When a little girl informed her parents that she didn’t want to spend the rest of her life in a hospital, they brought her home and gave her the finest time of her life. When she became too ill again, she begged them to let her die. It was the most difficult choice they had ever made. When you have children, you never consider saying goodbye. You are concerned about the planet and do your best to defend it….
But you never imagine they’ll leave before you. When our daughter Sandra became ill, though, my husband Josh and I were resolved to battle it. Sandra had spent so much time in the hospital by the time she was six because she had a chronic renal disease. We believed the battle was finished when she had a transplant, but things only grew worse. And then the doctor told us something we didn’t want to hear.
“We have no other options. Sandra is too frail to undergo more therapies or surgery. It is now time to get ready “The doctor replied, and his matter-of-fact demeanor awoke an anger in me that I was unaware of. My eyes welled up with rage, and my emotions made it difficult for me to speak. But I gave it my all. “How can you say such a thing to us? No, you must take action. You have a responsibility to heal my daughter!” I demanded, urgently sobbing and practically insulting him.
Josh clutched my shoulders, knowing I was going to collapse. I knew the doctor was being reasonable when he spoke again. But logic, data, and facts were out of the question. I was looking for answers! We needed a treatment for our daughter! “You and your husband, Mrs. Wheeler, have two choices. You have the option of leaving her at the hospital so that we can give care and pain management, or you may take your daughter home.
But there’s nothing more I can do for her, and believe me, this is not an easy thing for me to say. I went to medical school and prepared to save people’s lives. Giving this news to parents is always, always, always difficult for me “I calmed down when the doctor spoke, even if his comments were still solemn and unemotional. I could see he was doing his job. “So, we’ll remain. She need medical attention. Perhaps a miracle will occur “I assured him, but a little voice from the bed behind us interrupted.
“No way, Mommy. I’m ready to go home. I no longer want to be here. Let’s go home, please “Sandra implored, her eyes fixed on me. Her thin, frail face was difficult to look at at the time, and I couldn’t ignore her statements. “Okay, honey. We’ll return home.” I nodded and sat down beside her to embrace her. Josh joined us, and we remained that way for a while. “Yay,” she whispered faintly as we parted ways, and we began packing her and completing hospital paperwork to have her discharged.
My daughter’s following few days were more wonderful than I could have anticipated. Despite her frailty, she grinned brightly. We wheeled her to the zoo, but she rose to touch several animals, and a brightness gleamed in her eyes. We brought her to a park, and although she couldn’t play hard with the other kids, she was able to mingle and feel like a normal young girl for the first time in her life.
“She’s never had the opportunity to do this before,” I said to my husband, who nodded with a grim, tight smile. We had no idea how much she had missed because of her illness. It was unjust. But tragedy occurred barely a week after she was discharged from the hospital. Sandra was unable to stand and had been coughing profusely for some time. I was terrified. “I’m dialing 911 right now,” I responded, urgently reaching for my phone.
“Please, Mommy, let me die. It’s finally time. I’d want to go. I adore you and your father, but I’m ready to die “Sandra remarked as she raised her hand towards me from her little bed. I went back to her side and sat down, attempting to keep the sobbing in my breast at bay. We glanced at our daughter while Josh sat on the floor. We expressed our feelings for her. What a difference she made in our lives. Being her parents was the most important aspect of our life. We kissed her on the cheek.
Her cheekbones. Her fingers. We believed she might recover from this, but she had a look in her eyes that said she knew it was all over. When her lids lowered, we became silent. She had vanished. I’d never sobbed that much in my whole life. I’d never seen Josh that upset. We didn’t know what to do after Sandra. Without her, who were we? Why did God feel compelled to take our girl? Sandra was pleased and died on her terms, which was my sole relief.
We honored her desires. We did all we could for her. We performed well. I needed to believe that in order to keep going. I discovered a notebook in which she wrote in her crooked children’s handwriting a few days after her death and burial. This week has been the finest yet. I entertained Daddy, and Mommy let me eat all of the ice cream. My folks are wonderful. Life is wonderful. I didn’t have any more tears to weep, yet I stood there paralyzed, reading those lines over and again.
When Josh read them, he went straight to the store-bought frame we had preserved and inserted the notebook page within. “Let’s remember our daughter for the rest of our lives, Violet,” Josh said, and I agreed. We displayed it in our living room as a daily reminder that our daughter had been a happy child despite all of the suffering, agony, battles, surgeries, fears, impatience, tears, and despair. A simple child who adored us as much as we adored her.