I know technically my world is still rotating. I am still breathing. But, my axis, my center is gone. Four years ago today - at 4:58pm to be exact - Olivia left this world cradled in my arms.
If you read my earlier post about her entry into this world, you might see something familiar. Olivia was born at 4:58 am and died at 4:58pm. She was born on February 5th and died on February 10th. She died in 2008 at the age of 8. My diva was all about symmetry, apparently. She was amazing in every way.
I know I grew her. I know I birthed her. I know she looked like me. I know she was mine. BUT, I have heard for years, from many people that she was special. There was just something about her. She grabbed people. There were people from around the world praying for her (thanks to the blog and list-serve in which I was involved at that time). Each day, I could log onto my email and there would be digests or individual emails from Israel or China or Australia. Some were worded in ways that were unusual to me. That didn't matter. It was the true love and caring that came through. When she died, there were hundreds that poured into the church over two days to pay respects, some driving for hours to get there. I was shocked and amazed and so proud of the way my tiny, wise, loving daughter had touched so many lives.
I know it may surprise you to hear that I did things differently. Many are too personal for public consumption. The easy parts to share are that I tried to keep some part of her life normal. Olivia didn't die in a hospital. She was home. We enlisted hospice services. There had been too many surgeries. There were too many brushes with death. There was nothing else to do to stop the demon that was the seizure monster. So, we stayed home where she was happiest. She was with her cats that she loved and who loved her. Albert and Snooks stayed on her person or by her side as if they were fierce protectors.
From January 2 until February 10th, it was a waiting game. It was gut wrenching. I felt like my heart was ripped out, shredded and put back in a million times. The last time, four years ago today, only part of it was put back in. I haven't been whole since. I am thankful for the love and devotion of those Posse members who have held on to me and kept me from tipping over the edge. I am thankful for new ones who have come into my life to strengthen the rope. Kelly is doing his part to be patient and tolerant of my lashing out. I can only imagine what it's like to experience it when you didn't experience the event.
I lie here covered in my quilt made from her clothes. It's been washed many times, but they still covered her at some point. It's my way of holding her today. There is nothing I wouldn't give to have Olivia Nicole in my arms again. The only solace is knowing she doesn't have those damnable seizures anymore.
Thanks to one of the original Posse members, there is an actual star named Princess Olivia. I've never taken the coordinates to a planetarium and looked, so I just look at the night sky and assume the brightest thing I see is it. When you look up tonight, wave and say "Happy Angelversary, Princess O". It's happy because there is no more pain and there are no more tubes. That is how I keep breathing and standing on solid ground.