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.
November 2nd, 2012 - relief
I knew Matilda was okay as soon as I saw the relief on Dahlia's face as she stepped out from behind the nurse’s station. She had been with Matilda from day one and took care of us most often. We requested her the night Matilda was offered the liver. Like, we actually called her on the phone and made sure she would be in and assigned to us. She moved some things around to make it happen and we were grateful. You see, if someone was going to tell me that my daughter was gone – I wanted it to be from someone I loved.
News like that needed to come from a loved one.
Tyler and Dahlia sometimes had playful words for each other. They argued about this and that – like the crib incident or when she called him out for being doctor smarty pants. But the truth is, Tyler loved her too. So when a different nurse – someone we had never seen before (which was odd to begin with) strolled up and plopped herself down at Matilda’s bedside desk – Tyler was ready to fight. We were going to have Dahlia that night.
And we did.
She knew just how to calm our nerves. She explained everything with ease. And she loved Matilda. If she were to receive the news that Matilda was lost, she would feel the pain. She would mourn and cry right along with us. We would not be rushed or set aside, instead we would be surrounded by those who had also loved and lost an angel.
That was important to us.
Dahlia's smile said it all. Relief was written all over face and I cried tears of joy before she even spoke. The relief we all felt was extraordinary. The worry still lingered (even to this day it lingers), but the relief in that moment was a huge rush of unending happy thoughts. Thoughts about little footprints at the beach, thoughts about giggles in the night, thoughts about pigtais and pretty nails.
Thoughts about going home together as a family.