This time last year ….

Good times – March 2010

We are coming up to the one year mark…

I’ve always found myself doing the “this time last year with Hannah…” thing.  Trying to remember the good times, picturing her sweet little face.

One year ago, there were no smiles.  Even worse, there would be no more smiles.

It was the beginning of a month-long round of hospitalizations that would end up with us having to make the horrific decision to put Hannah into hospice care in mid October of last year.

This time last year, we were still naive and still had hope it was something fixable, something she just needed to get through.  Never in my mind did I think that her Gaucher’s disease destroyed her body so much to the point where she was in constant pain and discomfort from  brainstem dysfunction and the other related crap Gaucher’s disease causes.

What really gets me right now is that I cannot for the life of me remember her last true smile.  Had I known it would have been her last smile, I would have soaked it up.  It was sometime at this point last year…

I’m going through this major guilt phase, wondering if we had missed something that we could have “fixed” to buy us more quality time with her.   Could I have overlooked something simple, something that would have given us even just an extra day or two?

And on the flip side, did we cause her undue pain and suffering because we didn’t realize what was happening at this time last year?  She was so uncomfortable, and we looked at everything – trachiitis, pneumonia, reflux, constipation… all her regular enemies.

I wish I remembered her last smile.  Her last real smile.  The one where she was just Hannah, beautiful, big cheeks, melt-into-your-heart smiling girl.  The one where she made me feel so much love, unconditional love … raw, true love … just by looking into her eyes.

I feel like I should be able to remember that.  But I don’t.  I don’t.  What does that say about me?

From this point on, “this time last year” will bring no more happy memories.


  1. I wish just telling you to drop the guilt would work. You did absolutely everything that you could for Hannah. You left no stone unturned and yet, you always did what was in Hannah’s best interest. No child was loved more.

    You may not be able to pinpoint that last smile, but instead, just hang on to all those wonderful smiles that you’ve documented thru the years…. one of my very favorites was from Disney…. you know which shot… a moment in time when you were just there enjoying WDW as a family…. and the magic of that week.

    Much love to you…

  2. Marsha Biller says:

    We never know when it will be the last smile, or the last kiss, or the last goodbye. Hannah was truly happy because of YOU and her family. Just know in your heart, that ALL of Hannah’s smiles were because of the LOVE from her family. I can’t imagine you missing anything when it came to Hannah. Stop doubting yourself Carrie. You are still carrying on what Hannah needed you to do. (((HUGS)))

  3. Ah guilt, another slap in the face for us grieving mothers. I have replayed everything over and over in my head literally countless times. Should we have been more concerned when his platelet count dropped ever so slightly? Should I have rushed him to the E.R. the moment he threw up? How would I have known that him throwing up would be the beginning of the end? Of course, any rational person can see that I did everything I could. But we are no longer rational, are we? As for the smiles, think of it this way…You enjoyed every smile that Hannah gave you. If you were looking for her last smile, it would have taken away the simple joy in watching your daughter be happy. But I know that it doesn’t change anything. This just all sucks. I will see you tomorrow:) Mary