Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Letter to Miss Stella

Dear Stella,

This is difficult for me. I've never known anyone who was dying. I've never had to make my peace with someone. I have never told anyone goodbye knowing that it just may very well be the last goodbye. I guess I'm lucky in that department. I have lost four great grandparents who were all over the age of 90. I've lost one grandparent. Without warning. I wasn't given the chance to mull over the possibility of him one day not being here. It just happened. There I stood in the middle of Walmart with my cell phone pressed against my ear while the voice on the end of the line told me that my papaw Lonzo was gone. I remember feeling as though time was standing still.

I've lost a pet tragically. We were right there. That incident sent shock waves through my body. It was though I could feel every single atom and molecule in my body tighten and tremble and shatter into a million pieces. I've had my heart broken on more than one occasion. Looking back, those are times you can laugh about. But at the time, I felt as though my heart was being ripped right out of my chest. It's true that time seems to heal all wounds and with time the pain starts to lesson. You never forget but the initial earth shattering feelings become a distant memory filed away in the deep recesses of your brain.

I didn't know that a year ago we would open our hearts to a new love. A new love who was destined to leave this earth sooner rather than later. A new love who had a problem that couldn't be fixed. So if there is one thing that I want you to know, if you were a person with the capability of logical thought and reason, it is that you were never just a "replacement." You see we had this gaping whole in our hearts. We were lonely and sad. We found you. Or maybe you found your way to us. When we saw you for the first time, right then and there, the hole in our hearts healed a tiny bit. As as days went on the pain lessened. That hole would always be there but having you in our lives closed that hole a little and made it smaller. Sort of like a band-aid. Band-aids always come off but you may be left with a beautiful scar so that you don't forget that time in your life. It's when that Band-aid gets ripped off abruptly before everything has had time to heal that the hole becomes bigger. And now you're looking at a much longer recovery.

But you know what is worse? What's worse is having that Band-aid sloooowly ripped off. Miss Stella for the last ten months we've felt the slow tortuous removal of you from our hearts. You're our Band-aid. We fell head over heels for you the minute you came into our lives. And for 10 months all we've done is loved you more and cared for you and hoped that we could keep you a little longer. I knew this day would come. I knew that one day, my phone would ring and we would be told that if you love something it's sometimes best to let it go. For the last ten months "borrowed" time has ran on repeat through my head. From the beginning of this journey, we said that we wouldn't be selfish. That when the time came we would do the right thing. Yesterday was the day that that phone did ring and we found out that we are inching closer to having to make the choice. One final tug on that Band-aid and you would be free and we'd be left standing here. I have no doubts that you will leaving knowing your were loved. I don't doubt that for one second. It makes doing what's best for you easier. If you can call it easy.

You have taught me so much in such a short amount of time. I now know how horrible you can let the word "terminal" ruin your day to day life. I've tried so hard to be the person to enjoy the time we have left. I learned that with this go round, I'm not that person. I can put on a brave front and go through the motions but it's always in the back of my mind. The inevitable. Maybe this whole ordeal has prepared me for something greater. I've actually sat here and said that if given the choice, I'd rather a loved one be taken from me in an instant. Maybe that's wrong. Maybe all of this is a lesson that I will never forget. That it truly is better to have something to love for longer knowing that the end is coming rather than not appreciating what you have and have it gone from your heart in an instant.

I don't know. I don't know if I'll ever know the whys. I do know that I'm trying to settle my heart now. I know you aren't leaving today, or tomorrow. But soon. And I feel as though I'm gonna be needed for a little girl who doesn't quite understand any of this. Who I can't quite figure out how to explain why leaving is sometimes better than staying. I'm cynical and a realist. I'm never the person who goes around saying that "everything happens for a reason." I'm more likely to say that "shit happens" and when it starts happening you might want to get out of the way. But you see me and you have our girl to worry about too. So this time, I really can't be that person. Our girl who will always remember who gave her that broken arm. It's her and really you that makes me hold on to the belief that there is something better waiting. And there's a little place in that cynical brain of mine that has to believe that there is a Rainbow Bridge.


Jonathan's Mommy said...

Kim, I am so sorry. This post is beautifully written but it breaks my heart and I so wish that you didn't have to write it. Hugs to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Crying. Beautifully written. My heart goes out to you all! Give Stella a big hug and kiss from me. -Aunt Amy

Anonymous said...

my heart goes out to you


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