Monday, April 7, 2014

Across the Wavelengths

Some things are good in theory, but are definitely more difficult in reality. 

Our last days with Aviana were some of the most challenging our lives would ever see. But at the very same time, we were making a conscious effort to be present and enjoy every moment we had left. 

The emails from my mom, and in regard to Aviana, were superficial. We understood why. She would tell us about her trip, and then, always made sure to let us know just how much she missed her baby. She sealed every one with a big kiss, and a "Nana loves you!" My mom made absolute sure though to never include a question mark anywhere near Aviana's name. We followed her lead and responded in kind. We understood. They were guarding their hearts, and bracing for the worst. 

Suddenly we realized Aviana was really going to die. Later came another realization - I had glazed over the "how" in how I was going to tell my mom and Gary. No matter which way I sliced or diced, all I came up with was an email! I would repeat it out loud. AN EMAIL!! How the hell did this happen??!? How did I let them leave without a better plan? I hadn't thought it through. Nope, not even close.

I had no other choice than email. I needed a chance to get everything out in written form. I couldn't chance a bad connection. I couldn't chance getting the main words out, and then, being disconnected without them having details. It was time to know. They had to know just how peaceful everything was. They had to know Aviana wasn't in any sort of pain! They had to know in death, just how beautiful she was. They had to know just how perfect our time was together. They needed to know that we were okay; Aviana was much more than okay, and that it was going to finally be okay. They needed to know there was beauty. Yes, beauty! Most of all, in that moment, they needed to feel the love of their family, even if it was across the wavelengths. I needed them to feel the warmth. I needed them to have something tangible. Something they could read and re-read over and over again. A disconnected phone call, or even a frantic one would too easily be forgotten and they would be left with nothing, nothing but broken, incoherent thoughts. Once they had the email, and in their own time, a phone call, which could then run the risk of being severed, was fine. 

But suddenly, a colorful vision stuck in a loop. These two grandparents, who just recently learned the ropes of somewhat navigating a foreign country, hop off the boat for the day, find a cramped Internet cafe, open their email (surrounded in tons of other people), and read words they wish never to have read. I wanted to be there. The thought of them alone, in a foreign country... made me sick. I could actually see them in front of the computer, crying in front of all those people. And then, walking out dazed and confused. I felt sick to my core. 

I tried to think of every way around, to soften the blow, but there was nothing. In one of my deepest moments, the phone rang. It was Beverly from Hospice. I explained, "better in theory, than in reality. I feel sick that not one of us will be there to catch them when they fall." Beverly is pure heaven on earth. She appeared when I needed her most. She said something I will never forget and also revert back to and will for the rest of my life, "Jen, maybe for the first time they won't have anyone else there. And maybe for the first time they will have to catch themselves and each other." We talked for a while after. She always had a way of clearing and making a path for everything that had previously been cluttering my way.

 I hope that when I die, I have Beverly, or someone exactly like her. Our Hospice team was the absolute best. From our conversation forward, I was once again able to fully concentrate on Aviana... until.


  1. You & Dave are very thoughtful to want to give your mama & Gary an e-mail that they could read & re-read and take in. I am happy Beverly was there for you with sage advice. May God bless all Hospice workers and all that they do.

    1. Thank you. It was so hard to figure it all gosh, so hard. Beverly was and is just the best! I just love her, and all of them : )

  2. I loved the email. So beautiful and loving, just like you and Aviana and Dave........and Rainey. I remember hearing the calm in your voice before she died and at her service. You and Dave are a team unlike almost anyone i have ever known. Trina and Joshua were like you two which I think is why I admire you both so much.

    I love you.....and I called you Monday, were you driving!?!?!? Damn, no emoji on comments, lol.