We are coming up on anniversaries: anniversaries of last doctor visits, hospital entry, transfer to the other hospital, last birthday and death. I find myself contemplative and sad.
I have lots of memories of times with my daughter, some of them good, and some of them sad. I think of the good memories more often most of the time, but just now I am remembering my daughter being sick, and impatient to get better and back to her normal routine.
I remember going back to the doctor with her because she wasn't well yet, and her having a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia. The x-ray was clear.
Some days later I remember her breathing not sounding right, but she didn't want to go back to the doctor again. Then the next day her breathing sounding more not right, and insisting she go.
I remember the doctor telling my daughter she needed to be in the hospital, and was ordering an ambulance to take her there. My daughter crossed her arms across her chest and said, "I'm going in my mother's car." The doctor said "You'll be more comfortable in the ambulance, they can give you supplementary oxygen." Margret lifted her chin and said, "I'm going in my mother's car." The doctor gave up, and called ahead so they would be expecting us to walk in.
I remember the difficult night she spent in the hospital, and the stream of people who came to see her the next day, in particular the cardio who asked me what our long term plans for her were, who I told to call her specialist in Philly, who ordered up a helicopter to take her to the hospital where he practiced, and where they had better training and equipment to deal with her unique problems.
I remember the caring and sympathetic transport crews, the squad who would take her to the helicopter landing site, and the helicopter crew (with a woman pilot!) who transported her the rest of the way.
I remember going home to pack a bag, and my husband insisting that I eat something before I go. I remember the drive to the other hospital, and the call I got from daughter's nurse wondering where I was (still on the way).
There's more that I remember, in those last weeks: I especially remember family and friends and the love they gave, and the caring and giving and help even from people we'd never met before.
I'm missing you sadly today, my dear, tomorrow I expect to remember other things about you and smile.