My mom and Gary were keeping busy getting ready for their trip. We knew there were still a few things to talk about before they left. I felt the nerves creeping once again. Who wants to continually have conversations in this same vein? By this point, I felt I'd had my fair share for years to come. I wanted to just keep my mouth closed and take in what life was left. The few remaining details screamed loudest and largest though. Our hope was to keep them short and sweet.
My mom was over, so I weaved some of what was left into our conversation, "If something should happen to Aviana while you are away, what should we do?" The answer she started with wasn't what I expected. She began telling me how to handle Aviana. The tape in my head repeated, "say what you mean, mean what you say." I half smiled and quickly rephrased my question, "I didn't mean the details of Aviana. What I mean is, how should we handle you and Gary?" My heart stopped in anticipation. Not because she didn't answer, but because of the question I had to ask, and the response she was cycling through to come up with.
As I waited, I was rushed by all the moments, which brought us to this very one. We three sat on the couch - mother, daughter, granddaughter. We were talking so naturally, but yet suddenly, about something so unnatural - losing a child. Those were the most, and least, of my thoughts in the few moments it took for her to say, "We would want to know right away." She then asked how my Uncle Roger answered? I told her he also wanted to know immediately.
(This part can't be written without too many tears to count)
Staggered and a few days before they left, my mom and Gary, and my Uncle Roger came to our house. We tried to keep the visits as normal as possible. If my memory serves me correct, we didn't act as though this may be the very last time they were ever to see Aviana. We honestly didn't know for sure, but I believe we all had a good idea. By then, Aviana was consistently refusing 1-2 meals a day. She had also lost a decent amount of weight.
I think we'd all had enough heavy, because we tried to keep the conversations light. They spent their time hugging and loving on Aviana. I'd catch my mind wandering, sometimes capturing mental pictures of the two, or three of them together. I imagine we all experienced some of the same. By now, our behavior became an unspoken agreement in keeping it to ourselves. We all knew where we stood and the direction each was heading. With the seconds counting down, I think it was easier for all of us to act in this manner.
I'll never know which was hardest - seeing them tell Aviana they love her and kiss her one last time or watching them walk away, and then scooping her up afterwards? I guess both were equally difficult.
All I know for sure is - each time that door shut, I held Aviana and cried like a baby.