Goodbye to An Angel
Just borrowing Twilight characters to express a real tragedy that occurred in my life. I do not own Twilight or any of it's characters. AH.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2182 Review this Chapter
I sat in the dark room, listening to the machines hiss and beep. I heard the ventilator pumping and watched the rise and fall of her chest. I sat back and closed my eyes, thinking of better times.
Two summers ago, as we sat in the park, a sudden rain shower opened up and interrupted our picnic.
I had planned this picnic for a week.
The perfect spot.
The perfect food, all of her favorites.
Then the rain came.
I was so angry that this special day was ruined, but she just looked up at me with her chocolate brown eyes dancing with joy. The smile that was on her face was so infectious that I forgot my worry, I forgot the planning that went into this day, I forgot the radio that played softly in the background, I forgot the food and blanket that were getting ruined in the rain and I thought of my girl.
I pulled her up from her spot on the blanket and we danced in the rain.
Couples and families ran past us, getting out of the rain but we danced.
And she smiled.
What I wouldn’t give to see her smile.
What I wouldn’t give to see those chocolate brown eyes.
She was too sedated for any of that, not that it mattered, those eyes had lost their expression months ago.
I sucked in a deep breath and gathered her small hand into mine. I placed a kiss on her knuckles and went back to my fantasies about what once was and should have been.
She never was one for gifts. Never liked Christmases and birthdays.
Except for the chocolate. She loved her chocolate.
It was summer, a few weeks before her birthday, and I planned something special.
All of her friends gathered at our house for an early birthday surprise. After all in was only August and since her birthday wasn’t until September, it was easy to pull off.
We had ten guests. Just a little family and her two best friends. As she walked into the house her eyes filled with tears as they jumped out. The cake was exquisite, chocolate of course, the food, the friends, the laughter.
For once she didn’t hate my surprise. She smiled and laughed.
Carefree for one more day.
What I wouldn’t give to hear her laugh again.
I reached my hand up to her face, running my cold white fingers, against her pale cheek.
I could hear her laughter in my mind when I closed my eyes, a laugh that was blocked by the tube in her throat to keep her breathing.
No hope, the doctors had told me.
But they couldn’t steal it from me. I had hope. Hope had kept me going through everything. Hope kept her alive.
As I rubbed her cheek a small tear glistened in the corner of her eye and slowly descended down her pale cheek.
Was she hurting?
I did the only thing I knew how and pressed the button to give her a bolus of morphine.
Was I being fair to her?
Should I give up and let her go?
I couldn’t. I could never give up.
The doctors gave up. The nurses gave up. The friends and family around us gave up. All except for Alice. She sat with me. She was there whenever I needed her. I needed her now, even though she had just left. I dialed her cell phone and waited for her to answer.
“Hello,” she said.
“Hey Al, it’s me,” I said.
“How is she?” she asked.
“I just gave her more morphine. I think she is hurting Alice. Am I being selfish to keep her here?” I asked.
“No one can answer that question but you Hun,” she told me.
“Can you come back Al? I know you just got home, but I... I need you,” I told her.
“Give me a few minutes,” she told me.
“Thank you,” I said simply and hung up the phone.
Alice was family. Not related by blood, but by circumstance.
And this circumstance sucked.
She loved her too, almost as much as I did. She proved it over and over as she left her husband and children, and everything else in her life, to come sit at the hospital.
Most nights she was the only reason I ate. And when she was here, I allowed myself to sleep. I felt guilty for pulling her from her family. Her four daughters were the sweetest things and her husband was so supportive of her efforts with us. I still hated to do it.
I grabbed my girl’s hand again, willing every ounce of strength I had into her. I played with her fingertips and closed my eyes thinking back to when she was healthy.
The way her brown hair drifted behind her as she ran.
The way she curled into my arms at bedtime each night.
Her declarations of love for me.
She was my angel on earth. How could I let her go?
I climbed onto the bed, avoiding all the tubes and wires, hugging her rail thin body against me. I cursed the disease that was stealing her from me. Slowly, painfully.
I ran my fingers through her hair and hummed her lullaby into her ear.
Could she feel me there?
Could she hear me?
I didn’t know the answers. I don’t think I wanted to.
I don’t know how much time passed before I heard the door open. Alice was here.
I looked into her eyes as she stood next to the bed and I saw her eyes were filed with the same tears that were now filling mine.
“Should I call a doctor,” she asked, almost in a whisper.
“Yes,” I said, my voice no louder than hers.
She squeezed my hand and looked at my love, my life before turning on her heels and leaving the room in search of a doctor. I went back to humming her lullaby to her.
It was just a few minutes later when the door opened again.
“You wanted to see me,” the doctor said.
I looked at him, he was a caring man. Compassionate. He had to be in his line of work.
“Is there any hope that she will ever wake?” I asked as Alice stood beside me, grabbing my hand.
He looked at me sadly and said, “No. I’m sorry.”
“Then I think it’s time,” I said. “I can’t keep her here for me.”
“What would you like me to do?” he asked, as Alice sobbed. He had given me all the options before and now it was my turn to choose.
