Holding on

This weekend, I missed two baby showers and watched a neighbor announce the birth of her baby girl at the hospital Nora was born at. I don’t know why I looked at the pictures. I hid them after we lost Nora, knowing this was coming, but I actively sought her page out to see what we missed. I am so very jealous and sad. I don’t want to be this person.

Instead of attending either shower, M and I were busy getting ready for Nora’s blood drive. After we came back home, lost in the bizarre-ness of the situation, we were asked about if we were going to do a service for her, I said we would hold a blood drive since she received so many blood products. M. didn’t want a church service and I wasn’t ready to be in a room of grieving people. But this would be our way of thanking the hospital (the universe? I don’t know) for giving us our time with her and showing the world she existed.

I walk the line of being appreciative that we were able to meet her to raging internally that the doctors never caught anything to wondering how it would have even been possible for them to know that this tumor was growing. All of my appointments were routine, her size and heart rate were good, blood work was normal. Everything was good until it wasn’t.

I am all over the place right now. I’m switching jobs. I have two days left here and then am taking a week off prior to beginning my new position.  Today is my good friend’s birthday who passed away a little under two years ago. I think that I am just so overwhelmed with everything. I just want to stay at home and hide in the dark. The combination of all of this and the aftermath of the blood drive, I feel like I was hit by a truck.

But I started to write this post to talk about how well the blood drive went and how we honored Nora. We had a great turn-out and most of our family and close friends came down to support us. If we could forget why we were holding it, it would have been an amazing day. I guess even focusing on why we held it, it was an amazing day. People we didn’t know, heard our story and wanted to support Nora. Businesses donated prizes for our raffle and people went out of their way to buy extra tickets.

Two of Nora’s nurses came to support us. After we lost Nora, we sent each of them a card and small gift. No matter how upset we were, we couldn’t get over how kind and thoughtful her nurses were. And how hard a job it must have been.  When I got caught up in my numbers game of how likely things like this happen, I sort of assumed that they go through this a lot and we were a sad day for them but not unusual.

They told us at the blood drive that they think of her every time they walk by her room. Just typing it out brings me to tears. M. spoke to them longer, I was checking people in and to be honest thought if I heard anymore I would break down. Now I wish I stayed and heard all that they had to share. I could tell it meant a lot to our parents to see them again. It helped us all see how that we weren’t alone in feeling her impact.

One of the nurses brought us a present that she made for Nora. I saved it for when I got home to unwrap (again worried I would lose it). It was a hand-stitched loom that said “Nora, so very loved” with a butterfly.  I still sleep with one of her blankets that is fleece, covered in butterflies. She also gave me a small silver butterfly necklace. We see Nora in gold hearts, but this connection to butterflies will give me another reason to see her as we go through our life. The kindness of people is humbling. I want to hold on to these feelings, the ones that heard the nurses’ kind words and saw my best friends become my sisters, not the angry, sad, jealous, bitter ones. I just don’t know how to do it.



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