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Friday, June 29, 2007

Remembering Olivia Skye

One year ago yesterday, our dear daughter and Hallie's twin sister, Olivia Skye, lost her battle to extreme prematurity.

Yesterday, was, as expected, an extremely emotional day. In spite of her recent difficulties, Hallie is doing so very well, and in some ways, that made yesterday even harder. We cannot help but think "what if?" and wonder what Olivia would have been like, what she would have been capable of doing, how the two girls would have related to one another (especially since Hallie is so very social), and whether she would have looked like Hallie. I always thought that Hallie was the sturdy one and Olivia the delicate one. From the start, she seemed to need more protection than Hallie did (though, after Olivia died, we both became fiercely protective of Hallie---of course we were protective and worried from the very start about Hallie, especially with her lung issues, but for whatever reason, I always worried more about Olivia in those early days and always found myself stationed by her isolette).

Anyway, yesterday, after a morning and afternoon of feeding Hallie and doing all sorts of things (including cleaning up the debris produced by my knocking over a wine rack and sending six bottles toppling; at least it was me who did it and not one of the kids and, yes, I was aware that it---like pretty much everything else in our home right now is a child hazard. I am not submitting myself for any parenting awards ever), I went out and got a lovely peach rose bush and planted it in our back garden. I hope it sets down strong roots and thrives and rivals Nan's rose bush.

Later, Grammy, Aunt Laura and the kids drove up and we all went to Olivia's Grove. We were joined by Aunt Renee (who takes such good care of Hallie and our whole family); Josh, Nancie and Ethan; Sheila; and unexpectedly, our Mark and Karina. We gathered at the grove around 8pm and laid down some flowers, including one from our garden (from Sharon's grandmother's amazing rose bush).

Grammy said a poem and we read the Hebrew prayer for mourning (the "kaddish"). Just as we were finishing, the heaven's opened and it began to pour. We took shelter under a tree in the rain for a while and then had to make a mad dash for our cars (we were soaked, but fortunately Hallie was covered by her rain cover in her stroller). It was extremely symbolic and very fitting, really, that it rained so hard. It was a short, amazing squall that lasted perhaps half an hour, maybe less. And it was Olivia's way of telling us that she misses us, too, and of the heavens and nature expressing what all of us felt in our hearts.

Very briefly, Hallie ran a fever last night. Given everything we've gone through for the past few weeks (months, really), we were worried that we were entering another down cycle. But by this morning it was gone. Pathetically enough, it could have been a computer-induced fever: Hallie shares space on Sharon's lap with her laptop and we really need to get a cooling pad for the latter. In any event, by today Hallie was doing great: she is breathing and eating better than ever and is on a new 'tough love' no middle of the night feeding routine. But this will be a topic for another post.

Meanwhile, I just want to thank everyone for your kind words yesterday: we were all touched that so many people remembered Olivia.


Laurie said...

I know how difficult the day must have been for you. How very fitting that the heavens opened to share your tears...

you were all in my thoughts,

Heidi said...

Your family has been in my thoughts and prayers this week.


Anonymous said...

Tears in my eyes, but what a lovely way to mark the day.