September 11 has become a day of reflection for so many people. The date has meaning in the larger world but it has become meaningful to my family in a different way. On September 11, 2008, Christy's kidneys were removed. Today, September 11, 2011 is probably going to be the day she dies.
Chirsty had been doing so very well. Her infection was healing, she was happy and making new friends. I really thought she was headed for some good times. But on Thursday she developed a gastric bleed. By the end of the day it was bad enough that they moved her back to the ICU at the hospital. She decided that she'd had enough. All treatment stopped and the pain alleviation began.
That sounds so civiliized, doesn't it? In many ways it has been. The physicians and nurses have been better than I could hope for for myself. But the fact is that when you are strong-willed, even when you want to die it's not that easy. We did have time to visit, and joke some (she has always had a good sense of humor) before the drugs took over. She, and we, have had company. She'd be happy if she could be to realize how many people will remember her with love.
The photos above and below were taken right around the time her kidneys were removed.
At the time we took these she wasn't keen on the idea because the disease had already aged her some. But looking at them now she was the picture of health then. I mention this especially for those of you who avoid pictures. Please lighten up and let people take your picture. It's not for you, it's for them. Pictures are yet another bit of yourself that you leave behind. It helps people remember you. Here are two of my favorites of my sister and me:
Christy and I have had a complicated relationship over the years but, whether we were happy with each other or not, we have always been protective of each other. I'm glad I'm here to help her now. I'm glad the newer good memories will take precedence over the rougher times in the past.