2 years later …. I remember

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.

Enjoying her favorite ice cream at Baskin Robbins.

Enjoying her favorite ice cream at Baskin Robbins.


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.

The last time she slept on me.

The last time she slept on me.

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.

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18 thoughts on “2 years later …. I remember

  1. “However every blessing, every smile, every joy that I feel, is always laced with a tinge of sadness.”
    This is so very true.
    My 23 years old son died completely unexpectedly 1368 days ago and I have felt the sadness every single day.
    Hugs to you.

  2. Suman-

    You write so beautifully and I can feel the love you have for sweet Zoey. I feel very lucky to have found this blog. You are able to beautifully express what so many of us are feeling. Life is not easy but we have to be grateful for those happy moments. Those are all that they are, moments in time. Lots of love to you.

    Love,
    Sejal

  3. Rest in peace Baby girl! You are with Krishna and you both are looking over your family…

    Suman,
    It is hard but just remember her good memories and hug your boys a little more from Zoey…

  4. It is so heartwrenching!! Your Zozo is always watching over you and your family!! such a sweet angel she is…My sincere prayers for your family!!!

  5. I am eternally grateful to god that I came across this blog of yours.. you have become a part of my life. I have shed a thousand tears reading your blog. I have a year old daughter and I can totally understand your pain. I pray for you everyday. Peace to you

  6. Zoey sounds a lot like my sweet niece Malia who also passed away from childhood cancer… we started a day bringing awareness to childhood cancer by doing the very thing you suggest doing to remember Zoey – by eating ice cream for breakfast (http://on.fb.me/1fI7n4T). We’d love for you to join us in Zoey’s honor. I’ll be thinking and praying for you all as you grieve and remember your girl in a way she would have loved. Blessings!

  7. I heard about DIPG about 3 years ago when someone on my birth board posted about Atticus Hansen who was diagnosed with the same. I don’t know why but I have been following quite a few DIPG stories after Atticus and that’s how I came across your blog.
    I dont know what is it that I can say or write which would make you feel better. Your story and your baby Zoey stuck a chord with me because when I saw Zoey’s pics I felt an instant connection with her as if I knew her. I felt she looked familiar and maybe she does look my little Mia who is now 3.
    This was the most heart wrenching post that I have read in a while and it compelled me to write this. Usually i don’t post anything on any of the DIPG blogs or pages I follow because I dont know what could i say to make a bereaved parent feel better. I can only pray that they are able to forgive their God and live life as happily as possible.
    Every night when i kiss my Mia goodnight I think of Zoey, Atticus and those countless kids who have been taken away from their parents. As selfish as it sounds I pray to God and every higher power that I am never in that situation ever in my life. Whenever I ignore her or I am too busy with something to pay attention to her, I am reminded of parents like you would give anything in the world just to spend an extra minute with their beloved child.
    Hugs !

  8. RIP Zoey – To the Parents – cherish those 5 precious years! May The Positive Energy of Life shower you with peace and comfort!

  9. I am in tears Suman. I don’t know you but have been following your page. Your Zoey is with you and all the time. Memories of her will stay intact. Cherish them.

  10. You are a very brave mom. I am in awe of your strength and courage to live on and cherish your daughter’s memories. I am so timid, i can’t even read through any of your blogs completely. May God give you and your family more strength. I will always have your family in my prayers. Hugs to you!

  11. Suman, you have touched so many people with your experience and loss. I think of your family often and remembered Zoey last week. What a beautiful girl. You are an amazing mom to Zoey and her brothers and teach all of us moms so much through your words.

  12. Suman, I chanced upon your website quite accidentally and since then have read and reread your blog several times with tears streaming down my face. I think about Zoey all the time. I am so sorry for your unimaginable loss. Your blog made me contribute to several DPIG warriors. Your blog also made me appreciate life. To let go of things that do not matter. To give my kids extra hugs and kisses, for who knows what is in store for tomorrow. Thank you for sharing, your Zoey is alive in all our thoughts.

  13. I read your blog posts atleast once everyday. I know what i am about to write will do nothing to lessen your pain..still I want to let you know that you motivate me to be a better parent. You show us how precious a child is and cherish them every second of our life.
    Every parent can relate deeply to the emotions that the words in your blog convey.
    Whenever i see my daughter I think of Zoey and i strive to one day become like one of the greatest moms i know that is Suman.

  14. Thank you for sharing about your wonderful Zoey! I read this post with tears as I can feel the special bond that you both shared. Zoey is in my prayers and she will be always there with you. Lots of love to you and your loved ones.

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