Stella a Week Ago
Posted by Auntie Juju (Julia Gonsalves) on Nov 15, 2011
Stella now isn't always visibly happy to see me, or even notices I'm there. Sometimes I am standing in her peripheral vision and she calls her version of my name like she has no idea I'm there. Stella has trouble seeing now, some days her pupils are so big there is just a ring of blue, and sometimes they are just tiny dots in a big blue puddle. Stella's smile is still explosive and arrives when you least expect it, when I am at my most tired and least funny, when the entertainer in me is packing up and putting everything away. Stella now asks for food she doesn't want, wants to grip sticky lollipops that carry pieces of lucy and the couch and cheetos cheese popcorn. Stella now asks for a present each time someone leaves her house (and it truly is stella's house), 5 and 1 presents to be precise. I never commit, say I'll try but I don't have any money, I'm in overdraft. She says ok but maybe its why she will sit on my lap with much less frequency than a few weeks ago. The only gifts I pack are gentleness and patient attention for her, leftovers from how I was before her diagnosis. I think our nearly 2 days alone during the births of sam and gunga mark the pinnacle of our closeness and I am rolling down a hill now on a long string firmly fixed to her curled up little toes, connected forever but never to be so close again. Stella now will take walks in the ergo sometimes. I took her last weekend, talked about how beautiful the sunset was until I realised she'd fallen asleep. I saw the little blue veins in her face behind her pale thin skin in the context of fading daylight and it was peaceful that time, the feeling in me. I wanted to walk with her for days, her special blanket wrapped around us both like a housecoat. I wanted to keep her head under my chin.
Stella now goes in waves. She wanted to crawl yesterday and didn't care that she couldn't really. She still wants to have Tea parties with fred but can't sustain a storyline beyond drinking and pouring. She wants a thousand things at arms reach and can't balance them all, she refuses to acknowledge the limits of mish's lap and the sloppy couch cushions.
Stella now was stella a week ago, and she changes daily, arrives and leaves our lives in steps both forward and backward, morning and night, and we measure in smiles, measure in silence, measure in wait.