Aviana had seven years. At times I count them. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... An awfully small number. But then I think, I can safely say two things with absolute certainty, I had never learned more up until I met her, and won't ever learn as much until I die. I can also say that what I accomplished before Aviana and anything from here on out will pale in comparison to looking deep into her eyes and respecting her wish to exit this life and move on to another. I know, bold statements. But they're true. I look at Dave and have never been more proud of the two of us, for listening, being her voice, and for honoring her.
As I watched her walk out the door six years ago, I thought I knew a thing or two about difficult things. I was wrong. In teaching us, we were not only given a whole different perspective, but also released. We were freed from fear. I'm sure some who've lost tremendously can relate. In losing Aviana, the mystery was unraveled. Before I was a fraidy cat, too scared to speak of death, too terrified to hear the words about or from my parents especially, or to go sit or visit with people who've lost a loved one...I'm embarrassed to say, I wanted to run the other way. But because of Aviana, I'm more comfortable. She shows me that death is a part of life. Soon after the accident, we made sure to have a will and trust. Amongst other things, we made sure to clearly outline our own wishes should something as catastrophic occur. Because of her, I can now sit, visit, talk (to even my parents (!), listen, think about everyone close to me dying, and have completed my training to be a hospice volunteer - all with our girls at the forefront. On my way home from here or there, I sometimes cry, because one little girl made her momma grow up. She made it possible for me to do things I couldn't in the past. She made me understand that no matter how bad or sad a situation, we'll (I'll) somehow get through. And as bad as anything is, there's beauty somewhere. Thankfully in our time of need—family, friends, perfect strangers, and the small wonders of this earth were just above all that was awful and felt bad.
In recent years, I'm forever grateful that through God—Aviana and Kama have shown me this isn't the end.
I opened six years ago to avoid having to continuously speak about what happened to our family. My intention was to close soon after. Little did I know, a blinking line on a blank screen would become my saving grace, pulling me in and grounding my broken heart. For years I left my hopes and dreams for Aviana, fumbled my way through an 'anything but normal' life, and slathered the deepest depths of the beast known as brain injury.
I've decided to say goodbye. I want to especially thank each of you for caring for Aviana the way you have. You are truly some of the most loving people. You may never know how much you mean or have helped me through the years. I want to especially thank you for holding us through the holidays with Aviana's Elves. From my heart to yours...always.
If ever you'd like to say hi, our contact information is in the Aviana's Elves link.
We wish you peace and love,
Dave, Jen & Rainey
And in the end,
the love you take is equal to the love you make.
~ The Beatles