Yeah. I despise chicken pox with a vengeance. Some days I still can't believe that such a seemingly simple childhood illness could take a life so quickly. The virus just developed to such horrendous proportions here at the Baby Home.... Even the doctors shook their heads in disbelief, as they tended to us with gloves and mask in the ER (after we waited outside the clinic to be called in).
On the same awful nightmarish day, Gabriel developed chicken pox pneumonia and we barely saved him.
We had so little time with her.... They arrived last year on October 3. I am so grateful for the hours I had soothing Gabriela during her colic spells, taking G & G to church, taking pictures of them with twins E & E, wearing Gabriela in my sling, doing a little "photo shoot" in which my bed and pants were peed on at least once, took videos...and we had a wonderful Christmas!
It's a long road. At the one month point, I was still completely raw, but it never gets completely "better". This blog post by a father who has also lost two babies in the past year, one to SIDS and another to miscarriage, says it well. Some days you think you're surely getting "over it", and the next day, wham, something happens. Like walking past a store two days ago that I all of a sudden remember going in with Gabriela and having the owners coo over like they'd never seen a baby before and I was like the proud mother and I just miss her.
You just walk with a limp, never knowing who or what will bring the grieving back.
And then of course we see her incredibly sweet, happy, laid back, growing brother. Do you know how much it hurts to know he's alone in this world? How I ache to once again hold both at the same time? How I wonder how she would look like now? Even though they were twins (at least, they were found in the riverbed together, as far as the story goes), Gabi was always smaller, a shade darker, less hair, finer features.
5 days after they arrived, each weighing around 7 pounds (that's my hand)
I don't know about the others, but I've been helped immensely in this whole process by the extremely heartwarming moments:
~learning of the "Aberdeen Goodbye Place" that doting volunteer Elizabeth created
~the music that you turn to again and again because it helps heal the deep places
~the almost unbelievably good news that a Baby Home caregiver will adopt Gabriel to complete her family!
~volunteer Melanie's donation in Gabriela's honor that helped us build our new room (pictures soon), that bears this plaque:
Ordering it was such an unexpected ordeal. I cried my way through it, which is just not me...until this year, that is. When the guy taking the order showed me how they would do it and said "any changes?" the words almost leapt from my mouth "yeah, I want her BACK!" before I caught myself and mumbled no.
In English it says:
In memory of our baby
Nadid Gabriela Gabriel
September 12, 2008—January 23, 2009
We love you so much!
Your brother Gabriel,
the tías of Hogar de Amor,
and your friends from all over the world
“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21
I can't wait till Heaven.