8:30, I walk in, just like I have every other day now for the past 11 days.

Today is different, today will be the day we find out if she is going to make it or not. I see a limp, lifeless little girl lying in bed, eyes closed, damp hair, machines of all sorts pumping in and out, making her breath.  Or is she breathing on her own?  My mind flashes back, I see Emmy, 2 and 1/2 years ago, I was in an almost similar case with her, my stomach turns, my head spins, I want to run, I want out, NOW.  I walk in.

I sit beside her and watch her stomach go up and down, I look at her.  I take her hand and start talking, knowing full well its really doing no good.  We stay that way the next hour.  I tell her Im sorry, and I wish theres more that I could do for her.  Some reason, I dont think shes going to make it, something tells me this is goodbye.  I dont want to think that way, but I tell her that if she is to die, that her daddy is waiting for her, and I know he could do so much more for her.  That he loves her even more than I do. I tell her that whatever happens shes going to be ok.

Then I beg with her not to leave, selfish reasons I know. I just cant stand the thoughts.  I tell her that shes got a friend in Texas, whos pulling for her too. I kiss her and tell her thats from her.  I then tell her how much she’ll be missed. I tell her I will really miss her so much, but that I hope whatever happens is best for her, because thats all Ive ever really wanted.  I then beg with her again to not leave.

9:20 the doctor comes in, he looks at her.  He looks at me.  He looks at her paper work.  He says nothing, he walks out. A few minutes later he comes back in.  He asks if im ready for this, then its my turn, I say nothing.  He tells me what hes going to do: Hes going to start by taking her IV’s out, then her oxygen, and last, her breathing tube.  He says that I could hold her if I want.  He then takes out her IVs. Molly doesnt move.  He continues with his plan, after the last tube is removed, hes picks her up, her body hangs limply.  He hands he to me.  Shes not heavy, I remember her being heavier.

I hold her, I start to shake. I brush her hair, and look at her face, I start counting.  She takes one, two breaths.  She breaths in real sharp, holds it and slowly lets it out, she doesnt take another one.  I hold her, the doctor scribbles a few things down, mumbles a few words and walks out, closing the door behind him, leaving me alone, with her.

Shes gone, its 9:32.

I sit with her, I hold, her, once again my mind flashes. I remember doing the same thing, 2 1/2 years ago, the body was much smaller, but it was the same feeling, of holding someone you love so much, one second their  ‘alive’  the next…their just gone. I brush a few stray hairs from her face, I look at her little hands, and face, and know that I wont ever see them move again. I wont ever see that face light up, or those hands reach out. Shes gone. I lay her back down. I look at her one last time, the door opens, a nurse steps in, looks a little shocked, then steps out.  A few minutes later she walks back in, and asks if I need more time, I dont say anything, I turn to leave.

They pull the sheet over her face.  Now.  Now I can run.  And I do.  Shes gone, there is no turning back, no redoing or undoing, whats done is done, what happened happened.  I wait for the elevator, decide its taking to long and head for the stairs. 

I head home, unsure of what now, whats next, unsure of really where to go. I think of the past few years, that I have known Molly, and how much things seemed to really take off.  How things have been put on hold, and grief really hasnt been part of my life lately.  It all floods back.  Theres no stopping it now.  Everything is coming back, and theres no stopping it.  I arrive home, sit for a few minutes, and think: about nothing, about entering that house and not hearing anything.  I think about the other kids, I dont want to think about them, I dont want to think about anything really, I dont want to think about what I have to do now, so I dont.

I head in the house, and head for Mollys room, I peek in.  Theres her bed, her pile of things.  I know I have to do something with them, because if I dont today, they will still be there twenty years from now.  I get a box, and start putting things in.  Everything, every small thing holds a memory it seems.  I finish with the floor, and move onto her bed.  I pull back the covers, there is her precious doll, theres the pjs, her notepad, her pencil, theres her shirt.  Everything there holds more memories. I put them all in a box, I grab her pillow.  Her pjs lay crumpled under it.  I about loose it there.  The day we had left, she wanted to put them there herself, she folded them as neat as she could and painstakingly stuck them JUST SO…and here I was about to undo the last thing she ever did.  I threw it all in another box. I closed it, piled them up, and headed for the closet. 

The same closet where, everyone elses things have piled up.  Things I need to get rid of, but just havent yet, been so close a few times, ready to let go, now, I cant.  Its all starting over.  I put Mollys things in beside everyone elses, then close the door, for what I hope will be a long time.  I head upstairs. The whole house is filled with her.  Her laughter, her foot prints, her hand prints, her love.  There are drawing on the wall, dolls on the floor, crayons in odd spots. 

I leave the house.  I dont want to go back, ever. I dont want to go back to the place where so many memories are, I go to leave, and am faced with myself. again.  Doesnt ever matter how far I go, her memories are stuck with me, forever, because shes gone.


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