2 years. How could it have been so long ago, yet I remember every single detail like it was just yesterday. I vividly remember the last week of her life with such clarity that it’s like living that time all over again ….
I remember being scared ALL the time, not knowing what would happen to my baby.
I remember praying non stop day in and day out.
I remember lying in bed with her, while her dad used a stopwatch to count her breaths in her sleep.
I remember her holding Anay on her lap and singing to him. I remember her promising him she would play with him when he is old enough to play. I remember thinking to myself isn’t she in pain ? How is she doing this ?
I remember her dad calling the hospice nurse frantically to figure out the best way to make his princess comfortable and pain-free. When the hospice nurse came over, I remember not wanting to do anything with her, because a huge part of me refused to believe the truth: my daughter was dying. I hated the word “hospice”. And why would I believe anything else, she was so full of life even during the last week. Don’t miracles happen? Zoey’s birth was a miracle in itself, so why would I believe that she was given to me for such a short time.
I remember being asked to consent the “do not resuscitate” form for Zoey at the hospital. I remember asking her doctor the very last time if there was some hope for her. And I remember getting the same resigned look from her pediatric oncologist.
I remember how she ate ice cream as her last meal. The hospice nurse got her 3 cups with different flavors and she had every last drop of it …..my princess just loved ice cream.
I remember being told by Zoey’s nurse that Zoey was such an exceptional little child. She had never seen such a case in her 20-something years as a hospice nurse, where the patient was so aware, could eat, talk etc so late in progression. She said Zoey was something else altogether.
Oh I remember having so much hope. Foolish hope, that she would beat the monster. Someone had told us about this doctor in Bangalore that cures brain cancer and so the homeopathic medication made its way to the US for Zoey. I remember shoving those pills down Zoey’s throat even after she went into a coma ….yes foolish undying hope for a miracle.
I remember her asking her dada’s permission to go play with her little Krishna. The night she slipped into coma, she asked me if I would see her in heaven. I remember feeling shocked, since the concept of heaven had never been discussed with her before.
It was as if the entire universe and her Krishna were preparing her for her final journey and there I was hoping hope after hope that she would live. How foolish was I ? But I think it was that foolish and undying faith that kept all of us going. It kept Zoey happy right from diagnosis till the end.
Even today after 2 years, I wake up at times thinking it’s all a nightmare and she is right there sleeping next to me. Then I look at my bed and see the other blessings she left behind. It would have been a very different story had these blessings not been there in my life. I am thankful for them and try my best not to take them for granted. However every blessing, every smile, every joy that I feel, is always laced with a tinge of sadness.
This second year has by far, been the hardest year of my life. I’ve had some very dark days that I’m not very proud of. I think the first year went away in a fog. But this second year was just downright miserable. It’s like the fog has finally lifted and the harsh and cruel reality has kicked in big time. The reality that “This is it. There is no turning back from here. Life goes on and so must I, especially without my precious child by my side”.
So here I am, 2 years after saying goodbye to my one and only one baby girl. Still trying to survive one day, one moment and one breath at a time.
So tomorrow on the 2nd anniversary of her passing, Zoey’s dada, Zoey’s mama and her baby brothers will be spending time together as a family. We will probably head out to Zoey’s favorite ice cream store and indulge in some pink strawberry ice cream. Because as hard as the day will be for us, we’d like to remember the good times with our baby girl. We’d like to believe she is eternal and ever smiling, eating ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Today I have a small favor to ask of all of you supporters out there. I request you to take some time from your hectic schedule and spend it with your loved ones. Maybe even head out for ice cream in the cold weather :). Do it in Zoey’s memory and think of her and other little kids suffering from terminal cancer like DIPG.
Lastly, I sincerely thank all of you for reading about my Zoey and joining in my journey as her bereaved mom.
Love you my baby.
Your loving mama.