I am sitting at my kitchen island at 2am trying to decide if I should post this or not.
3 years ago today I finally started to truly come out of my coma. I had started to wake up and have conversations but October 29, 2010 is my first day of any memories after the crash. It is a day that will forever be burned into my memory. Gracie’s doctor came into the room. I’m sure that I had met her before but I didn’t remember her. She explained Gracie’s condition and told us that she would never recover at all. The only thing keeping her breathing was the ventilator and before much longer, her organs would slowly start to fail.
Because we had lost our dear France-Anne the year before (FA was more than a neighbour. She was my other daughter. She was my girls’ big sister. She was another bright light in our lives), Gracie was very aware of Organ Donation and she had said multiple times that as soon as she got her licence she was going to sign it to be an organ donor.
We knew that Gracie would want someone else to have a chance at the life she wasn’t going to get so we made the most difficult decision anyone should ever have to make. We chose the date to have her removed from life-support – October 31, 2013- Halloween, her favourite holiday. We didn’t know that at the time, we just said Sunday. We had no idea what the date was. (she would be making plans for her costume the next year starting November first).
On Sunday October 31, 2010 the nurses at McMaster Hospital back boarded me into Gracie’s bed so that I could hold her one last time. Her family and friends had a chance to come in and say good-bye. Then at around 10pm (not sure of the time, it wasn’t really what I was thinking about) they took us downstairs to a room and removed her breathing tube, her lungs stopped moving, her lips turned blue and her heart stopped beating.
Like I said, I really debated about posting this or about making it even less graphic than I already made it but the fact of the matter is that every day in this country, this scene is replayed by yet another family. Maybe it’s time for people to realize how raw and painful it is.
It is a scene that I replay every day in my head – how she smelled, how she felt. Wishing that I had had just a little more time with her – just another day to hold her, even if she didn’t know that I was there. The rational part of my brain says, “would it really have made a difference to how great the loss feels. After all, what’s one more day?”. The mother in me says, “One day is a lifetime when it’s your baby girl.”
I am telling you this because this is Gracie’s legacy. She changed at least 8 lives that day. This is what I want people to know about Gracie. Every day that she was alive she changed someone’s life. That’s just who she was. And she would expect me to end this blog by telling you all to register to be Organ Donors. The two easiest things that you can do to save lives – don’t Drink And Drive and register to be an Organ Donor. Do it for Gracie. Make that her legacy.