Tuesday, April 1, 2014
I have been so weepy this week. Little things just make me start to tear up. I saw a lady in Brookshire Bros the other day wearing a "Be the Change" Lizzie shirt. I started to cry. I have been going through photos to find some for the Panther Pride spring show this weekend, and I cry. I looked at pictures from our New York trip and realized it was just a year ago. The same with the photos from Italy. Then I came across a couple of pictures from last Easter. Alex and I were headed to Houston that Saturday to find her a dress for graduation. Lizzie had told us that she wasn't coming home - she had to study for exams. We hadn't even made it to Livingston when Lizzie called and started crying. She was so homesick. Alex and I did a U-turn and headed back to Lufkin. We threw clothes in a bag and headed to Austin. Alex stayed with Lizzie in the dorm and I found a hotel room. I think that might have been the weekend that we found the Reeds and had dinner on South Congress. It was nice. After dinner we walked down the street and bought cupcakes and wandered around a candy store that sold anything you wanted in bacon flavor. Our plan was to go to a service that Sunday. I went to pick up the girls and Lizzie wasn't feeling well. Her oncologist from Texas Children's happened to be in town that weekend, and we were going to meet him and his family for the service. Lizzie told him we weren't going. She told him she wasn't feeling well. He kept trying to talk Lizzie into letting him drop by an do a quick assessment. She declined. She rallied some and we went to a cute little spot downtown for breakfast. We spent a very pleasant afternoon shopping downtown - just casually walking around and having a nice "girls' time." When it was time to leave, Lizzie wasn't ready to let us go. We weren't ready to go either, but we had to. I absolutely hated that I had to leave her. A couple of weekends later, Ricky and I headed to Austin on a Saturday to move the majority of Lizzie's stuff home. We got into town that evening. Lizzie was going to some concert with friends so we met a high school friend of Ricky's and spent the evening listening to live music. Lizzie called and told us that she didn't go with her friends. She was having some trouble breathing (she had already had her lung drained once). We made our plans for packing her stuff. That Sunday, we got all the big stuff packed up and loaded on the truck. We were about to take Lizzie to lunch when she told us that she didn't feel that she would be able to make it. She told us that she needed to go lie down and rest. I had to leave her again. I think it was that very next week - maybe even that Monday when she called and told me that she was headed to Dell Children's at Dr. Thompson's insistence. Her breathing was very labored. The following in an exerpt from her best friend Kyle Reed's eulogy: Lizzie’s time at the university ended one night before finals when David and I took her to the emergency room because she was having trouble breathing. Although we drove her to the hospital, she walked right in by herself without us, saying that she was only going to have a checkup and a few scans. She never came back. Around 10 PM she calls and tells me they were admitting her into the hospital and she was going into surgery for a chest tube. I called my sister. We packed our bags and headed to Austin. We got there around 1 AM. We slept in the ER room with Lizzie. We were there 2 more nights. I remember because Steph and I stayed in two different hotels. The decision was then made to transport Lizzie to TX Children's in Houston. (Lizzie's choice). The tricky part was that we had to wait on a room to open up on the oncology floor. When it did, we had to be ready to go. That day, Stephanie and I packed the rest of Lizzie's things from her dorm. So, Steph and I again stayed with Lizzie. Around midnight, we got the green light. Lizzie was transported by ambulance, and Steph and I followed. We got to Houston around 3 or 4 AM. Dog tired.....and slept in the room with Lizzie. Now, people, you may not realize what a rarity it was for me to sleep in the room with my child - with either of the girls. Lizzie was adamant that I not stay with her because I snore. I can't remember how long Lizzie was there. Long enough for her to develop a blood clot. Long enough for her doctor's to tell us to gather the family. Long enough for the outlook to be only a couple of weeks. As many of you know, Lizzie came home on hospice. Lizzie came home to bounce back the first of several times.