10.6.11

The Post I Never Wanted to Write

June 8 started off like any other day; I got up, got dressed and ready for work. Before I left, I had a conversation with my mom that weighed heavily on my heart. She told me that gone were the days when we could have an actual conversation with Anna; she had been sedated by the doctor yesterday and even though she could probably hear us, she wouldn't be able to respond. She said she thought that every morning before I go to work and every night I should just lay with her so she could feel my presence. So we could spend time together, even if she wasn't awake. That morning, I had a meeting to get to and I was running late so I didn't even say goodbye to her.

Later that day, I got a call from my dad at work saying that I should come home as soon as I can, Anna wasn't doing well. She was having trouble breathing. I didn't understand from the phone call how serious things were until my Uncle Dan came down to the front desk, got the receptionist who I was covering for to come back and told me we needed to get to my house. Only then, did I begin to understand that it was serious to say the least.

When I got home, it was clear things weren't good before I even stepped foot in the room where Anna was. People were in the living room and everyone was crying. I set my stuff down as my other uncle gave me the lay of the land; she wasn't breathing well, and she may not have much longer so I should go back there and be with her. So I went back there. My mom was laying on the bed next to Anna, my dad sitting next to her. They were both crying. My mom's friend was reading the latest Caring Bridge update to Anna. I sat down on the bed next to her feet and watched as she struggled to breathe. She didn't look scared, she didn't look in pain, but it was clear she wasn't doing well.

I wanted to run away. In fact, I did for a minute, to the game room to send a text to my friend (before you judge, please know this is how I cope. I needed my closest friends to know what was going on, to support me). I felt like I was going to throw up. I hugged one of my Aunts who was there and told the people who came in to check on me "I just needed a minute". I said I needed a minute, but what I meant was I needed this to stop. I needed someone to say "April Fools. Anna's fine after all. Don't worry, this was just a scare". Instead, I was told to "be strong", that Anna needed me. My dad came out and told me it was ok to be scared and sad, but that Anna would want me to be there with her. So I went back.

I laid down on the bed next to her and held her limp hand. "I love you, Anna," I whispered to her. "I love you so much." There were so many other words. Just a little bit ago, I had been texting one of her best friends discussing how no matter what happens to Anna we would always be sisters, Anna's friends and I. I wanted to tell her that; tell her that her best friends and I would take care of each other. How they would be like sisters to me, so she didn't have to worry about me. How I would miss her every second of every day of the rest of my life, but I would be okay. My dad had told me that Anna was worried about leaving us, she wanted to make sure my parents and I would be okay, so I wanted to tell her that I would be, even if I wasn't sure if that were true. But as I laid there and watched her struggling to take her last breaths, all I could do was cry. I couldn't speak except to say "I love you".

It wasn't much longer after I got there when she stopped breathing. My mom let out a cry that someone described as a sound that only a mother who has lost their child makes. "I'm not ready to let her go," she cried. I squeezed her hand, wishing I could take away all this immense pain we were all feeling. "She's with God now," my Dad told us. We said a prayer together, hugged each other and cried a lot.

When it happened, my first feeling was relief. Relief that this horribly scary thing was over. Relief that she was no longer in pain. Relief that she didn't suffer. Relief that I was there and got to say the things I wanted to say.

These last couple of days have been a whirlwind of emotion filled with tough decisions about funeral arrangements and casket options. Something parents should never have to think about for their child. Anna's friends have been over here all the time, and personally I am so grateful. They are the piece of Anna I have left and they mean the world to me. Together, we share our memories of her and help her live on through the bonds we have created which have only grown stronger these last 2 days. When something happens, we say "What would Anna say to this?", someone nails it and we all smile, remembering her.

I can't believe she's only been gone for 2 days. It feels like a lifetime. And I know it will last that long. As a sister, I can't help but think of all the events in my life I will have to partake in without my sister. She won't be there to see me graduate next year. She won't be able to decorate my first apartment like we planned. She won't be the Maid of Honor in my wedding. She won't get to meet my children. And of course, she won't get to have any of these moments either, which breaks my heart even more. She missed out on so much of life, but yet she truly made the most of her short 18 years on this earth.

I wish so badly heaven had an elevator or Skype. I just want to see her face again. I miss her face so much it hurts. I miss that beautiful smile of hers. I miss her sarcastic, witty sense of humor. I miss her laugh. I even miss the way she rolled her eyes at me or the way she would get frustrated with me. It is hard to imagine ever feeling okay again when she won't ever be back, but I know one day I'll be able to come to peace with it.

