One year and 46 days ago, one of my closest friends unexpectedly went into labor, at 29 weeks. She gave birth to twin daughters – Aubrey and Brooklyn. Aubrey was born healthy and spunky. Brooklyn was born with a CHD, and was a fighter from Day 1. Brooklyn was moved to Lucille Packards Childrens Hospital at Stanford, with in a couple of hours after her birth. She endured seperation from her Mommy and sister, open heart surgery, and an infection that eventually took her from her loving parents and the tiny Aubs. That was a year ago, today.
Kelly and Andy over the last 411 days have been remarkable. They have continued to take steps forward, marching steadily along. They’ve been extrodanarily open about how they are doing, feeling, through a blog, and general conversation. Through out the first 46 days, in the midst of extraordinary challenges they continued to find moments of humor and softness… Titty City, anyone? Brooklyns beautiful ILY photo, Aubs sleeping like the Daddy (one arm up)… and as the time neared for Brooklyn, making sure thier family had the chance to meet Brooklyn, and say goodbye, and especially ensuring that Aubs had the chance to connect one last time with Brooklyn. I don’t know that I could have been as selfless, as to share my little girl. I think I would have wanted to shut myself up with her and not let anyone in.
Kelly, in particular, has set the example for the rest of us. How to balence the joy and celebration that comes everyday with Aubrey, with the sadness and grief for Brooklyn. She made it very clear that the girls birthday was a day of celebration for Aubrey, a day to acknowledge the growth and the accomplishments she has made. Today is Brooklyns day. Today is the day to mourn and grieve and acknowledge her missing. I really admire her ability to do that. I am not so good at it. I look at Aubs and in my heart of hearts, I wish there were 2 redhead girls, not eating the cake. I wish there were 2 redheaded babies trying to catch the cat. I love that little girl, and I just wish her sister were here with her. More than that, I wish I’d met the remarkable Brooklyn. I don’t know why I just didnt drive up there, I dont know why I didnt take a couple of days when Kelly was stuck there by herself to go up. I don’t know why I didnt do that. It’s one of my biggest regrets.
Today isn’t about me. Today is about Brooklyn. Today is the day for acknowledging her time here on earth, the lessons she taught her family and those of us around her family. Today is the day to do all of that.
Today is for Brooklyn.