We'll be getting on an airplane on Friday night. It's something I was never quite sure we'd do as a family. Atticus had his accessories, as I thought of them. He had fewer and fewer as he aged (oh god, how is it that he never saw age 5?). He had gotten rid of his PICC line, which had two lumens--one for lipids and one for TPN, and they each came with an IV pump and a chorus of beeps. And we had returned his suction machine, whose sound Atticus always hated, even though it was his life-saver those first few months.
When my children were little, I used to wear or carry them around, talking or singing non-stop. I was so tired, always so tired, that I rarely had anything interesting to say. A typical monologue went like this: "And now we're in the kitchen. Look at the light! Do you like that light? I like that light. Your daddy hits it with his head, though. Eric used to always hit his head on the light at Nana's house. You don't know Eric. He was very tall.
To say I have been struggling is an understatement. Every evening, I have a mental list of Tomorrow I Will. "Tomorrow, I will wash my hair, get Damien to school on time, do an art project with Everett, keep the house presentable, and do something for my business." Very, very basic things. "Tomorrow, I will do the bare minimum", essentially. And yet, there have only been two or three days when I have actually completed my Tomorrow list.
At two weeks old, my twins were separated: Damien came home and Atticus was transferred to Primary Children's Hospital. Primary's doesn't allow child visitors under age 12 into any of the ICUs, or at all during cold/flu season. They were apart for 47 days, and then I brought Atticus home. 10 days later, Atticus was back in the ICU. A week later, he was home.
I took Damien and Everett to their pediatrician (who is also my cousin and dear friend) for their well-checks. It's the first time they've had an appointment together...and the first time I've been there since Atticus died. I did Damien and Atticus's appointments together whenever possible, and everything was full of echos of what was and will never be again.
It's been a hard week. A week where I have been digging and digging for joy, and finding only despair.
Everett turned three! (And Atticus wasn't there to see it.)
My younger sister gave birth to a beautiful, healthy girl! (And now there is someone in our family who never has, and never will, meet Atticus.)
Atticus is bereft, and I am Atticus bereft. Atticus was robbed, deprived of his life. It was too soon, too unexpected. We don't have the full pathology reports yet, but the virus was almost certainly some run-of-the-mill little thing. Something his brothers and I all had and barely noticed. And it conspired with his body, his little fierce body that I so loved, and stole away his