It has been only a few months since her journey ended. I miss her so much. I touch her things. There are so many memories of each and everything that we did each day. So many shopping trips for perfumes and bath oils are fixed in my mind. I was with her when she bought almost everything that she has. Everything still smells of her essence. So many things that I picked up on different occasions are at every turn. No matter where she was in her treatment we found a reason to celebrate. She was my best, best friend.
Erika knew that if something happened to her I would be alone. Toward the end I asked them both to move back home so that I could do a better job of taking care of them. I promised her that I would help Perry with his new daughter. He is a very good father. Keturah had been with Erika and me since her birth. It is quite natural for her to be with me now.
Once, as she lay in my bed, she confessed that the hardest thing about her decision was that she would have to leave me. She didnít want to leave me. We were best friends. As a family we had already survived so many difficulties and heartaches. But I made sure that she knew that I understood her responsibilities, that I loved her more than life and would support her regardless of the outcome. Even though this was the hardest thing that any mother could face and my heart was breaking into a thousand pieces I have not once regretted my decision to support her in what would ultimately be the most costly decision that any mother could make. She accepted the example that had been set before her and made her decision. I made my decision to support hers. We would do this as we had done everything in our past, with love and dignity. We would end her journey in peace
CHANGES COME ABRUPTLY ADJUSTMENTS COME SLOWLY
So within a period of just a few short weeks I experience an abrupt wipe out of my family structure as my surviving child, my son, is now emotionally lost to me. "How could so much happen to our family", he laments.
Keturah turned eight years old today. Tomorrow the world will celebrate one of it's holy days, Christmas. Because we had learned as a family to enjoy each other everyday and celebrate just being able to laugh there have naturally been so many missed occasions these past months. My son is out of the country for the next four years. Adjustments come slowly.
Oftentimes we would get balloons and confetti for no reason at all and have a picnic in the middle of a snow storm just because. We had done those kinds of things all of our lives. We would put on music then Patrick, donned in his gym socks, would dance, I would sing and Erika would squeal breathlessly.
Try, though we dare, the dynamics of such a great loss wore on us significantly. Perry and Antoniyah subsequently started over in their new home. We still maintain a relationship for I have assured him that a daughter learns that she is loved from her mother but a daughter learns that she is cherished only from a father. Believe me when I tell you he is spoiling his girls stinking rotten. He is ridiculous.
My world has changed. Nothing wakes us in the morning now but the anchor man on channel 9. I don't hear him fixing Antoniyah's bottles in the kitchen anymore. I don't hear Erika sucking her teeth because Perry is spending the better part of a Sunday poking a stick in the washer as he gets the laundry ready for the week. This house is so empty without my family.
However, to my delight, I am having a most joyous time with Keturah. We are having a blast as we do the things that girls do. She is so like her mother in her diction and logic. You cannot pass any foolishness off on her. Keturah is in a very nurturing environment at school. Everyone, including her great-aunt, my sister, who teaches there, is keeping a watchful eye on her. She was on the honor roll this semester. [Just like her mom.] We are going whale watching next month. We travel frequently as I believe firmly that the best lessons are learned outside of the classroom.
Understand that not a day goes by when I am immobilized by the flash-backs of my child's aggressive illness, suffering and end. It can be disabling for me. Sometimes, for no reason at all, episodes of her illness with take my breath away, leaving me in a daze. It is very difficult for me to watch, as seemingly, everyone else has just picked up and moved on. This grief is unyielding; The loss of a child.
There are many who have offered help, with remedies and solutions for my grief. It is very painful for them to watch me even now. Rest assured that I am getting the help that is designed especially for my needs in every way. Professionally, physically, emotionally and spiritually I am being cared for with the help that will do the most lasting good.
Just think of it!
What a prospect for all those in the memorial tombs and for the millions who will welcome them back to live forever on a Global Earthly Paradise where I will never have to say good bye to Erika ever again. [Psalms 37: 10, 11, 29]