There is so much more to say, to feel and to process. But that will take time. The rest of my life perhaps. I may never be the same, but I will do my best to live with my new normal. One of Anna's favorite songs was "Float On" by Modest Mouse, and there is a picture going around Facebook with some lyrics to this song in remembrance of Anna. It is my phone background, and every time I get sad I read those words; "Alright, don't worry, even if things get a bit too heavy, we'll all float on." I know that Anna would want me to keep floating on and to not be sad. So, that's what I am trying to do. I may not always be able to, and I know being sad is a part of the process so I will allow myself to feel that too.

Anna was truly the best sister I could ask for, and she was my best friend. I will miss her for the rest of my life, but I know that is exactly how long her love will last.


In loving memory of Anna Lee Basso 5/10/93-6/8/11

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34 comments:

bloomedinjune said...

i'm sitting here with tears in my eyes, with no idea what to say. i wish i had the magic words to make you feel better or at least to make you a little bit stronger, but i don't think i do.

all i can say is YOU have been an amazing sister and SHE is such an inspiration to me. anna was only one year older than me, and honestly i looked up (and still look up!) for her strength, even if i didn't know her.

i'll be praying for you and your family and for anna.

momto3 said...

I am so heartbroken Patrice. With tears flowing over your post all I can say is I know with out a doubt you 2 were the best of friends and she doesn't want you to grieve. I'm still trying to come to terms with this so I can't give "any words of wisdom". I love you just as much now as when I met you in '97 and I am here for you if you need me,call me,text me....just know I love you and your family and I am praying for you all right now. I wish I could be there for you right now, I am in spirit. Love to you,

Debbie

The Mom Jen said...

I am so sorry Patrice! Your words are precious, and the recall of your moms reaction sent me to tears, I hope your memories fill your heart during this tough time! Much love to you!!

Mere said...

Hey sweet girl,
I have no idea what to say in a time like this, but I just want you to know that I'm praying for you and hugging you from here in Houston. If you need anything, don't hesitate to email me or tweet me...even if it's just to vent.
Love, Mere

Amanda said...

I am sorry. I know that doesn't even begin to help, but I truly am sorry for your loss. I wish I had something better to say, but know that you and your family are being prayed for. Know that I will keep you all in my thoughts. Hold tight the memories of your sweet sweet sister and continue to float on. If there is ever anything I can do, please don't hesitate to let me know through email or twitter (amandab33).

Mandy said...

I am so sorry about this Patrice. Praying for you and your family. (((hugs)))

Chelle said...

Patrice. I can't even think of any words that could possibly be right at this time...I am sorry. So, so sorry.

My heart broke when I read this on Facebook that nite. My heart is even more broken after reading this beautiful, love filled post and tribute to Anna.

You? Are the strongest sister EVER. I pray that even though Anna is in heaven that she was able to read this post.

Sending you so many hugs of love and strength right now. Your family has been in my thoughts and prayers. ((hugs))

Angie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what it's like to lose a sibling. For a mother to lose a child. I hope I'm long gone by the time my children are ready to leave this world.

I can't imagine the strength it takes to move on from that but I pray that the Lord brings it to you.

Cammie said...

Patrice, I do not have any words, and I know they would not matter anyways. I followed Anna's story through her CB site and was so very sad to read the news. I hope you and your family are able to comfort each other and your memories of her carry you as well. I know your sister will be with you in spirit through all of those important milestones in your life, she will never be far from you!

MommaD said...

My heart aches for you. You are experiencing pain no sister ever wants to feel. May you know that you are not alone and may you find comfort in the bond you shared.

You have written so beautifully, I am touched by the depth of your love. Thank you for sharing so eloquently. I am praying for you and your family.

The Random Blogette said...

I am so sorry for what you and your family are going through. My heart breaks for you all.

Tiffany said...

I'm new to your blog, but I just had to write you a comment. I am so so sorry that your family is going through such a heartbreaking situation. My heart and prayers go out to you all. Your sister sounds like an amazing young lady and I know that you all must be missing her terribly. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.

~Tiffany
http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

Brittney said...

I am stopping by from Amanda's page. I am so very sorry for your loss. This post brought tears to my eyes and i cant even begin to imagine what you are going through right now. I will pray for your strength and I will pray for your family. ((hugs))

From Tracie said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

I'm praying for you, your family, and all of Anna's friends.

Tabbie:) said...

Praying for your family. Hurting with you.

sues2u2 said...

Oh, Patrice. I read the title & knew. I'm so sorry that you all have to go through this. I hope you know you are never alone. And Anna isn't alone either. She's w/ a loving Father in Heaven who welcomed her home w/ tears for all she'd been through & all you have left to go through. I believe that w/ all of my heart.

My thoughts & prayers are w/ you & your family. Much love & hugs, Susan - sues2u2

erin. said...

Praying for you all continuously!! What amazing sisters <3

catthebeatnik said...

