We celebrated. We celebrated every day (and stayed awake every night…). We celebrated on our own, as our little family of four, and we celebrated with Bethie’s cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. We celebrated with her hospice team and all of our friends. We celebrated with loved ones and strangers, near and far, who had spent time praying for and loving her with us. My sisters and close friends brought us treats each week for her birthdays and we sang to her. We went to the park – timidly at first and then with more ease, filled with joy as we lived “normal” days with both of our babies. We played outside on our porch and in our condo’s little backyard, splashing in the water table and lounging on our blanket. We lived each miracle day loving her here with us.
And we tried every day not to focus on the fact that it likely was her last; mostly we succeeded. Some days were more trying than others, like when we called hospice in thinking her heart had reached its limit because she seemed to be in intense pain and could not stop crying. We were greeted by such compassion from our nurses, and then told ever so gently, that, “it actually sounds like she has…reflux.” We laugh about this now – our girl always keeping us on our toes – and likely at the time we cried tears of joy.
Eight weeks passed like this, and then it was time for our family to move. We left family and friends behind to start a new adventure that was planned in part because we thought after losing her we might want a change. We thought it might be good for us. We had planned our move knowing with as much certainty as we could that we would be leaving as a family of three on earth and one in heaven. We do not know everything. We will never know everything. And we moved as a family of four on earth.