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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The fight

She's losing her spirit. My Ava. Suddenly paralyzed. Through a bizarre and seemingly endless illness, the results are simply temporary paralysis. We are asked to have patience. Really, I am asked, as a mother, to recreate the pattern of the stars. Sitting on hospital tile together we argue. Fight, Ava. I can't, she sobs. I know she can. She is mine. That DNA didn't float through our bodies, it rammed into hers from mine during our first knock out together. I was two weeks late and she was finally coming. Contractions were raging, I was losing consciousness trying to get to the hospital. I could barely breathe when we arrived. Rushed right into OR the doctors saw a foot lodged into the birth canal and no audible heart beat. My own pulse growing weak we became each other for those moments. I remember talking to her. If I was going to die giving birth to her, I was going to become a permanence in her self conscious. I was going to leave footprints and I was going to tell her not just that I love her but that I would never leave her and how we will fight together. At that place, we shared a body but not a spirit. Hers was her own but I was invading that sacred place and I was telling her to fight like hell. I saw her coming up from my stomach, OR light shining behind her in peculiarly lit angelic image. She was here. And if I could make her fight, I would show up too. That fight never left her eyes. That spirit has never left her smile. But I see it moving further away. I see it watering down. I see it begging for mercy. We are back in the OR in my mind. I am washing her hair in the cold, hospital bathroom. The memories are blinding. She's that baby again and I am pulling on her to move and breathe and win. She is tired. So tired. She can barely move anymore and lays slumped into my lap, drenched in shower water over my two day, worn through jeans. I am tired too. But I wash her hair and stroke her head, feeling her fall into my hands. Feeling her exhaustion. Feeling the fight leave her through my fingers and I can't catch it. I am broken because I can't fight for her. I can't keep that spirit tightly wound inside of her. She isn't the baby sharing my body, she is the body sharing my life. If she can't fight, I am nothing. She is everything. So I wash her hair and pray like hell. I beg for my own fight. I beg for answers. I beg for selfishness to have her for as long as I can. And I remind her, I am a survivor. WE are survivors. Giving up isn't who we are. She nods and cries. I know that look. I know it well. I know it so well I have to look away. I pull her back into my lap. We cry together and I wash her hair again.

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