Why is it, that at two o’clock in the morning, I cannot conjure up a memory from the day she was born? Why can my brain not allow me the pre-dawn hours still & quiet to recall any ONE of the 802 days of life that she had before cancer? Why, when my husband sleeps soundly beside me, must my eyes fly open and see what I see?
I don’t see birthday parties and sticky fingers or play dates and sand castles. I don’t see snuggle time or story time or bed time or bath time. I don’t hear the sounds of her laughter. Or the sound of my name. I don’t feel the four years of love that enveloped me whole. That consumed my every move. My every day. My body’s every cell.
Instead of recalling my best four years, I replay my worst 15 hours. I see tubes and wires, fear and frenzy. I hear beeps and codes and doctors and nurses. I hear my own self scream and “I’m sorry’s” and “there’s nothing more we can do’s.”
I re-live that day. That night. Over and over and over. What was the last thing I said to her that she could understand? Why couldn’t I stay to hold her hand? Did she know I was there? Was she scared?
It happens so often, it’s almost routine. Eyes open at 1. Out of bed by 1:30. On the couch, wide awake, muffled sobs into the pillow by 2. It used to be that my ability to sleep during anything was something I shared with Kate. Always our refuge, always where we’d go to shake the ick or the pain of the day away. She was just like her mommy that way. But ever since….ever since that day, the last 15 hours of her life keep me up and I can’t escape it.
What I wouldn’t give…for a dream. Or a memory of something real and full of love. Something that made me want to go back to sleep just to keep on remembering instead of being desperate for daybreak. I wish I could sleep. Escape.
I’ve tried movies. I’ve tried mindless TV. Reading. Sleeping in her bed. The guest bed. On the couch. Nothing soothes the middle-of-the-night wake up call until the memories have beat me to a pulp and send me back to bed, exhausted at 5am.
Ready for another night to replay the worst night.