“I want her free from tubes. How long can she go on without the ventilator?” I asked.
“Minutes, maybe hours,” he responded.
“How do we do this then?” I asked, a sob escaping my lips.
“For now, you can clean her, dress her, whatever you want to do to prepare her. If you want a minister, have him come during that time. Then a nurse and I will come in and ask you to leave for five minutes or so and we will disconnect everything. Then you come back in, a nurse or myself will be in the room until the end,” he spoke softly.
“Thank you,” I said. He made is way out of the room and I got up from the bed. Alice threw herself at me and we hugged each other, sobbing.
We spent the next hour giving my love a bath, washing her hair, painting her nails and changing her into her favorite clothes, although they now hung from her slim frame. All that time we talked about our memories.
The cookies she tried to make to surprise me one night that Alice was coming over for a visit. She was already very sick at that point. Confined to her bed or the couch for the most part. But she wanted to do it, alone. She did fine, except, she put a tablespoon of baking soda in, instead of a teaspoon. They tasted horrible, but both of us ate them anyways, commenting how good they were. She grinned ear to ear, happy to be normal for just a little while. It was working well, until she decided that she wanted one. The jig was up. She pouted about it, but both Alice and I agreed we would have done it again to see the smile she wore as she brought the plate out.
At last, we had done everything there was to do. She was clean and dressed. Alice did her nail polish, make up and hair. I looked at Alice and asked if she wanted time to say goodbye. She nodded.
I left the room, for the first time in a week and walked down the hall, in search of the doctor.
“We’re ready,” I said as I found him at the nurses station.
He nodded his head, but said nothing. He motioned to one of the nurses to follow him and started his way down to the room. I followed behind, keeping my head down to look at the floor, and avoiding the looks of pity from the people we passed.
When we got to the door he motioned for me to go in first. I went to her bedside and stood beside Alice who was holding her frail hand and crying. Alice looked at me and walked out of the room, sobs consuming her body. I looked at my girl, my love, my life, and I kissed her on the forehead.
“I’ll be back soon Sweetheart,” I whispered. “Wait for me.”
Then I walked out of the room, into the hall, letting my sobs overtake my body. Alice launched herself into my arms again and we held each other tight, crying for what might have been, what should have been.
The nurse came out a few minutes later and touched us both on the shoulder, motioning for us to enter the room. No words were said. No words were needed.
I took a deep breath, grabbed Ali’s hand like a lifeline and walked into the room.
I walked to the bed and climbed in on her left side. Ali climbed in on the right. We whispered our love to her and listened as her breath slowed. I brushed my hand through her hair and told her something I prayed I never would have to. Something I didn’t even know I could say.
“It’s okay, Baby. You can go now. You deserve the rest. I love you.”
I sobbed onto her shoulder and listened to her breathing. It was slower but less labored. Her body and face seemed to relax and eight minutes later I held her frail body and felt her breath her last breath.
“Time of death 8:08pm,” the doctor said, leaving the room.
Neither Alice nor I moved. We just held her until I felt her warm body grow cold. Then Ali helped me up and we left that room. Never to return.
She guided me down the hall and out the door. The light were low, as they always were when someone passed away. The hospice’s sign to give grieving families peace in their darkest hour.
This was definitely my darkest hour.
Alice drove me home and brought me inside. Everything about our home reminded me of her. Not only the medical equipment that was scattered everywhere but the pictures and the memories.
The books with a piece of toilet paper in to mark her place. She had so many book marks but still used toilet paper. She hadn’t read in months but she still had ten books that were marked, in the middle, never to be finished.
My girl couldn’t read just one book at a time.
The pictures that graced every surface.
Her jewelry that was left on every table.
The house even smelled like her.
I walked up to the bedroom slowly and crawled, fully clothed, into bed. Alice crawled in behind me, spooning me to her. I hadn’t been help like that in years. And the tears came and grew into sobs and wails. Eventually I calmed and sleep found me.
The next few days passed in a flourish of activity. Planning a final farewell to my girl.
The day of the funeral dawned and the sun was shining. Perfect for my angel. I dressed in the clothes that Alice laid out for me, black pants and shoes and a deep blue button up shirt.
There were so many people at the church to pay their final respects. People that all but disappeared during the course of her long illness.
I sat in the church listening to the pastor speak and waited for my turn to go up and talk. I begged my girl for the strength to do her justice and when he nodded for me to come up, Alice stood by my side, holding my hand.
“You all know why we’re here today. We have come to say goodbye to an angel. An Angel that I was blessed to hold for thirteen years. My daughter, Renesmee. I was so lucky to be her mom....” I said, telling them all about my beautiful girl.
At the end Alice’s oldest daughter stood up and joined us at the front. She spoke.
“Ness was my best friend. We were supposed to marry brothers and grow old together. We were supposed to go to high school, graduate and go to college and travel and everything. How am I supposed to do all that alone? Nessie, I miss you forever,” she sobbed as both Alice and I hugged her.
Goodbye Angel! Fly high!!