Words have been failing me lately, which is odd, considering how long I've used the English language. Some things are just too hard to process, I think, and even the poet's technique of condensing the most feeling into the fewest words doesn't help. In this case, there is no way that I can make the words "thank you" express the gratitude that I feel, and the amazement that people who only communicate in text and emoticons can come together in such a way. I used to joke with my husband about "imaginary friends" but I've realized that whether we're across the country from each other or across the street, we can be friends and neighbors. Well, maybe I've been playing my son's Mr. Roger's Neighborhood tape a little too frequently lately, but that's truly the way I feel.
One of the hardest things about the medical bills we have been facing is the fact that they are very difficult to deal with emotionally. Things like bills for the blood testing or the ultrasounds that were being done when we thought she had a chance are still a little bit like being punched, or bills from the doctor who, though he provided adequate care medically, was completely unprofessional in his bedside manner and made a horrible situation even worse. We had made a payoff plan, but were originally looking at about two years of dealing with collection and the like. Thanks to all of you, one smaller bill is now paid off and another will be gone in two months, and speeding up the process immensely. We also now have an emergency fund which will cover a hospital deductible if necessary, as everything had been wiped out in that frantic scramble to try and save her if possible.
We are readying a family cemetery on my parents' land; it's something we'd all talked about and intended to do, but had no idea that it would be needed so soon. My father is carving a marker which will hopefully last for several generations, but will eventually rot away, so the base Sheila constructs will eventually remain as the more permanent memorial after all of us are gone. We hope to have everything completed so that Aeryn's ashes can be interred next April.
There are still days when it's going to be rough, and will be for a long time. I want you all to know, though, that you have helped in so many ways, even just mentioning that Aeryn came and went means so much, and what you have come together and done for us is simply amazing. It's inadequate, but thank you.