the last supper

Every Thursday I look back at a specific day and time that was spent with my daughter Matilda as she waited for, received, and recovered from a liver transplant. She was in the hospital for 72 days and we remained in NYC until she turned four months old.

October 30th, 2012 - the last supper

Tyler had walked to the RMH to shower, do some laundry, and bring us back good food. There was this organic grocery store that had become our favorite place to grab a bite on the way back from the subway. Their homemade soup was hearty and made me feel a little closer to Montana. That whole street had become my favorite in all of New York. The walk back from the RMH held so many moments that grew into epiphanies. Getting back to Matilda always felt so exciting, a relief would wash over me, and for those few blocks hope carried me.

Everything had been relatively quiet that day. Doctors and nurses stopped by to check on us and to see Matilda. There were lots of quiet moments, silent goodbyes, and unvoiced prayers.

Tyler came back with soup and some clean clothes to dress Matilda in. Dahlia was with us that night. She was excited to pick the best outfit, bathe Matilda, and dress her in bows. She was excited to see Tyler and tease him about whatever she could think of. She was excited to have us all to herself.

In the couple weeks that Matilda was stable and doing okay, she would have to share her nurse with another patient. But now, Matilda needed constant care and monitoring. It felt nice to always have someone sitting right there with us.

Dahlia was the only person that believed in Matilda 100%, or at least she was the best at hiding her sadness. I kept looking at her - wondering how she would handle the disappointment if Matilda did not make it past the next few days. Her actions did not change. Her joy in Matilda did not waver. Her spirit remained as it always had been. In her eyes, Matilda was going to be just fine.

Matilda's body was so limp and lifeless as she was bathed, dressed, and manipulated - as tubes were emptied and IV's were administered. But we pretended as though everything was normal. We pulled the table right up to her bed, and ate soup while chatting about the spirit of the people in New York, as recovery work was already underway in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

We were playing doll. We chatted with Matilda as if she could respond, as if she would open her eyes and flash us her usual cheeky smile, as if she were not dying. It was what we had to do. We had to keep moving forward. We had to stay positive against all odds. We knew the next couple days either held her life or her death, and the only way we could make it to the end was to cherish every moment and every breath.

Simply sharing a meal across from our beautiful baby was a blessing. It was something we would remember forever. It was a gift and we saw so clearly that it was ours to cherish.

That night was beautiful. Matilda seemed so peaceful. Dahlia kept her stable while we rested, but moments after she left the next morning Matilda's spirit tried to fly away.

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