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Updated: Jul 28, 2023

The night before last, Olivia fell asleep a few hours before her acclimated bedtime.

For about a week and a half, our entire household has been inundated with some sorta respiratory infection, so we're all still a bit weathered.

It was a nice surprise, I thought, as Keith and I climbed our weary bodies into bed.

The television hadn't even powered on before we heard Olivia vocalizing loudly down the hall from us.

She was awake, and making her usual I'm up! sounds.

It's interesting how Keith and I've familiarized ourselves to decipher her differentiating octaves (for the most part).

We stared at each other.

"I'll get her." Keith conceded.

Relieved, I snuggled into the duvet.

A few minutes later, Olivia appeared in the doorway with a fresh diaper, firmly being carried in by her daddy.

She loves being in bed with us.

LOVES.

If I pick her up, regardless of her mood, and start to walk toward our bed, she immediately starts smiling.

As they moved toward the light, I read the bewilderment on her face.

She still hadn't really woken.

It takes Olivia (and this is normal for us) about three to five minutes (on average) from the moment she wakes to the moment she neurologically becomes truly aware of her surroundings.

I could tell things hadn't become concrete in her mind yet.

Keith placed her atop the bed with us and we attempted to cuddle her.

She pooled into our arms limply, the vacant stares continuing, accompanied by uncomfortable shifts in her body. She even whined a little.

"Maybe she's not feeling well."

I arose and gathered everything needed to administer Tylenol via her g-tube.

Afterward she slumped into Keith's arms.

We both continued to study her, calmly.

Minutes passed and I whispered. "Mommy loves you. Mommy and daddy are right here."

Her eyes searched my face, hollow.

Keith tried to rub her limbs, but she moved his hand away and stared off into the distance.

Then he began to speak to her, and that's when she turned toward his voice.

She stooped her head down to where his tank top exposed his chest and the tattoo of her birthdate in Roman numerals.

She yanked his shirt aside, studied the hair there, fixed in on his tattoo, then looked up into his face.

It finally clicked; the lights turned on (as it were).

A huge grin swept across Olivia's face, she flapped her hands excitedly, and grabbed his head to plant a wet kiss.

We both laughed. Relieved.

I cannot paint an adequate picture of how beautifully Olivia alights to see her daddy.

Her wide grin, her joyous hand flap, the way she grabs his beard to plant a kiss atop his head...

But just as quickly as it'd happened, she pushed his head away and all went dark again.

Long seconds passed with her staring off into nothing, drool seeping onto her chin.

"Olivia..." I'd say sweetly. "That's daddy."

"Olivia..." Keith would chime in, his voice deep and soothing.

It would take a little while, but when she'd hear his voice...she'd stoop her head toward it, onto the focal point of his tattoo... she'd study it hard just like before, then she would look into Keith's face... and it would click.

This routine continued for over fifteen minutes.

Blank.

Daddy's chest.

Daddy's tattoo.

Daddy's face.

Daddy!

I lay next to them, and encouraging bystander.

After about thirty minutes we placed her back into bed, all of us exhausted.


I asked Keith that night, "Do you ever think about when she won't be able to recognize us anymore?"

Keith shook his head firmly, "No. Every moment I spend thinking about that, is one less moment I'm here present with her."

I nodded.

But I think about it.

It haunts me.

With hope in my voice, I replied, "You know... I think you and I will be the ones to bring her back. If even for a little while. We're her people...she'll always be able to find her way back to us."

I hope, with every ounce of me, that what I say is true.

No matter what the future holds, my hope is that Olivia will always be able to find her way home, to us."





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Carmen Sieg
Carmen Sieg
Jun 06, 2022

I just read your last post. It is heartbreaking to imagine Olivia (BBs), not being able to recognize us. My prayer is that she will always be able to. I will also do my part to help her remember me:-( I have faith that somehow she will. Nene. Mum.


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