I don't even know where to begin. In H.S., Ani Bewsey Taylor and I would talk about our hopes and dreams for our one day children. Ok, who am I kidding? We'd talk about our hopes and dreams for our future hot husbands. Then, we were each others bridesmaids when we married those hot husbands we dreamt of. Ani (the early adopter and trail blazer) had a perfect baby girl (Kate) a couple years ago. Then, when I found out I was pregnant and I called and told Ani before I even told my previously mentioned hot husband. Ani found out she was pregnant too and we were due 3 days apart. We'd email, text, or call about how it was going and then Ani threw me a baby shower out in CA at her parents home. I talked to my mom on the phone the night Archie was born (she wasn't able to make it on time; Eddie barely made it on time) and she told me she was talking to Ani's mom and that Ani was in the hospital, too. Maybe it was the hormones but I FREAKED OUT. But then, I found out it was a false alarm. So close! But a couple weeks later (Archie was a little early) Ruby Jane was born to Matt and Ani Taylor to be a little sister to Kate.
I'll make a long, but incredibly touching, story short (but I DO suggest you read up!! Go to Ani and Matt Taylor's blog or just google Ruby Jane Taylor). When Ruby was a couple months old they found out she had a serious liver problem and that she would need a transplant to survive much longer. My thoughts were that there was no way this would be a problem. Its freaking 2011 and everyone loves that family anyways. There would be a million livers. Then, in the middle of June, when the problem still hadn't resolved, I made a quick trip to CA with Archie to stay with Ani and Ruby while Matt and Kate were out of town. Before this trip, I'd seen pictures, I knew it was bad, but I wasn't prepared for how I would feel when I looked in Ruby's eyes. One morning, when I was already up with out of control Archie and Ruby was still enjoying her beauty rest, there were 2 times she woke up and I went in her room to make sure Ruby was Ok so Ani could get some sleep. I'm so happy I did. It gave me a second to be alone with Ruby and to feel her spirit. Although, I do sort of feel guilty for stealing that time from her mom.
The day I left CA, I'm fairly certain Ani and I both understood somehow what would happen. Leaving was so hard. I was even tearing up on the airplane. Maybe it was because I was flying JetBlue (TOTALLY KIDDING! I LOVE Jetblue! I'm just trying to cut the tension. I feel uncomfortable with my emotions).
Things quickly started getting more intense and serious, so I called the hospital to volunteer my liver (they needed someone who was small enough that an 8th of the donors liver would fit in a baby. I thought maybe 100 lbs would do it). The coordinator said she didn't want my liver because I'm "not in perfect health" because of my brain injury. Should I be offended? Because I am. I'm pretty sure I barely even get colds. If that makes me feel very inadequate, just imagine what Ani is feeling as Ruby's mom because her liver wouldn't work. Anyone whos got at least 1/50th of a brain knows that its no ones fault that Ani's (or my) liver wouldn't be a perfect fit. I just think Ruby would prefer my questionable liver right now.
So after way too much of a trial thats anyones supposed to deal with (think Job), baby girl Ruby Jane passed away on Aug. 11th.
You know how people say when they recieve bad news they are "numb." Yeah, it totally happened. For 30 seconds there was no feeling what so ever. Then it hit me. I didn't sleep that night. I don't think there are many people who understood how hard it was on me. A) A baby died. B) It was my best friends baby. C) I'm certain I could have helped. D) Can you say Guilty? Archie, same age, is perfectly healthy in every way.
So I went to CA for the service. Stayed with the "other Everson's" in Newport Beach (my Dad's brother's house). Tuesday I went to the service, and I lived another stereotype. You know how people say they can't talk when they're overcome with emotions? Theres a first time for everything, even for this girl who loves to run her mouth. I saw Ani for the first time since everything happened, and we just hugged, and cried. I tried to say "Hi" or ask how she was doing but all that came out was one little squeek. And then saying something seemed too hard. And it seemed so inadequate. What could I say? Apparently a photorapher caught this moment because this showed up in a newspaper article.
Its still tough on me. I know that this baby's work here was done, because there is no way that this would have happened if God wasn't trying to make it end like it did. There were way too many people trying and willing to donate their livers and too many options that were so close to being a match. This was God's plan. Well, part of God's plan. Theres a lot more that I'm sure will still happen, both in this life and in the life to come. Its not like God stepped out for a minute and there was some sudden freak accident he couldn't see coming. This was set in motion since before Ruby was born. I wrote Ani a letter and in it I said that this was a lesson only Ani, Matt, and Ruby could teach. I don't think I emphasized that enough. If it was me, I would lay down in bed and proceed to guilt people into paying for my medical bills. Ani continues to amaze me. Did you know they're starting a bloody non-profit with the goal of "promoting organ donation awareness, enacting legislation to enable families to make informed and educated decisions regarding organ donation, and to raise money to support the cause." I know I signed up to be an organ donor really quick.
Like "Bows for ruby" on FB and bid on the booties I donated:
All proceeds go helping the Taylors pay for Ruby's medical bills.
Go here to donate directly to the family.
Her foundation page is here.
The toughest thing thats happened to me in my life really dims compared to this. Taylors, you have everyone you've ever met (and many you never met) supporting you on this. Love you.