Masinja had his reservoir removed this morning. Everything went as planned, and he was doing well this afternoon when we visited with him.
Madelinja's service also went well, and there was a good turnout of support. We had a lot of food left over, but that's not a big deal.
Due to numerous requests, I'm posting the eulogy I wrote for her:
~ On the 20th of Jan, at 1245am, I met the most beautiful girl in the world. 14 years and 4 days after I met her mother, Madelynn Elizabeth climbed into my heart and built a fortress around it. The drawbridge is now pulled up, but my love for her will always scale the walls.
We didn’t realize it at first, but Madelynn had a role. A very important purpose. She was Mason’s guardian angel. The night they were born, Madelynn came out first, a little too eagerly for someone coming through a c-section. When she met the cold air for the first time, she let out the first and last cry I would ever hear from her. But it wasn’t a cry of fright, or pain; it was a comfort to Mason, telling him, “I’m here, it’s safe to come out.” And after Mason came, they lay side by side on the table. Madelynn whimpered while Mason was intubated. She was comforting him, telling him he’d be alright. My daughter was already more of a leader than I could ever dream of being. She was leading her little brother to life.
For the last 3 months, they spent their time in separate beds, but their beds were right next to each other. Madelynn was ever so vigilant about her brother. Several times he was rolled past her for a procedure, and we thought she was letting us know she wasn’t happy, but she was telling him it would be alright. And when he’d return, she’d be calm again, and let him know that she was happy to see him back.
Her attitude was famous, or infamous, around the NICU, and the whole staff knew who she was. One day, during an eye exam, she stared down the doctor, and actually made take a 15-minute break. Her eyes had a fire that couldn’t be denied, but they also had a love that couldn’t be either. Madelynn always seemed to be upset that Mason was getting more attention than her, but she was actually telling us that we better take care of him, or we’d have to answer to her. Through all of her spells, episodes, and sometimes outright temper tantrums, the doctor’s would joke that they were ordering spankings for her instead of meds. I offered them duct tape, but most of the time, all she needed was to hold my hand and hear my voice to calm her down and make everything alright. Cheri says that she was daddy’s little girl, but it’s only because Madelynn was, and always will be, her mother’s daughter.
Madelynn knew she was loved, and not just because Cheri and I told her everyday, but because she could feel it in the hands of the NICU staff, and she could hear every prayer that was said in her name. She gave all that strength to Mason, because she knew he needed it. And as he seemed to thrive, things took a toll on her body. She didn’t recover as well, she felt more pain, she was overcome by her own issues. Madelynn was a lot sicker than Cheri and I probably wanted to admit. She fought hard, but she didn’t have enough for two. Though everything humanly possible was done to save her, it wouldn’t be enough.
In her final hour, Mason was brought over, and Cheri and I took turns holding both of them. It was the first and last time we would hold Madelynn, but Mason was strong for all three of us. He spoke to Madelynn, and told her it was alright to go, that her mission was complete. He comforted her just as she had comforted him. And as we watched her take her final breath, we knew that she was going to a better place, and that she wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. She led her brother to life, only to give up her own.
Madelynn, mommy and daddy love you Sweet Princess. Your love will live in our hearts forever.~
That's all for today.