They say with time the bad memories fade, and I suppose in some ways, that’s true. I can’t immediately conjure up the smells of the hospital room unless I try (and I don’t). The flashbacks are still intense, but the sharp edges have dulled. I can no longer describe the way the room looked in detail.
I’ll never forget the looks they all gave me. The faces of the transport team, the same ones that had taken her to UCLA the day she was born, were stricken. I begged them to save her like they once had. They were so sad…so sorry. Their eyes reflected my pain.
I’ll never forget the sound of the doctors’ voices, discussing the “event,” as they called it, right on the other side of the curtain that had been drawn for our privacy. Talking about the patient’s “failure to respond.” Talking about my daughter.
I’ll never forget holding her in my arms, and how much heavier she was than just three hours earlier. The fluids pumped into her body had added heft.
I’ll never forget the vacant look of her half-closed eyes.
But I’m forgetting her smell.
I’m forgetting how she touched me.
I’m forgetting our routine, and the way we’d spend our days.
I’m forgetting how it felt to hold her in my arms, and how soft her skin felt against mine.
I’m afraid that soon all my memories will just be photographs.
I’m afraid I am forgetting her.