February 21st. Today.

Well, today is that day.

This morning, one year ago, we were told things were as bad as they could physically be. Bethy had fought with everything she had, but it was just too much for her. This morning, one year ago, we were woken by the nurses and told there was a problem with your oxygen levels. We knew there and then that this was just to get us downstairs. The faces of the nurses and doctors we passed told us everything we needed to know - we were not bringing Bethy home. This was it.

That morning, Bethanys beautiful blue eyes - her pupils - were odd sizes. The words we never wanted to hear, "Brain Damage" was being spoken. But they had to know. We didn't understand why then, but we know now why they pushed for the CAT scan that morning. Everyone knew this was it, but still they wanted the scan - a scan that showed everything that was Bethy was gone. She had left us already that morning, but still she kept fighting.

I remember phoning the family, telling everyone what had happened, and what decision we had made. A decision we HAD to make. There was no Bethy left in there. We held her, and my mind will always hold the moment that the nurses passed her to us, and her little hand - her hand bruised from needle after needle - waved to us, Bethy saying her goodbye to us. And we held her and cuddled her and cried over her...

At 12.20pm, the doctor confirmed that Bethy had left us and gone to play somewhere else. I look back on that day and know that every other day of my life pales in comparison. The week leading up to Bethy passing away had been very hard on her, and in the end, after complication and problem, one after the other, she decided enough was enough. I must have signed half a dozen consent forms in that week in order to have procedure after procedure, all with an aim to get her stable once more, but it was not to be.

She did exactly as we asked her to the whole time - the whole time we told her to be brave, be strong, and she did. No matter what, she fought it and let the doctors do what they had to do. Even after a string of cardiac arrests, she would lay on the bed in ICU and respond to us, nodding her head in time to music, nodding in agreement or shaking her head in disagreement when we asked her questions. She hated my beard, always did, and I shaved it on the Thursday just for her, and put her hand on my face to feel the skin and she was in agreement it was much much better.

Before she was drugged up to her eyeballs, she even scribbled us a note which I still have, and while it didn't READ as anything, she told me what it said.

"Dear Mummy and Daddy, I love you lots and lots. Dear Jaysen, I love you lots."

But despite everything, she could no longer be with us. Even to the last, her heart kept going and she was breathing on her own, off all the machines and drips. The damage inside her little blonde head was the final straw, and she skipped away on her wings.

The day of her funeral was an incredible affair. Hundreds of people - family, relatives, friends - all turned up in a blaze of colour to see our Little Moo off. The whole place was filled with colour in celebration of Bethy, and while everyones heart was heavy, the colour made us smile.

And then just weeks later, Tamsyn arrived, a new little girl. And she has one hell of a guardian angel.

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Bethy,
I miss you. Goodness knows I miss you so much. Not a day goes by when I don't think about you and the things you got up to. Not a day goes by when I don't look back on what you put up with, yet accepted it. Always, you were the most tolerant little girl I ever knew.

Oh you could be a monster - and you knew exactly what you were doing when you were doing it, but I wouldn't change you for the world.

I just wish, with every part of my being, that we could have had more time together. More time for you to do what you wanted to do, more time to grow and become a big sister, and more time to become Jaysens nemesis. I hear you laughing still, and I hear you running around upstairs but I know you're not there anymore.

I know that where ever you are, you are smiling down on people. I know you're dancing when you want, running around when you want, and showing everyone your zippers that you were always so proud of down here. I know you're giving them hell up there, and I am so proud of you. The things you went through, the things that had to be done with you, and you still had a smile for people. I am so proud of you.

Keep dancing, my little gorgous. I see you baby...

All my love,
Daddy

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And so, here I sit today, with Tam asleep on my chest, missing a very special little girl. I don't know how we made it through this year, but I only have family and friends - especially my online friends - for everything. The support, the love, the compassion.

We are getting through this, but the road is long.

I just wish for one more day with her.





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8 Responses to “February 21st. Today.”

Mark said...

Hi Dan, what a read, from someone who lost her little sister when she was four my heart goes out to you, although it does get easier and over time the greif departs but the love never dies you forget the illness but remember the good times. And what's really nice is when something out of the blue just pops in and makes you smile.

What kept me going was the thought of her playing with all the other children and poping back now and then just to check we were ok. Crazy I know but we all have special thoughts and reading yours this morning has brought back all those special moments I had with my little sister although a long time ago but the memories are as vivid as if they were yesterday.

Thank you Dan for sharing this moment with us, just remember your not alone even though sometimes you may feel that you are and Bethany is now in a far better place.

Diane said...

A beautiful girl, no more suffering now Angel Bethy. xxxx

Rosie (dim blonde northern gal) said...

Dan she's truly a gorgeous little blondie.

You can definately see from the selection of piccies, an awesome personality, sweet, yet mischievous.

She touched the lives all of who knew her, people close by and those from a far.

Thinking of you all.
x

Laila x said...

Dan, I have spent all day with a horrible lump in the back of my throat...and reading your beautiful tribute has finally released it. Bethy was just such a amazing little girl. Love to you all.

Minge said...

Dan, what a beautiful post for a beautiful wee person. I was in floods of tears myself - no idea what you're going through.

Remember all the happy times. You'll never get over it, but you will get used to it, and those moments of laughter will become easier to feel with every passing day.

Feeling so terrible this is the price we pay for loving. Seems like wee Bethy was loved an awful lot.

Kisses - xxx

Debbie said...

I have totally hated today, been dredding it for weeks, I know I never got to see Bethy, or went to her Funeral, but Darling Bethy was ans still is a big part of my life, she was such a special little girl and such a credit to you Dan, jo, Jaysen and Tam. And I just loved the way she proved the drs wrong time and time again,, this Is one little girl I will never forget,,

love and hugs to you all, and rest in peace little Bethy.

Love
Debbie

RhythmUnbroken said...

Wow. I hardly know what to say, really. As other people have said, beautiful post, and she is in a better place now. <-- Highly unoriginal, I know.

Lovely pictures you have there, Dan. Remember the good times, they're sure to bring you some smiles...

-Christine

joansy said...

Dan,
Your post is beautiful. I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for you and your loved ones. I admire your strength and wish you all of the best.
Joansy