You are a beautiful writer, even when in so much pain. Anna was an amazing girl, and I'm so sorry for your loss. Your family is so, so strong. None of you deserve to have to go through any of this, yet you all take it with such grace. Anna was lucky to have you as her sister; I can tell you guys loved each other a lot. That love will never ever disappear or fade. You guys are all in my thoughts. ♥

Holly said...

I'm so sorry Patrice. I don't know what else to say.

Amy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your sister was a beautiful girl inside and out. She will be there for all those things that you listed...when you graduate, when you get married, etc. She will be there! In spirit. You will feel her there and she will never leave you. I hope that you and your family find peace and comfort in the fact that she is no longer suffering. God bless you all.

Rebecca Louise. said...

I have read this so many times just wishing for the ending to be different. I have no words except you are so lucky to have each other. Your relationship is a testament to each other and that will never fade.

Beautiful post Patrice!

Jessica said...

Patrice, I'm so sorry. I knew that as soon as I read the post title, Anna was no longer with us.

I can't explain how much I've thought of you this week. I've been quietly reading your posts here and there. I even went back and read more about Anna's journey through all of this.

I think one of the most comforting things that you wrote today was that Anna didn't look like she was in pain. While I'm sure it was difficult to have to be with her and not have her really as ANNA, I'm happy to know that she wasn't physically suffering. A part of me thinks that would have been harder for her, but then another part of me really doesn't even know.

I'm sure you can't know anything like that until you're in those shoes though - until you're that person that's slowly fading away.

Patrice, please just know that you, your family, and Anna are in my thoughts and prayers. I don't have the right words and can't even begin to imagine what I should say.

I lost my father a couple of years ago to cancer - very suddenly - and I remember what shoes I was in. Nothing people said made it better. It was hard for anyone to do the "right" thing. I just needed people around me to simply exist so that I didn't feel SO alone.

If that's anything like what you're going through, I'm existing for you. Feel free to email and vent - even if you think it makes no sense. I'm here for you for whatever you need. I'm in so much pain just thinking about what you could possibly be going through.

Stay strong - as strong as you can...

xoxo

Emily said...

Patrice,
My name is Emily and I am a family friend of the Scotts...I had read your blog before (early on during Anna's diagnosis) but lost your URL. I am a RN at Children's (although, not in oncology) and have been praying for your family from Day 1 of this journey. Please know that your sister left a beautiful legacy and lasting impression on so many caregivers at Children's. If you ever need anything, please don't hesitate to ask...the Scott's have all my contact info. I will be praying for peace and healing for your entire family.

Emily

Ps. You are really such a talented writer and you captured this moment in time so graciously.

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

I have no words to express my deepest condolences to you and your family. As a mother myself now, I cannot imagine what your parents are going through. And as a sister (I only have a brother though) losing your only sibling has got to be the hardest thing imaginable. I will be praying for you and your family. Your newest guardian Angel is watching over you now, that is the one thing I do know.

Nic said...

my dear, I found this through @thegirlatfirstavenue and I am super sorry! I really am, even though I'm a newbie to your blog. This is very heart breaking, I am so sorry.

Nidhi said...

Oh my God! I am so sorry. May her soul rest in peace. Please be strong. I hope she is in a better place now with God where she does not have to suffer anymore.

Take care of yourself and your family.

All the love from my side.

Saf ♥ said...

She's beautiful, Patrice.

I almost couldn't finish reading... My heart aches for you and your family, I honestly have no words...

God has other plans for her, but always keep her in your prayers.

Much love ♥
- saf

Nisha said...

Your sister looks beautiful. May God give strength to you and your family to bear the pain. God bless you all.

Tanvi said...

Your sister looks beautiful in the picture. I am so sorry for your loss. I do not know what else to say ... I cannot even imagine how you might feel or how you would deal with this loss. I pray that God gives you and your family all the strength to overcome the pain. I am sure your sister is in a better place now where there is no plain or illness.

Sending lots of love and strength your way...!

♥ from © tanvii.com

Susan said...

Oh, Patrice, I just got back into town from my girls trip and I'm so sorry to have come home to this post. So much love and prayers your way. God will help you through..... lean on HIM.

Krystyn said...

Patrice. I have nothing to say that will make it better or easier. I'm praying for you and your family. I'm glad you are able to see that she's not in pain anymore.

Sweet Anna, may your family see your smiling face in every place they visit and every where they go.

Bullet said...

Patrice,

I was following your blog.

I am so sorry for your loss. May the almighty God give strength to you and your family.


Roshan

Bullet said...

Patrice,

I was following your blog.

I am so sorry for your loss. May the almighty God give strength to you and your family.


Roshan

Jen E @ mommablogsalot said...

I don't even know what to say, I am just so sorry for your loss. This post brought me to tears, beautifully written... I have no words of wisdom for you, but know that you and your family are in my thoughts.

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