Thursday, July 17, 2008


"How is your day today?" I asked as cheerfully as I could.
"Ok. The nurse came today, did Mom tell you?" she asked.
"Yup, Mom said. What did you think?"
She shrugged her shoulders and patted the bed next to her. I sat.

"Is the baby moving a lot?"
"Yup most of the time."
"Is she moving now?" she asked as she reached for my belly. "No," I said, "But maybe with the right touch she will." No movement, but she rubbed and rubbed. "Tell me her name again." she said. "Lily Rylan." I replied. "Rylan...that's a pretty name. Where did you come up with that?" she said. "Our boys. Dylan and Riley. We put their names together to get her middle name. We figured that we wouldn't have made it this far without them." I answered and there was a short pause. "When I get there, I'll give them a kiss for you."

A moment passes.

"Do you think it hurts to die?"
"I know it doesn't hurt to die. There is no way something so peaceful could be painful."


"Who's going to take care of the kids?"
"We will." I said. "I promise they will be taken care of."
"Sometimes you might get frustrated with Lily," she said, "but try not to scream and yell to much. Think about it before...ask yourself if it's worth the argument. What about Kevin? He's going to alienate himself."
"We won't let him. I promise that we'll help him do whatever it is that he needs."

Silence again...

"I'm afraid it's going to hurt to die."
"Nope. I'm sure it doesn't hurt to die." I said quietly. I couldn't tell her that the cancer is going to be painful. They will make her comfortable, that I know. But there is absolutely no way that the act of dying is painful.
"Just think" I said, "if the girls are dating someone that you don't like you can always show up at the foot of their bed. Just don't show up at the foot of mine!" She laughed a good laugh. I haven't heard that from her in a long time. "Yeah for the first time in my life I'll have complete control of them!"

"I'm getting tired." she said finally.

Mom and I got into the car and cried all the way home. It's going to be soon. She's doing and saying what she needs to do. According to the nurse, we'll each probably get one more good visit before things change drastically. I need to remember her laughter. I need to know that she'll take care of Dylan and Riley there and we'll take care of her children here. We're both mothers, afraid to leave our children. But with shitty circumstances...


Monica H said...

Oh Becky, I am so sorry. i know how hard that is and i'm sorry she is going through that. I HATE cancer. I've said it a hundred time, but I'll say it again. I HATE CANCER!!!

I know you'll always remember her laughter, but maybe you could get a voice recorder and record her laugh, her voice, words of encouragement etc. So Lily can hear it one day... Just a thought.

mrsmuelly said...

Becky, it's not fair. I'm so sorry for you and your family. I'm so, so sorry.

Azaera said...

I'm so sorry that you have to go through this, I'm sorry that anyone has to go through this.. but
I'm glad you're getting the chance to say all those things to her, and that she is telling you what she wants to. It's really hard losing someone you love, but it's even worse when you don't get the chance to have these kinds of conversations with them before they pass.

Virginia said...

Ditto what azaera said, and also, this sucks. And I'm sorry.

CLC said...

I am so sorry. That was heartbreaking to read. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Becky I can't believe how much this affects me, not that my Aunt dying in March was so long ago or anything. But here I am in tears because i just did what you're doing, only I wasn't pregnant so it was a tiny bit more distressing, but i found out shortly after.

My Aunt faded, started asking tough questions and saying her "goodbyes", making sure all the details were take care of. and then stopped making sense. i miss her so much, more everyday since March. I am really glad I took a week to go see her while she was coherant and not in too much pain, I got to say goodbye.

I am thinking of you and your family right now.

Devon Rene said...

I stumbled upon your blog from another....

That was a beautiful conversation you had. Brought me to tears...

I have my Riley here with me. But my Blake and Ethan have been in heaven since March. Born at 23 weeks...Lived for 2 and 3 days.

I wish you all the best with your little girl. God knows you deserve it! And what amazing big brothers she will have!