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.
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.
If you have a child with special needs, at least three well-meaning individuals will give you a copy of the insipid piece of prose called "Welcome to Holland". I personally stared at it for 20-30 min every 3 hours in the broom closet of the PICU, while pumping breast milk. This tiny room contained a stool, a bedside table, a non-functional sink, and a copy of this tale-of-two-countries taped to the wall. To what? Encourage let-down? Hardly the thing mothers whose children are fighting for their lives need to see, but I felt like tearing it down would be impolite
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.)