on our baby girl. The "bad days" that she was having three weeks ago have now turned into her "good days" and this crushing reality is eroding what is left of my soul. I push myself not to think about the way things used to be but it's becoming harder and harder to keep my mind from going there as I watch the life slip out of Stella. Spending each day on the couch wrapped in her mama's arms, she spends most of the day drifting in and out of sleep. Eleven pounds lighter than she was three months ago, she looks so small, vulnerable and sick. It's happening. The inevitable, unthinkable, unimaginable is happening.
My dad came over to visit yesterday and slipped quietly into the house to join me in watching Stella sleep. Likely not the visit he was hoping for, he stayed anyway to be with me. As we sat on the couch, my legs draped over his, I felt like I was a kid again. We quietly watched Stella's chest rise and fall and neither one of us spoke. At one point, there was a significant pause from one breath to another - I froze as my heart jumped into the middle of my throat. With his hand on my knee, I know my dad could feel my heart breaking just as I could feel his doing the same. Sensing our fear, Mish came over and we looked each other right in the eye. We know what's coming. It may not be today, tomorrow or later this week……but it's coming soon. My grandmother died in my arms five years ago and I remember the unrelenting weight of that moment. It's coming. Each day, I can feel her slipping away from me as I watch her sleep more and eat less . The doctor's say that the human body knows how to die. It's happening.
Losing Stella often seems so unfathomable because she's still here. Just when I feel a piece of me slip away with her, a glimpse of my Stella, THE Stella, comes bursting out and fills my broken heart. I find her again every time she flashes me a smile - that infamous smile that's crammed full of tiny teeth that resemble chicklets. I find her again when she says "mommy can you get me a bagel with cream cheese at Tim Horton's?" I find her again when she organizes a tea party with her family of Mr. Potato Heads. I find her again when she freaks out because someone decided to cut her waffles into pieces.
I know that in a few weeks, finding her will not be as easy but I will be looking for her for the rest of my life.